Dr. Michael Greenberg, associate professor of political science, says his Applied Public Policy course is as much about the making of careers as the making of public policy and sophomore Harun Pacavar is excited to learn about both.
Each week Pacavar, his classmates and Greenberg visit with professionals in the public policy and government relations field to see their classroom lessons in action.
“The visits help students to understand how the principles and skills they have learned in the classroom apply in real life actions. Government affairs professionals share their journey and advice with students. Often these stories are filled with important lessons learned from the visitor’s experience that the students could not learn in the classroom,” said Greenberg.
At the start of the semester, with the help of the Career, Mentoring and Professional Development Center, Pacavar completed an inventory of his skill strengths and weaknesses and put them in context of career options. He’s assigned with reflecting on this inventory as he and his classmates meet with professionals and identify the skills that appear most important for each career path.
“I absolutely love going to meet these individuals in their offices and buildings. I really enjoy going to professional settings and dressing professionally because I believe it makes the experience much better and more influential on us. These types of experiences are very important for students because it gives us a good glimpse of what the real world is like in these government or government relations careers,” explained Pacavar.
Pacavar said during the visits he is building a professional network he hopes will provide future internship and career opportunities. He’s even finding new potential career paths.
“By far my favorite visit in this class is the one with Jessica Shirley, who is the policy director of Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Her job description was very interesting and had me wanting to learn more,” said Pacavar.
In total, Pacavar and his fellow political science students will engage with nine professionals working in policy and government relations. But his positive experience extends far beyond this course. He credits
“great student-teacher relationships” for enhancing his Ship experience and for providing him with ample opportunities to excel and get involved at Ship. He was recently inducted into the Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, and is a member of the Political Science Club and the Shippensburg Men’s Soccer Club.
Dressed to impress each Friday as he continues exploring his future career, Pacavar feels confident knowing the faculty and staff at Ship are “well embedded in the students’ success.”