Alumni Stories

Eduardo Leal

As an attorney, the ability to comprehend and analyze complex information, and then convey my findings and conclusions clearly, is essential in my line of work. I am incredibly grateful to have been able to develop these skills early on as an undergraduate at Duke.

Caroline Schwarzman

The thing I took away from PoliSci that has most impacted my career though is the understanding of power dynamics that you learn through a geopolitical lens.

Brendan Nyhan - Professor at Dartmouth

I learned the most – and had the most fun – working on research in a team setting with the graduate students and faculty in the Political Institutions and Public Choice Program.

Leah Yaffe

I loved transitioning from abstract discussion to concrete application, and was ever grateful that my Duke education had prepared me for the fast-paced complexity of the Hill.

Patricia Lee

(Duke Political Science has) taught me to be a better thinker and communicator.

Political science assisted me in providing a more theoretical and systematic approach to some of the policy work I focused on in ICS.

Emma Campbell-Mohn

The Duke Political Science Department gave me the skills and education necessary to pursue a fulfilling career.

David Sparks - Sports Analysis

I am a living embodiment of the cliché that if you love what you do, it doesn't seem like work. I went from being a Political Scientist with a sports analysis hobby to being a basketball analyst with a social science hobby. I really enjoy exploring the physical and human geography of Boston, and I spend most of my free time with my wife, looking for adventures in New England.

Bryan Gomez-Wong, Google Android Business Operations & Strategy

Political Science prepares you to cover a breadth of topics, utilize thinking tools to sharpen your thinking, and to present your ideas logically to persuade others. Use that to your advantage.

Gagan Vaseer

Political Science was a means by which I could broaden my skillset, specifically with a research and analytical lens.

Adam Chodikoff - Senior Producer at the Daily Show

I have a wacky job. I tell people it’s a made-up job at a made-up show. I thought I’d be working on Capitol Hill or something. But the world of late-night basic-cable news-spoof comedy was too big a lure.

Justin Pearlman - Chief of Staff to the Provost at Columbia University

My political science training at Duke helped to equip me with skills to identify people’s interests, analyze which solutions will be most supported and effectively serve the mission of the university, and reach a consensus in a decentralized institution.

Dan Lipinski - Representative for Illinois

I will never forget the great discussions with my colleagues about all sorts of issues, both inside the classroom and outside. I didn’t realize at the time that I would probably never again be surrounded by so many intelligent people at one time.

Taylor Anne Potter

Studying Political Science at Duke exposed me to a wide array of experiences and perspectives, which allowed me to establish a strong foundation in critical thinking and strategic organizational development.

Max Fischer-Zernin

Two skills from my political science education stand out as particularly important in shaping my professional success.... the application of statistics in the social sciences.... (and) the ability to understand the incentives of entities and how they shape decision-making...

Judy Woodruff - PBS Newshour

There’s no doubt that the academic rigor I experienced at Duke was an important foundation for my love of learning in the decades since graduation.