As cliché as it might sound, Gannon University was the best thing to ever happen to my life, both personally and professionally.

I grew up in a tiny town outside of Pittsburgh and was always involved in after-school activities at my high school. However, after I got to Gannon, I became extremely involved in numerous organizations. I wrote for “The Gannon Knight,” served on the Student Government Association, represented my sorority Alpha Sigma Tau and worked at the Office of the University Chaplain – all while managing my major in history and earning my minor in political science.

I liked to stay busy with the organizations I loved and learned to manage my time the best I could. This is something that helps me to this day. Currently I am working full time for the government of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C. as well as working on my master’s degree in government at Johns Hopkins University. While I have a lot of my plate, I feel rewarded by what we’ve accomplished for the citizens of D.C. and enjoy my security studies classes at JHU.

Gannon University helped me to get to where I am now thanks to the inspiring professors I had like Dr. John Vohlidka in history and Dr. Mark Jubulis in political science. They encouraged me to apply for internships that would help me professionally.

I decided that The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars was perfect for me, as it gave me a real-world experience, working in a trade association in Washington, D.C. and living right outside the city. I was able to attend congressional hearings on Capitol Hill and see our U.S. representative and senators in action!

During this time I was also selected to be a student fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency, another opportunity Gannon was able to offer me. I drafted a paper for publication and collaborated with students from across the country. The experience I had during this semester helped me realize that I wanted to move back to D.C. after graduation.

In May 2008, I returned to the nation’s capital and shortly thereafter began working for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty of Washington, D.C. in his executive office – a poli-sci major’s dream.

While many might not believe a humanities degree and a major in history or political science can get them far, it can be a different story thanks to the opportunities Gannon provides. I am eternally grateful for the wonderful relationships I developed with my peers, which created friendships that I still have today. Gannon gave me the leadership skills I needed to pursue my professional goals, and I look back on my time there with great appreciation.

I hope to defend my master’s thesis at Johns Hopkins in December of this year, but I could not have gotten to this step in my academic career without my Gannon education and experience.

What’s the difference between shadowing and an internship? How does one prepare to study abroad? Get these answers and more through Gannon’s Center for Experiential Education.