You will emerge from your government major grounded in international relations, American politics, comparative politics and political theory. If your interest is global, you may major in world politics. You will get a front-line perspective on U.S. government if you are accepted into Hamilton’s program in Washington, D.C., where you will work in a Congressional or executive office.

Hillary Kolodner '14 during an internship in Senegal.

A student’s exploration: an internship abroad

Through internships on two continents and courses as varied as philosophy and environmental studies, Hillary Kolodner ’14 explored and then zeroed in: government with a double minor in environmental studies and philosophy.

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She says it’s OK not to know exactly what you want to study as a first-year student. “Hamilton gives you the confidence to know that you’ll eventually figure it out and do something meaningful with your life,” she says.

Her Hamilton College experience included an internship teaching at a community center in Senegal, an opportunity paid for by a fund administered by the College Career Center. Kolodner loved the work and children and wants to go back.

Still, her time in Senegal helped her realize she wants to work in her hometown of Baltimore or a similar community to which she has close ties. She had two internships in Baltimore, one funded through the College, at the United Way of Central Maryland, and the other at the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative.

After Hamilton, Kolodner thinks she may teach in a high-needs school while earning a master’s degree in education, then pursue a graduate degree related to inequality, maybe in public policy and education.

Haley Person '11
Haley Peterson ’11

A graduate’s progress: a path to law school

Right out of Hamilton, Haley Peterson ’11 worked on Capitol Hill for a Vermont congressman. The summer before law school, she led a community service trip for high school students to Tanzania. It was great, but Peterson was ready for more school. “After working for a few years after graduating from Hamilton, I felt that the legal field was the place where not only I could practice my research and writing skills but also where I could make the biggest impact in the environmental field,” says Peterson, who is a law student at the University of Maryland.

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She says Hamilton’s flexible world politics major enabled her to try a variety of subject areas and gain exposure to professionals in the legal field and beyond. For instance, she took an African studies class with Prudence Bushnell, a former U.S. ambassador.

“Everyone always says that Hamilton will put you apart from your peers when you graduate, especially when it comes to writing and oral presentation skills. I can honestly say that this has been so true and this is particularly true for the world politics major, which has a significant writing-intensive component,” she says.