Thank Those That Have Helped You: Video Transcript

Beau Samples (BA and MA Political Science, Miami, 2015) [Leadership Consultant for Pi Kappa Phi fraternity]: I became very interested in political science at a pretty young age. When I was about 7 years old, the election of 2000 occurred when I was in second grade. It got drawn out past the original November date and was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court. And so I found myself very fascinated with the political process from an early age, and that continued through another presidential election in 6th grade and 10th grade, and about 10th grade was when, you know, you start looking at schools and so I knew that I wanted to major in political science then, or something in the political realm.

I had an awesome professor, Karen Dawisha, who from my sophomore year on has always been able to help me pursue different opportunities, including study abroad, and different classes to take, and during my junior year, she approached me and told me about the Dual Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts program. And it showed me that it would only take a little extra time over the summer, that I could still graduate in 4 years.

My degree in political science has allowed me to understand and approach different problems with a set of skills that change with every type of situation you encounter, and so I am able to identify a problem, do background research on it, and then come to a conclusion or draw different examples and hypotheses out of different scenarios. And through my work in political science, I was able to hone those skills effectively to be able to approach my day-to-day challenges in the workplace effectively.

Political science majors have a lot of different opportunities for pursuing careers. Whether that’s immediately after graduation, they can work on a campaign or do nonprofit work, or work for a law firm. Or they can pursue graduate degrees, whether that’s going to law school, or pursuing a higher degree in education, or even student affairs.

During my sophomore year at Miami, I was able to interact with a lot of different guys on campus through my fraternity as well as through being a tour guide, and we have a great organization here called Best Buddies, and so through seeing the great work that they did, I got interested in individuals with disabilities, and, you know, celebrating the abilities that they do have. For my final two years at Miami, I continued to be involved with different organizations that helped people with disabilities, and it led me to my career.

The value of a liberal arts education is that you are able to take classes outside of your discipline, but all of those different classes and experiences come together and help you refine the skills and create a set of attributes that you can take to any type of job and apply for jobs that aren't within one specific discipline, but you're able to show that you have a well-rounded education and background.

My advice to Miami students and especially those in the political science department are to apply for jobs all over, and they never know what they are going to stumble upon that's going to really impact the way that they look at the rest of their career and the way they look at the world. Always taking the opportunity to thank those that have helped you get to where you are, whether it’s thanking a professor or thanking your roommate, but you never know who is going to be able to write you a letter of recommendation, or who you are going to call when you are deciding between two job prospects, or whether to go to grad school, or what you are going to do next. It’s always important to thank those that have helped you to get to where you are and to show them that you really do appreciate all the time and energy they invested in you.

[November 2015]