The Making of a Professional

Politics graduate Olivia Edwards poses at the PA Capitol in Harrisburg

The LVC Department of History, Politics & Global Studies is well known for encouraging its students to focus on real-world events and research in the field, which in turn results in program alumni who are appealing to prospective employers.

Olivia Edwards ’16, a politics graduate, has taken the skills she learned at LVC and applied them to her current government affairs associate position at Triad Strategies. There, she is responsible for coordinating state legislative strategy, developing political messaging, and working closely with grassroots advocacy. Edwards associates her daily duties of research and strategy planning with the rigorous course-load and immersive experiences she had as a Dutchman.

Along with her studies, Edwards participated in women’s tennis, played French horn for the Symphony Orchestra, served as a Residential Advisor, and was a Valley Ambassador. She also was a member of Student Programming Board and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. 

We recently caught up with Edwards to talk about how LVC developed her into the professional she is today.

 

Why did you choose LVC?

When I toured LVC, I knew I was seeking more opportunities to learn about the legislature and public policy. LVC is in a great location, within a commutable distance to Harrisburg and fewer than two hours from D.C. The professors do a wonderful job of extending your reach from campus into the capital cities. What really struck me though, was my tour guide. She was a dual-major, dual-athlete, bilingual, female-phenomenon who also held three jobs and still found time to have a life. She showed me that The Valley was suitable for anyone with ambition and curiosity.

 

How has LVC prepared you for a career in government?

The LVC curriculum taught me to think critically by utilizing theories and skills from a variety of core competencies that are needed in the field. My professors also nurtured my ability to think independently. Moreover, through discussions, I learned how to have a respectful conversation while gathering necessary information. At work, I sift through several opinions, studies, and other influences on a project before presenting an idea to a client, so I continue to use these skills every day.

 

What is your favorite memory from The Valley?

It would have to be the European Union Simulation course I took as a junior. It was a phenomenal experience that I would highly recommend to anyone. At the end of the semester, our class traveled to Washington, D.C., to compete against other colleges and universities in a mock E.U. session. It was a lot of fun to prepare mock debates, resolutions, and even accents—for better or worse. Once we arrived in D.C., we were briefed on our competition topic by British Ambassadors and took private tours of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Supreme Court.

 

Who is your favorite faculty member and why?

While I had many mentors throughout my time at LVC from different courses, I would have to say the faculty of the History, Politics, and Global Studies Department were my favorites. Bias-aside, Dr. Diane Johnson, Dr. Philip Benesch, and Dr. Chris Dolan kept the department interesting by listening to what the students wanted to learn, and providing elective opportunities tailored to our interests.

 

 

-Maria Scacchitti, ’18, Marketing & Communications Intern