Preparing for a Career that Makes a Difference

Good evening, everyone And thank you for joining us for the social panel on preparing for a career that makes a difference So to introduce myself, my name is Jacob Sunita, and I’m a senior in Government and International Politics in the Schar school And I’m also one of the Schar school student liaisons And so my kind of job as a student liaison is just to help both prospective students and current students within the Schar school to become more familiar with the different programs And just everything that Schar has to offer and just sort of help them along the way here And there are two other student liaison so as you can see there So, again, welcome to all of you current students, as well as those interested in learning more about the Schar school opposing government And so in the next 30 minutes or so, we’ll hear from several members of the Schar school community And then at the end of the panel, we will provide some information about the application process And then there’ll also be a Q&A period with our panelists We look forward to hearing from you if you have any questions throughout the session You can submit them in the bottom of your screen using the Q&A button And we might respond to some as we go And we will certainly try to get to them by the end if we don’t respond to them as soon as you ask So, and we would love to hear more from you So if you were here to learn about Mason Schar school, please chat, and let us know where you’re joining from, what sort of what you’re interested in And if you’re a current Mason student, what sort of major are you right now and what kind of job or career are you thinking about? And without further ado, let me introduce who you will be meeting with today We have Shannon Williams, who’s the director of student services at the Schar school You have Ann Ludwick, who is the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate academic affairs and is also the internship instructor We have Matthew Myers who is the Assistant Director of industry advising at Career Services And then we have two graduates of the Schar school joining us today Eyasu and Amanda Eyasu is a graduate of Schar school, BS in public administration and who is currently the Human Resources director at America’s Health Insurance Plans And then Amanda is a graduate of the Schar school’s BA program, who went on to do her Master’s in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School and who is currently a consultant Then now let me welcome Shannon Williams >> Thanks Jacob, hi everybody and welcome As Jacob said, I am Shannon and I work in Student Services And just so where I am, I’m currently located on Colonised Manufac Traditional territory currently Northern Virginia Oakton right near the Fairfax campus at George Mason So all of us at the Schar school have been working harder than ever to provide high quality degree programs in fields of study that are more relevant than ever The Schar school offers two undergraduate degrees and before we get the panel started, I just wanna give you a quick overview of the degrees that we have so that you know what’s in store for you We do have the Bachelor of Arts in government and international politics That’s really our traditional Political Science and International Relations program This has over 800 students in it And the professional interests of those students can include law, diplomacy, foreign service, federal government service, international security, political campaigns, working on Capitol Hill, and more We also have a Bachelor of Science in public administration, which prepares students to work in public service which is really the business of Washington So this program has over 100 dedicated students in it And this is great for those who are interested in nonprofits, human resources, advocacy, public policy, federal government service and state and local government So the BS focuses more on the logistics of government on all levels and it includes a bit more policy analysis and economics So you are welcome to ask questions about the programs but I know many of you are excited to hear more about about career services and internships and different kinds of opportunities if you come to the Schar school So you will at the Schar have all kinds of avenues for taking your classroom experiences to the next level And I’m gonna provide more information after you hear from the panelists about how you can apply And as Jacob said, please go ahead and put in the chat, who you are, where you’re from If you are a Mason student, what you’re studying and interested in If you are thinking of applying in Mason, what you might be interested in studying or even doing in your career So put that in the chat and then throughout the event you can also put your questions in the Q and A And we’ll either answer them live but with our panelists will answer them live bill either type answers and they might answer them in person So with that, let me welcome Ann Ludwick, who is the moderator of tonight’s panel

>> Thank you, Shannon Thank you all for taking time to join us at the Schar school this evening I’m looking forward to a lively discussion about the career paths of our esteemed students and graduates And what career resources are available to guide students along that path? First, I’d like to invite each of our panelists to introduce themselves briefly and give us a quick, description of what they are up to right now I’d like to start with Jacob >> Yes, so as I’ve already said, my name is Jacob Sunita and I’m a senior citizen government and international politics So in addition to the being a Schar school liaison, I’ve done a handful of internships in the past, throughout my college career And those have really given me the opportunity to have hands on experience I definitely wanna go into politics and government so it’s given me the opportunity to learn more about that and gain very valuable hands on experience >> Thank you, Jacob Next I’d like to invite Matt to introduce himself >> Thanks and my name is Matt Myers I’m the Director for industry advising within Career Services here at George Mason And specifically I work with all of our students who want to go into government going to law go into criminal justice So quite often that does mean that Schar school students who are looking for internships, who are looking for jobs, find their way over to meet with me and I work with them and I also work with all of our employers So whether it’s working with you as a student who is looking for an opportunity to work on your interview skills Or I’m talking to somebody from the state department I’m talking to somebody from the FBI talking to somebody from Fairfax county government to help them create their recruiting strategies To come find you to give you the opportunities so that way, your next steps after Mason are as fulfilling as you hope that they will be >> Thank you, Matt Amanda, tell us what you’re up to >> Hi, I’m Amanda Padrino I graduated from the Schar school in 2016 And after school, I worked at a non profit in DC where I actually had interned my senior year And then in 2018, I went to the Harvard Kennedy School and I just graduated in May with my Master’s of Public Policy, and I am now a consultant >> Thank you, Amanda And finally Eyasu >> Hi everyone I am a Schar graduate in 2018 And I’m HR coordinator I appreciate the promotion there Jacob, now the HR director But I did a bunch of internships and on the hill and in local city governments and found my way in human resources, which is a very rewarding career So yep, that’s who I am >> Thank you All right, now to the questions I’m going to start with Matt Matt, when students meet with you for government and related industry advising, what would you say is the top question? Or a reason for reaching out to you in career services >> Okay, so I want to give you multiple answers instead of just one The actual top reason is usually because they want help with their resume And guess what we do that we do so much more than that and usually that conversation leads into more in depth questions as it is So really what I think the end output is of the initial outreaches because if you’re building your resume, you’re building for some reason, right? You’re probably not doing it just for fun, is because they’re getting ready to look for an internship or they’re getting ready to look for a full time position So that is what we do, we have a database that we utilize called handshake That if you come to Mason you’ll automatically have an account built into handshake for you And you’ll be able to see literally tens to thousands jobs that are posted there across all different industries including government You’ll have access to employers constantly coming into base and looking to be able to hire, whether it’s for internship, part time, full time Whatever volunteer opportunities as well So the opportunities are there and what I’m doing is helping to connect students to those opportunities And helping them to realize that if you’re looking for something related to government There’s so many opportunities that most people don’t even realize at first until you start to really dig into it a little bit more So that’s the short version of the answer I’m happy to answer more questions about that later on >> Thank you Jacob, you mentioned that you’ve had a couple of internships as a student I’m curious to know more about your experience with your internship

in the global politics, fellows Program, can you share a little bit about that? Absolutely, so in the spring 2020 semester I was in a global politics fellows program, which meant that I was part of a small cohort of students that took classes at Masons Arlington campus And so I got that very unique experience and that was very enriching, and it was a great experience And as part of that program, I also had an internship in DC, I specifically interned with the group called Scenic America They’re a non-profit and they focus a lot on preservation and some other environmental things But that sort of was my first real experience getting hands on experience I hope to craft, legislation that was related to our sort of organization objectives, I got to go to congressional hearings, which was super duper cool for me as a political nerd, I love that And then I also did numerous one pagers, policy briefs for other sort of things that we had going on in the organization >> Wow sounds exciting in the right place at the right time, right? For Eyasu, how did your Mason coursework prepare you for the job search process in general? >> Yeah, absolutely Well first I wanted to mention how Matt mentioned before about handshake I actually got both of my internships while pursuing my undergraduate degree at Mason through handshake So I know sometimes it can feel like you’re submitting your resume into the void but handshake seems like it definitely has a lot of good opportunities But especially my undergraduate degree in Public Administration, it contains a lot of organizational development as well as economics And poly size as has been discussed before, and it really just gives you an opportunity to explore different areas of not only government But also non profits around the area that support government or lobby on the hill and such And so that really opened my eyes on the different possibilities that of public admin major can have in an organization And it’s such a versatile degree, can be used in, I guess emergency management as well as human resources as well as running a government agency and so on I just think the versatility of the degree and the versatility of the teaching at George Mason really opened my eyes to see the different fields I can get into and where I am right now >> That’s great, nice plug for Handshake Thank you Amanda, I’d like to ask you the same question wondering what kinds of coursework experiences really impacted your career readiness? >> Yeah, I think he also made a really great point about the different professors that we haven’t Mason And because we’re so close to Washington, DC, a lot of them have a day job and then come teach Mason So my favorite economics class was taught by Steve Pearlstein, who writes for The Washington Post So a lot of our readings were things that he had written before and things like that, and I never thought that I was gonna like economics that much But the way that he taught it for political science majors, it was great So just having professors who are doing that during the day, and then on campus, and working with you was also great I was a research assistant for a professor Jennifer Victor and she had a lot of experience and connections, which was great So the coursework but also just being so close, like both Jacob and Eyasu, I had internships in Washington DC, and then another plug for Handshake The internship that I had I never thought I wanted to work at a nonprofit I always thought I want it to be In politics and government and saw this really cool internship opportunity And it’s where I ended up working my entire senior year, ended up getting a full time job there after graduation and actually went back and consulted with them this summer after I graduated from My master’s program So great opportunities and I think the great thing about Mason is there’s so many things that you don’t know yet and it’s a great place to figure those things out and learn about them >> That’s great And so Amanda, I wanna explore that a little bit more with you You mentioned research opportunities and you also mentioned internships Were there any other co curricular activities that you got into at Mason that also helped you with your either with your career search or with your pathway to grad school? >> Yeah, so there are actually some classes that I took

about kind of thinking through next steps and applying for graduates score which were really helpful to help me think about my personal statement And interviews and things like that and also helped me to realize I didn’t wanna go straight to graduate school and wanting to take a little bit of time to work before taking that next step, which was helpful I was also involved on campus in student government, I played ultimate Frisbee and I know that doesn’t sound quite related Working with a team and also just being able to get outside and run [LAUGH] around was great And I actually also took a semester off of school to work full time on a campaign And the shark school and everybody that was very helpful in helping me to figure that out and how to take that step to make sure I could still stay on track but have that really great experience >> Wow, sounds like you took advantage of many opportunities Eyasu, how about you is similar kind of story or did you find any particular extracurricular activities of Benefit? >> I didn’t take advantage of the extracurricular activities that the Charter School specifically had to offer, but I definitely agree with Amanda here with the ultimate Frisbee I definitely was into some organizations that were more like fellowships to build a community so that you’re not just focused on your studies 24/7 because I know that can really drain you But definitely just as an aside, if you can get into any clubs or organizations that can help build like a fellowship or help build relationships or community, that’s always good >> All right, good advice Definitely Matt on the career services front, what kinds of skill sets are employers looking for these days? >> Yeah, so I think no matter what areas you’re gonna be going into, there’s a few skill sets that you can pretty much take to the bank that are gonna be sought after The first one is gonna seem really basic, but it’s communication skills Can you speak coherently? Can you write professionally? Can you be able to put your thoughts together in a paragraph and be succinct with them? It might seem really basic, but a lot of people struggle with that And if you can show it to an employer that you can be able to articulate your thoughts effectively, it is going to take you farther than you can possibly imagine So when you take those English classes that you’re required to take, don’t just kind of brush them off Really practice, really put that effort into there’s professional writing classes because you are taking them for a reason Challenge yourself, take a public speaking class because you might not love presentations, but you’re not gonna avoid them your entire life Whether they’re formal presentations, whether they’re informal presentations, you’re gonna be doing them in internships You’re gonna be doing them in jobs, you gonna be doing more than just in the classroom So that is absolutely number one Your critical thinking problem solving skills of word doesn’t always work the way we exactly we want it to and sometimes things happen at the drop of a hat Can you be able to show them that you can problem solve? Can you be able to show them that you have good critical thinking skills? The Charter School does a great job of preparing students with that because when you’re looking and analyzing all the different research that you’re doing when you’re working on current topics What are you doing about problem solving, you’re using your critical thinking skills to be able to assess the information and evaluate what you’re doing so continuing to refine that Then the other one that you might not necessarily think of from a sharp perspective, but I’m hearing it from almost every employer I talk to right now is your technical skills, data skills So if you can be able to hone up your data analysis skills, it’s not saying that you have to go and do a full on IT minor or anything like that But if you can be able to work with big data to a certain degree, if you can be able to have those skills in hand, you are gonna be far more employablem you’re gonna be far more attractive to employers And the world’s moving more and more in that direction, so it’s a little bit of just a reality right now So I say those are the top three areas that are relatively universal at this point in time >> Okay, good to know Good to know about the skill set that you can prepare for when you’re thinking about your coursework, and your experiences, and how to best use your university experience for preparing And speaking of that, Jacob, I’d like to ask you as a current student, and as you’re preparing for graduating, how are you using your senior year for career preparedness or what are you thinking about? What thoughts do you have about that next step after graduation? >> Well, obviously in the sort of our current environment, it’s a sort of

a daunting thing to think about, but I’ve tried to stay busy and stay involved I’m doing another internship that’s virtual unfortunately, but it’s still experience this fall I am involved sort of with my liaison role with the Charter School And so I’m just continuing to try to build experience and build up skills that I can sort of have and attach to my resume And so things that all build on each other and then hopefully put me in a good position to be competitive in the job field >> Excellent, very good Eyasu, I wanted to ask you more about the human resources field It seems to me that every organization has some sort of human resources needs or department How do most people find jobs in the field of human resources? >> That’s a great question Definitely make sure you have at least some experience if it’s just free work, free internship, not getting paid That’s actually very valuable experience because there’s many people who want to get in the field of human resources and it requires a lot of ability to show that you’re able to handle people Because I’m sure we all know people can be difficult and in and human resources, you’re going to have to deal with them And definitely if you’re able to show some experience, even if it’s not directly related to human resources that you’re able to handle difficult situations and have a high tolerance for certain situations And have good communication skills with other people, then that’s gonna be definitely invaluable for the field And in addition to that, definitely certifications are very helpful I know Mason offers a number of prep classes for the SHRM and I believe also [INAUDIBLE] certifications for human resources So If you’re interested in that, it’s never too early to start studying on those, also definitely give you a leg up in that field >> Okay, good to know, very good Amanda, what advice would you give to students who are aiming for grad school as their next step >> Yeah, so the biggest piece of advice I would have is to explore and to take the time while you’re in your undergraduate to really do new things, try different things Like I said I thought that I might go straight through to grad school, I had been applying to some different fellowships, and scholarships, and things like that But it was actually the internship that I was doing during my senior year that made me realize I don’t wanna go to graduate school yet and I wanted to take a little bit more time before I take that next step So take interesting classes, do things like that I would also say if you’re really thinking about going to graduate school, definitely consider getting honors in the major and writing a thesis, that was a great experience for me And I also reference my thesis in a lot of those graduate school applications, it’s a great time to be able to focus in on a project that you’re really excited about, and interested in, and be able to drive it yourself And then having the opportunity to work with a faculty member one on one is also really helpful for building out some graduate school applications and things like that The other small piece of advice is just think about taking the GRP while you’re in college, its the best thing I did because I was used to studying And then when I was applying for graduate school in a couple of years out of college and a lot of my friends were trying to remember how to be a student again Do it while you’re in school and as Eyasu said, there’s also great opportunities on campus to work with other people to get prepared, and study, and things like that >> Great points of advice, thank you In looking at the Q&A box, I see that Adam has asked, what’s the difference between the two majors offered by Shar and we’ve got two alums here representing both programs Would you Amanda and Yasi would you like to share your perspectives on the differences between the two programs? Start with Amanda >> Sure, so I got the BA in Government and International Politics, and it’s definitely again I think Shannon said this more of like the traditional political science I knew that I kind of wanted to study that and then use in different minors that focused a little bit differently So I did a data analysis minor in Spanish minor, but wanted to focus most of my coursework on learning about political science Like Matt said with the different kind of data skills, that was one of the things I really liked in an undergraduate course called Government-300

And that’s what kind of made me want to focus in on that political science side of things, go ahead and do a thesis and things like that >> Yeah, I think that’s a great overview of the BA program The BS program I would definitely say is a lot less analysis of policy and a lot more application of policy and how that would look like in real time So many of the things that you would study that will set you up later will be, how do these policies affect an organization, and how can the organization do better in enacting those policies And a lot of that is seen in the world of human resources How policies can be implemented in an organization to make sure that everything is effective, everything is efficient And a lot of that has to do with like leadership and accountability and also, delegation So, you will go through some classes that do have policy analysis and you will need to learn different things in regards to the government structure, but most of it will deal with the application of it >> Very nice, that’s a nice summary of the two kinds of programs that we have Now you found yourselves government and public admin students in the same classes, is that right? >> Amanda, were we in he same classes? >> [LAUGH] >> I don’t know that the two of us were in the same classes, but I know students across the majors are in classes together >> Exactly, yeah, they’re related fields but then a way for you to specialize and focus in a certain area But definitely you’ll find government and public adding students in classes together in some courses, some government classes Okay, we have another question in the Q&A box And the question is can you talk about the PPE concentration and how students may leverage that with internships, with international organizations, or Department of State with some foreign service goals? I’d like to talk about the PPE Program And then I’m also gonna ask Matt Meyers to talk about our connections with Foreign Service and ways that students with those interests can find some pathways at George Mason So the PPE concentration is an available program at that Mason What’s nice about the PPE program is it’s an interdisciplinary concentration And that kind of showcases some of the good partnerships that we do have at George Mason with our sister units The PPE is for philosophy, politics, and economics And it’s a way for students interested in all three of those areas to really build a super minor, really, of coursework in those three areas to create this extra sized concentration And again, it’s another way for students to connect across, disciplines to get the full picture of politics, philosophy, and economics culminating in a capstone, a specialized capstone of course in that manner And then of course internships can factor into your miners or your majors, or other experiential components But I would like to ask Matt at this time to talk about that foreign service piece >> Yeah, so we do have a good relationship with the State Department as a whole I put the link in the chat, just kinda showing other student internship program You’ll notice that the days have already passed for all the Summer 21 applications already So that is just an indicator that if you are gonna be applying for these kind of really competitive internships get started as early as possible It’s not just the State Department’s, it’s gonna be a lot of the other big name agencies within the government as well So even if you come in as a freshman, you’re able to start playing as early as first semester freshman year depending on what the internship is But, Ann and I we’ve been working together for probably four or five years now on an initiative we call Foreign Service day So every day, you’re usually around late March, early April or so we have a full one day conference generally on a Saturday, where we invited a lot of Former Foreign Service Officers, current Foreign Service Officers,

State Department Officials to be able to run programming in for all of you So we will have a keynote, we’ll have your networking session, we’ll have breakout sessions, or the Diplomacy Center will come in and run a simulation with you to be able to give you an idea of what diplomacy actually really looks like So if you do have an interest in foreign service, you can get a taste of okay, what is it really all about We’ve had former ambassadors who participate in this program and they’re very happy and very willing to be able to help out and give back In this regard they like to be able to share about their experiences with students who are interested in engaged in wanting to pursue a career in this direction There’s no one singular silver bullet with this So it’s not a matter of you can get the PPE, if you just do the BA, the BS, you give that a straight shot In the foreign service, it’s a rather competitive process to get in But it is something where we do provide a lot of resources throughout the year to be able to expose you to a verified that it is direction you wanna go and get a little bit of added information to be able to kind of propel you in that general direction >> Thank you I’d like to now Now invite Shannon to take it take us to the next phase of our program >> All right, thanks, Ann And thanks to everybody who’s taught so far, I’m learning even as we go here, which is fantastic So, I guess what I wanted to just say in quickly in response to the PPE, I’m sorry, I’m trying to stop There we go In response to the PPE question I’ve been working with Matt Sheriff, who is one of our faculty members I’ve just been working with him lately on getting some things up to date on the website about the PPE program, and as that’s been happening, I’ve been like learning a ton of things And it is really cool program and the faculty who are a part of it are super dedicated to making the experience really immersive and sort of interdisciplinary for the students They have a monthly Discussion group It was meeting on campus, now it’s meeting virtually, where they have faculty and students who are interested in stuff related to political economy, they get together and chat They have a different visiting either scholar or person every month that comes and talks to them about some juicy new topic There’s kind of an exchange program with the Free University of Amsterdam, they have a fellows program there There’s a weird bell going off, I’m gonna ignore it Anyway, it’s just really an interesting program, and I encourage you to find out more about the program itself But the students who are in it and the faculty who are in it are just really interesting and interested And so it’s a great way to make connections A lot of those programs are available to students You don’t even have to be in the program yet You can just be interested in the topic and you can go to the discussions and go to the Roger Wilkins lecture and learn about it So I would encourage you to find out more about that The nice thing is that if you’re somewhere far away, like we have people in Seattle and people that are in North Carolina right now, but a lot of this stuff is virtual So you can find out about these programs and come to things Just look on the Schar events calendar and see what’s going on and come check it out and see what you think I’m gonna take a quick moment to tell you cuz this has been a really interesting discussion But I do wanna pause and let you know about sort of the application process And if you have questions about this, you can ask questions about this So I’m gonna go ahead and share my screen and fill you in on a couple things I do encourage you to continue putting your information, if you wanna introduce yourself and you haven’t already, you can put that in the chat If you have any questions at all about anything directly for a panelist or for the group as a whole, feel free to put that in the Q&A and we will get to your question But let me just go ahead and tell you a little bit about the application process in case you wanna find out more about applying to Mason if you aren’t already a Mason student I do know that one person has already applied, so thank you for your application The deadline is November 1st for early, but we continue to accept applications throughout the cycle So basically there are two online application options There’s the Common Application or the Mason Exclusive Application But just so you know, admissions doesn’t give preference for either method The applications opened back in August for high school seniors, so those are open now, obviously The Early Action, non-binding, application is November 1st, so that’s coming up really soon, and then January 15th for Regular Decision And of course, we encourage all students to file for free, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid, which is known as FAFSA, by January 15th So that opened on October 1st, and you can go to fafsa.gov to find out more And there is, down at the bottom of this slide, there’s the admissions website But of course, you can just google GMU admissions to find out more I do know that we have at least one NOVA student who is on the call There may be other students who are currently at a community college or

another university thinking of possibly transferring So if you’re interested in transferring, the application deadline is March 1st for Fall Priority And as with freshmen, we encourage you to apply for the FAFSA at fafsa.gov And again, there’s information here at the bottom of the slide about how to find out about the required application materials and the transfer pathway I also just wanna let you know, if you don’t already, that this event tonight is one of a series of three that we did this week We had one event last night, tonight, and there’s one more tomorrow And it is the policy and law panel, and it’s gonna be about policy, public administration, and law They’re exploring the topic of prison privatization, but they’re also gonna be discussing sort of public policy more generally as well We’re gonna have our pre-law advisor on that webinar, several professors, a current student, and one of our graduates who is actually attending Yale Law School right now So come to that event tomorrow if you can to find out more And sorry, let me scroll down here and get to my next slide, so that’s pretty much it from me And if you wanna find out more, this doesn’t mean the webinar is over, but if you do wanna find out more, you can follow up with us at scharuaa.gmu.edu And Jacob as well as our two other student liaisons are responding to those emails And we’ll set up a Zoom call with you or a phone call or answer by email, put you in touch with an advisor or whoever can answer your question So feel free to get in touch with us after this if you have any questions at all, and we’re just excited for your application And for those of you that are currently Mason students, we look forward to finding out how we can support you in your career search So with that, I don’t know if there are any other questions in the Q&A But I’m sure there are more things that our panelists can discuss, so I’m going to hand it back to Ann >> Thank you, Shannon, thank you for all of that excellent information I do have a question I’d like to ask Matt And that is you highlighted the Foreign Service event and those kinds of connections that students can have at George Mason What can you tell us about the career fair, and how do students get connected to the career fair when it’s offered on campus? >> Yeah, so we run career fairs throughout the year We have two kind of, I guess, for lack of a better way of putting it, primary career fairs that are generally early October and mid-February So we had our last one last week, this semester we’re virtual, like everything else is But presuming that we’re back to fully normal, fully operational, our career fairs are two-day events And each day we have about 130, 140 employers attending it, and that’s across all different industries But I’d say on the government and government-related side of things, probably about anywhere from a quarter to a third of those are related to government in some way Including a lot of the big name agencies that you would think about, whether that’s CIA, whether that’s portions of DHS, State Department, DOD, different areas along the way there And also, of course, our local government Usually we’ll get Fairfax County, we’ll have Arlington County, we’ll have a lot of those organizations as well Normally, students are welcome to walk up and attend All you’d have to do is submit your Mason ID to get scanned, and you’re good to go Now that we’re online right now, we’re having to have pre-registration just to be able to manage all the, I guess, capacity of the servers and everything I’m clearly not a tech person right now, if it’s not becoming apparently clear, but you still have plenty of opportunities We had it worked out, I think over 1,500 students attended our career fair last week between two days, while we were virtual And we also generally have a career night as well about two weeks after The fact is that we’ll have another one of those coming up for this semester on the 28th, where just one more opportunity in the evening So if you are working during the day, if you can’t make it during the daytime hours, we do offer that up for the evening hours as well to provide more opportunities And we are usually able to fit another 70, 80, sometimes up to another 100 employers in that evening when we’re in person So that’s the short version of it [LAUGH] >> Well, good, I’m glad to hear that the transition to a virtual scenario didn’t stop folks from coming to the career fair Along those lines, I wanted to ask Jacob You mentioned, Jacob, that you’re doing a virtual internship this semester

Can you highlight a little bit about what that’s like? >> Yeah, so So for my internship as part of the spring 2020 semester, that was obviously cut off by the pandemic and so I can I did that one half in person, half virtual And it was certainly the transition to go from getting on the metro every single day going into DC going into an office space as opposed to just sitting in my room, and doing sort of the same activities online But it’s sort of it was unique experience definitely And I think it helped me sort of be able to do another internship over the summer I interned with a Virginia delegate over the summer, that was all virtual So it kind of gave me an experience for that And I think obviously, but those both two experiences sort of, helped me sort of present myself as a good candidate for a virtual internship this fall, as I’d already done To other ones and obviously doesn’t have the same experience as you would if you were in person but I still think you can get a lot out of a virtual internship >> That’s good to know that you can still contribute in that way even though it’s a virtual experience I’m sure you felt that was a rewarding way to be involved Yasu I would like to ask you, along those same lines with transitioning to virtual work scenarios What kinds of challenges have you faced and it hasn’t been along the same lines with virtual working or what other kinds of on the job scenarios have helped you accept challenges >> Yeah, absolutely I think especially in the field of human resources, it’s definitely been a unique challenge To have a remote workforce all of a sudden, we know we’re all in the office at one moment and then a few months later, we’re all working from home And now we’re considering having our employees work from home permanently Because it looks like some things can be done remotely and so and with that comes its challenges, especially with HR making new policies and new procedures and creating new forms To make sure everybody is safe and healthy, and if they do have a job that they need to go into the office for that certain precautions and guidelines are set in place in order to make sure that they are safe and are also able to do the job as well But I would also say that at a broader point that in the field of Human Resources you’re sorta in this middle ground between protecting the employee In protecting the employee, a lot of what you do will be creating policies to protect the employer from unknowingly doing something that could infringe upon the rights of the employee And also implementing policies that make sure that employees’ rights are being valued in that we’re cultivating a positive cultures So there is often some practical things such as the COVID switch but also some overarching things such as trying to make sure that we’re playing nice with both sides All good and practical things that have that have popped up I’m certain in your field Amanda, how about you what kinds of changes Challenges have you faced or any particular job, scenario that has come your way now that you’re in the career field >> Yeah, so the job that I had right out of undergrad, I was working at a non-private club with partnership for public service And I was working on their center for presidential transition So, we were helping both the Trump and Clinton transition teams, to plan for, if they won the election, how would they move into government? Which was really exciting work, but also challenging and exhilarating And there was a day when I got a phone call and my boss, It was a Sunday afternoon and he said hey, are you available right now? And I said, sure what’s going on? He said, I’m gonna patch you through to the Trump team because they have a question about political appointments and you’re the expert on our team So get ready [LAUGH] Which was crazy, but also very exciting And the reason that I had that opportunity Was actually because I was a research associate on the team and that was a job I didn’t think I was ever gonna have Like I said, I thought I was going to go into politics and

campaigns and in 2016 I didn’t really want to work in politics So I had this great opportunity from working at this nonprofit And while I was at the shark school, and the research background that I had from working on a thesis from the classes Is that I took that shower really helped me to step into that role And have a background and feel comfortable taking on that kind of research And the one other plug I’ll just give I came from Colorado and went to Mason and especially as an out of state student, just the opportunities to have internships in DC during the year There’s so many students who are looking for internships in DC in the summer and it’s really competitive But when you’re a student who can say, I’ll get on the metro and I’ll be in the office on Tuesdays or Thursdays, there’s a lot more opportunities and doors that are open So just another thing to consider as you’re looking >> Yeah, that’s an excellent point about location, location, location, that’s for sure Okay, so questions, continuing with our alones knowing what you know now, what would you tell your younger self when you were starting out as an undergrad student? Yasmin >> Yeah, I would definitely tell myself to explore definitely explore and not pigeonhole yourself into one thing, if you can envision yourself being an FSA working at FSL working at the State Department, then nothing is wrong with that But also broaden your perspective What if your skills would be best used somewhere else? Or what if you found something that you really, really enjoy that you didn’t think you would? And so I would just I would have just told myself definitely explore all of your options because you never know which one would be exactly the right fit for you >> How about you, Amanda? >> I think mine would be very similar and the kind of big tagline for me was you don’t have to have it all figured out You will have these different opportunities and things that you don’t even know are out there So be open to those opportunities like Yasua said, explore, try new things You have a lot of time in college So take the opportunities, do things you didn’t think you’re going to do, because every semester is a new opportunity >> I like that I like that The positive tone that that you’ve both shared about opportunities and being involved in taking advantage of that time in the college environment Yeah very true Matt, I would like to ask you, you work with so many students, as the way that career advising is set up at Mason, it’s industry advising so you can get anybody who’s interested in In the field of government and political science, coming your way to ask for advice on career searches Do you have a success story or a particular experience that you’ve had that you’ve been particularly proud of? >> I had a student, I’d say probably the first time I met her was maybe her sophomore year or so And she’d just stop by for a drop in real quick for her resume and look and be able to touch it up I think she was [INAUDIBLE] Model UN on campus or something along those lines But she was really just touching up for a class assignment at first I think it was And so we worked on it, kind of talked about how, okay, maybe you don’t have this exact experience, maybe we can build up how Model UN equates over into other areas And okay, yeah, that was that and we kinda moved along But then it was about either the next semester or the next year later, she comes back for a full appointment And is really starting to look at internships because she was really interested in working in areas related to international development, looking at USAID, World Bank, places along those lines So, we started really looking at, okay, how can we be able to strategize for this? And yeah, I think she’s certainly a bright girl But a lot of what we end up doing in career services, as much as it’s advising, it’s also a lot of cheerleading, confidence building Because I think if you get here to Mason and you are able to do well in your classes, you have all the capabilities in the world of being able to be successful outside

But it’s hard to believe that at first until you start to do it sometimes So a lot of what I’m doing is confidence building To make a long story short, she ended up getting two internships simultaneously I don’t know how she pulled that off that summer balancing two different internships with organizations related to that The next year we were working on grant applications She went over to the University of Edinburgh over in Scotland Got a master’s over there, and now she’s working in the field, on a contractor who does a ton of stuff with USAID and everything And is already looking to be able to come back to Mason and give back and work with new students to get them in the field as well So I think that’s a good example of something that kind of seems like a pipe dream, not really being a pipe dream if you’re willing to put in the time and work for it >> That’s very unique perspective On the Q&A box, there is a question about concentrations Concentrations, a lot of different concentrations available You’ve noticed that, that’s good How can we get more information about the concentrations and kinda understanding the differences between them and class descriptions? So, in the chat box I just provided a link to, I think, some pretty good descriptions of our concentrations in government And then I’ll follow up with the public admin ones as well But yeah, what’s nice about our degree programs is you can be kind of a generalist and focus your field study coursework in the major in a general way, or you can be focused in a more specific way If you wanna pick a concentration, and then purposely choose those courses to set yourself up with some specific background in those concentration areas, you can do that Or you can choose your coursework for your own areas of interest There’s that flexibility But there are concentration descriptions in the link that I’m putting in the chat And then the course descriptions in the catalog are very brief [LAUGH] But there are more resources that you can use to get a little bit more details on the courses We do provide syllabus examples on our Schar website And that’s another good resource to look at specific syllabi when you’re looking at professors’ sections With a little bit more information for sure about courses, we do offer them in that way At this point, I’m going to search for the public admin concentrations but invite Shannon to join us to wrap us up, thank you >> Thanks, Anne and actually Anne, don’t get too distracted because I have a question for you, because you’ve been doing such a great job being a moderator And I wanted to actually ask you what I want to make sure these students know I mean the students that are at Mason probably know this already if they know you But the students who are from NOVA or who are applying, maybe don’t know much about the advising team within the Schar School And what the relationship of the advising team is with these industry advisors And what kind of advising our undergraduate students in the Schar school can get, particularly related to how they can kind of articulate their goals and explore and that sort of thing Would you be okay talking about that for a minute? >> Sure, at the Schar School we have a professional advising team, that’s the model that we use at George Mason There are different models of advising You can have a faculty member assigned to you, there may be grad students that are helping with advising There could be peer advisors and there are professional advisors The Schar School, we have professional advisors that serve as a team We have a team approach for advising and then we also offer peer advisors So our goal is to have sort of an open door policy to advising and be available to students as needed Virtually, as well as we’ve expanded, of course, our virtual advising options It’s a holistic approach to advising, you can talk to us about short term planning, long term planning Definitely, I think the top thing that you meet with your advisor about is help me plan my classes for next semester

But there are study abroad opportunities that await you If you’re interested in law school, there’s a pre-law advisor We can refer students across the campus to other units if they’re interested in minors And to bring a minor into their area to complement their public administration or government coursework So that’s our philosophy is student centered and open door >> Great, thank you Ann And I just saw that there was one more question in the Q&A that was about what are sort of popular careers I’m gonna read it again Alexis asked what are popular careers people choose to pursue once graduating from this program? I will answer very quickly and say there are so many different directions that students can go with this I just put in the chat a fact sheet that we just created It’s a brochure basically, a PDF that you can take a look at, that has a list of some of the places where students have gotten jobs after that Reading from our program This is really any week to make it fit on the sheet we had to cut it down So it really is just an example of the different types of industries There’s federal level jobs There’s political campaigns, state and local government positions Firms, of course, folks that wanna work in think tanks and do research, do government consulting Folks that wanna work in Congress on Capitol Hill, but then also all kinds of folks that do stuff with advocacy, nonprofit work, like some things that people are passionate about So there really is a wide range but maybe Ann I can hand it back to you, and Matt, maybe, I don’t know, to see if there’s a better answer than that >> Sure, I’ll hop in I think one of the nice things about a [INAUDIBLE] school degree is that you really can go in almost any direction you want with it Okay maybe you’re not gonna take your [INAUDIBLE] degree and immediately become an engineer you probably need some engineering classes to be able to do that on the side But in general, you can go almost any direction, you’re not going to really close doors off with it because it’s more about how you’re going to use in How you’re going to use your skills, a lot of employers, they hire off of your skill sets and what you can actually do for them So you might even if you have your degree and you want to go work on Capitol Hill you want to go work for counties or state government you don’t want to go work wherever it is Just having the degree isn’t going to be enough even if it says that you’re a public administration major, you need to be able to back it up and be able to show them what actually what you learned in your classes how you are able to apply it So you really can go much any direction with that What I might recommend if you’re curious about some of the other specifics, you could hop on LinkedIn and just do you know search, put a filter on there for George Mason, put a filter on there for government international politics, public administration, you know, either or You can be able to see everybody on there that has that combination and see what they’re doing now, how they got to where they are >> Right and I’m wondering if Yasuo maybe or Amanda could answer this obviously rhetorical question, but the question is, you know, was it a straight line for you from what you thought you were going to when you started to where you are now and where you’re going? Was it a straight line? If it was or wasn’t why not? What changed? >> Yeah, I think, definitely, sometimes circumstances can dictate where you end up But I think for the most part, you know, I thought that I would go immediately to law school after getting my undergrad degree and I initially, you know, was setting for the And I realized I just also really wanted a few years of work experience and so, you know, as I mentioned before, did a few internships and federal and local government and that was a lot of fun Did a temporary position at a law firm, did another temporary position at And that really gave me the opportunity to see what the career field had to offer and instead of going and immediately to law school I found that I [INAUDIBLE] working with people And it’s not that lawyers don’t work with people it’s that HR professionals always work with people And so from some temporary jobs and some internship experiences, it’s sort of, I guess I sort of stumbled my way into into human resources Which is actually a very, as I mentioned, very rewarding and valuable career So it doesn’t always go on as as straight as you sometimes might hope, I do have friends who have had internships on the hill and

then full time positions on the hill and had moved up from there and that’s great But sometimes it’s not as straight as you expect it to be And it may take a little while and you may not end up where you thought you would a few years ago >> Thank you all for participating in this I do want to go ahead and hand it back to Jacob here but first just say thank you so, so much to our panelists, for all of your thoughts and perspectives, but also thank you to our attendees for coming tonight You’re from different parts around the country Some of you are right up the streets But it’s really nice to have you here and to have your thoughtful questions And of course, as Jacob is probably gonna tell you, we can go ahead and take any follow up questions that come to mind for you, set up a zoom call or whatever you need So feel free to get in touch with us We’re happy to talk with you But with that, I’m gonna go ahead and hand it back to Jacob >> Yeah, so again, just follow up on that Thank you all so much for joining us today We’re more than happy to answer any questions you might have You can, just go ahead and ask us now Or you can quickly just, you can shoot us an email, we’re happy to set up a zoom conversation Or just answer any questions you have by email The email, just put it in the chat is how you reach us and feel free to reach out again