Political Science, '16
Brigit Rossbach, a sophomore studying Political Science, is a wonderful example of how to pursue your passions, expand your comfort zone, and make the most of your time and UW resources! Brigit, hailing from Montana, arrived on campus unsure of what she wanted to major in, but confident in her interest in politics and policy work. Rather than panicking, Brigit was proactive about determining her path of study: she met regularly with Honors advisers to discuss her options and brainstorm ways to get involved. This led Brigit to pursue two different internships: an 8-week internship with the Washington Bus (a progressive political organization in Seattle) and a 13-week summer internship with the United States Senate in Washington D.C. Through these different experiences, Brigit has realized that politics and policy is what she wants to spend the rest of her life doing. She reflects, "I'm so happy I found a major that lets me study the history of what I love during the year, and grounds the real life experience I’m getting."
Brigit has also been an active member of the UW Honors Program: she is acting as an HONORS 100 Peer Educator in 2013, helping to introduce new Honors students to the Honors Program and to resources at the UW more generally. She has also been critically engaged in her Honors coursework, making connections between the concepts she’s learning and her practical experiences. Brigit says, "A highlight for me in Honors was a class I took the spring of my freshman year - The Political and Moral Context of Education and Schooling with Roger Soder. We spent every class debating different issues relating to education, after reading the only readings I've ever loved so much I bought the full book after reading an excerpt. I've had an interest in education policy for a little while, and this class confirmed my interest - and also gave me the opportunity to gain skills that I then was able to use while interning in the Senate the summer after! It was amazing to be able to sit in a meeting with upper legislative staff in a Senate office, and understand what’s going on because of a class. It's an unbelievable experience to take a class that relates so closely to real life policy work- and one that I've only had in Honors."
Brigit is a wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about how to take theories from the classroom and apply them to experiences out in the world!
Brigit's advice to current students: "Be sure to get as much of a range of experiences as you can. I've learned much more in internships I've done, in terms of real life experience and teaching me what I want to do in life, than I have in many of my classes. I've also met so many people who are great connections, and who I wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t branched out and gone off campus for an internship in Seattle, and for another one in Washington DC."
Brigit's advice to incoming students: "Don’t stress too much about your major. I came into school not having any idea what I wanted to major in, and have gone through several moments of panic, not knowing if that's really what I want to study. I'll still graduate on time, and I love what I'm doing. Take advantage of the Honors advisers for this too - I wouldn’t have made it through some of my unsure moments without the advisers!"