Katie graduated in 2010 with a double major in Political Science (Legal Studies emphasis) and Speech Communication. She is currently the Sales Manager for company that provides technical solutions and services for water and wastewater treatment facilities. “I see projects from the very start to the very end, so my day involves a lot of finding solutions, putting together quotes, explaining how things work, working with vendors and engineers, and solving problems that arise in the process. I also am responsible for our promotional and marketing, so I might be making changes to our website or attending conferences on any given day,” Katie writes.
So how did Katie get from discussing politics in class to knowing the details of wastewater treatment? Turns out, love had a lot to do with it: “It’s a family business, and I married into the family, so I had an in. But it was a really good fit for all of us. When I started, I was the third full time employee — we were basically a tech startup. We’ve grown a lot in the past six years.”
Katie has a lot of great advice for students who find themselves faced with opportunities outside of politics after graduation. “It’s OK to jump into a industry or field that you don’t know. Get comfortable with the fact that you’re not going to know everything (or even anything), but that you do have the skills to learn and succeed,” she says. “I didn’t know anything about water and wastewater technology, and now I answer questions from engineers about designing controls for entire systems and can put together quotes for huge projects. Nobody starts with a lot of industry-specific knowledge; you use the skills that you learn in school to teach yourself when you’re in the industry. Also, be kind to people and say yes to every opportunity that you can. It’s cliche, but you really don’t know where the next door is going to open.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Katie! Your major in Political Science will give you the skills to succeed wherever you land. Want to hear more from Katie? Feel free to contact her at email@example.com.