Do What You Want To Do: Video Transcript

Paul DiNino (BA Political Science, Miami, 1985) [Founder and President of DiNino Associates, LLC]: I can remember in 1972, nine years old, when our friends were outside playing ball, I'd be in our basement watching the Democratic National Convention back when it was on during the day, and I'm sure my parents thought I was strange. I didn't know if my parents voted, let alone if they were members of political parties, but for whatever reason, I was always drawn to politics. Whether it was the competition of it as a somewhat frustrated athlete, that I wasn't nearly as good as I thought I was or as athletic as I needed to be, but politics always provided that competition for smart people, for creative people. And so, for whatever grand reason, I always knew I wanted to be in politics. I thought I wanted to go to law school and maybe run for elected office myself one day, but I knew that politics, government, helped people.

I couldn't take enough American government classes while I was at Miami. I took classes from a number of professors, most of the time multiple classes that they taught. Everything from U.S. Congress, to a presidency class, to things as unique as public polling, public opinion, and then tried to complement that with the other classes in other disciplines, whether it was economics, or I took a number of business classes, not because I was interested in becoming an accountant, but that was the beauty of what rounded out my liberal arts degree, were those business classes complemented with the political science, helped you understand both sides of how things got done.

A liberal arts education is broad, not just with a focus on political science, but I loved taking a language, I loved the freedom to take business classes, the opportunity to take a variety of English classes, from literature, American literature, to ... I took multiple composition classes.

I had the ability here to take a variety of classes in a liberal arts major that kept me engaged semester after semester, class after class, with outstanding instructors and professors.

When I was at Miami, I eventually learned to treat school like a job. I worked nine to five. If I didn't have class, I was in the library. So the idea that I would be dedicated to being in the library and go to every class and do all the reading might have been unique, and it took some trial and error to learn that lesson, but it was an outstanding lesson. But by creating that compact schedule and doing the work, I had lots of time between 5 pm and 9 am to be with friends and to get in trouble!

Miami, to me, has always been about the people that you meet and that you become friends with, that you hold this special unique bond with. The first time you're adults, and you’re on your own. So not only are you in charge of taking care of yourself, you're in charge of taking care of each other, and those are the people and the fondest memories I have here at Miami.

As a political science major, there is obviously an interest in politics and government, and I always take this from the federal, Washington DC perspective, but it holds true as well with state and local. If you have an interest in working in government regardless of what level, go do it. Go do it now. Do it when you're not reliant economically or with a family, go do what you want to do. It's the smartest thing I eventually ever did. Go do what you want to do, because you have all the tools as a liberal arts major to succeed.

[April 2015]