Caroline Schwarzman

Caroline Schwarzman

2012 Major: Political Science; Minor, History

Currently: Harvard Business School

How has being a Political Science graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

Political Science does not prepare you for a particular industry outside of politics. However, the discussion-based classes and text analysis that compose the majority of your learning experience teach you how to think critically and analytically. They also help you become comfortable creating, articulating, and defending an argument. This is a skill that is useful in any business context.

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. Every organization, transaction, and group has power dynamics. If you can identify and navigate these well you will have great success in sales, business development, and personal career development.

What advice would you give students in Political Science?

Learn how to explain your major for a job interview, though it won't matter after your first job out of college. Remember, you are at a liberal arts school, not a professional school. Unless you are pre-med, pre-law or an engineer, you are inherently taking a major that teaches you how to THINK. This skill can be applied to ANY industry.

Also, take an econ class, you'll need to understand these basic principles once you enter the business world.