Alumni Stories

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.

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.

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.

"I got my first job at a small start-up called Yext because the founder was a Duke Alum.

College is the time to try different fields and figure it out. Take advantage of that opportunity!

Bronwyn Lewis Friscia

I am currently working as a consultant while turning my doctoral dissertation into a book geared to a popular audience on how we should be thinking about climate politics. I have lived and breathed political science since graduating!

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.

Gagan Vaseer

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

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.

Emma Campbell-Mohn

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

Kateri Zhu

It's a robust major that makes you an excellent writer. I didn't know how valuable being a good business writer would be in every role I've taken: investment banking analyst producing pitchbooks and marketing manager producing product content.

Alex Senior

The program prepared me for my career in research by training me in analytical thought, academic writing, and qualitative research methods.

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.

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.

Critical reading and persuasive writing ... was excellent preparation for a career in litigation.

(My major) gave me a underlying and in depth knowledge of political trends and history to help me cover everything from local politics to presidential elections.

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.

My degree helped me develop the critical thinking skills I use every day as a labour and human rights lawyer

Patricia Lee

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

Adam Walsh

Although it is a generalist degree, don't discount the practical skills you will gain as a Political Science major. You will learn how to analyze texts, how to create strong arguments, and how to write in a persuasive and concise manner.

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.

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

Patrick Winter

(B)eing a Political Science major helped develop my critical thinking skills as well as my writing skills which not only helped me in law school, but continue to be an asset today.

Lauren Stocker

I moved to DC after graduating Duke and have worked on the Hill and for several federal agencies for the last 12 years.

A political science education provides an analytical framework for assessing issues which is similar to that required of a lawyer in that you attempt to look at an issue from all sides and viewpoints.