Alumni return to join new department tradition

Published: Feb. 1, 2017 By

Click here to view photos from the event.

On Jan. 30th, the political science department hosted the first annual PSCI Alumni Career Panel in HUMN 1B80. The event invited PSCI students to meet CU grads from the department and get a taste of life after college for a political science major.

Wanda James, Chad Harmon, Derek Dash, Christine Spraker, Matt Hirschland, and Keith Edwards told their intriguing and very different stories of the paths they took after earning a degree in political science.

James served in the military, made a career for herself in politics, and is now president of Cannabis Global Initiative.

Harmon imagined he would play professional baseball, but a PSCI degree led him to a career as a wealth manager for A&I Financial Services.

Dash ambitiously applied for an internship in Washington, D.C., to which he was accepted; he now works for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

Spraker worked her way up from washing cars to presiding over Matrix Analytics.

Hirschland tried a little bit of everything – even opening up an ice cream parlor – and is now founder and principal of H2A Partners.

Edwards graduated from law school and searched for the right next step; today, he practices law at Hutchinson Black and Cook LLC in Boulder.

Students asked the panel a diverse array of questions during Q&A; common topics included finding a balance between work and family, what (if anything) the alumni wished they’d done differently, and the skills employers are looking for in potential employees.

Together, the six panelists came up with this set of advice:

  • Take risks, and take rejection in stride.
  • Connect with mentors who will motivate you and help you find opportunities.
  • Find out what you want to do and what you have to do to get there, and fight to achieve it.