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Government

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.

Thomas Funk '15
Thomas Funk ’15 interned for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos at her congressional office in Washington D.C.

A student learns firsthand: D.C. internship, study in France  

Thomas Funk ’15 says his summer internship with a U.S. congresswoman will play a part when he decides what to do with his future. Experiencing Washington, D.C. firsthand was an eye-opener.

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“I worked mainly on constituent correspondence, researching bills that constituents would contact us about, and conveying the congresswoman’s stances and beliefs. I also helped research legislation for the other staffers and assisted with the congresswoman’s scheduling,” says Funk, a world politics major who is minoring – or possibly double-majoring – in French.

He’s spending his junior year studying in France: One of the things he loves about the world politics major at Hamilton College is the way it allows him to pursue all his interests.

“After deciding that I wanted to study abroad for the year in France, I realized that majoring in world politics, with a focus on Western Europe, would fit in perfectly with my interests in politics, foreign affairs and my desire to continue with French language,” he says.

Funk has been active with Hamilton’s Community Outreach and Opportunity Project, better known as COOP, and, like his time in Washington, he expects that experience to shape his post-Hamilton future.

Ellen Esterhey, center, on the campaign
Ellen Esterhey, center, on the campaign

A graduate's progress: a stint in high-profile politics

Ellen Esterhay ’14, who double-majored in world politics and Chinese, went from Hamilton to a position in a high-profile, high-pressure political campaign. She landed an internship, than a job as a press assistant, in Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes’ effort to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Her candidate lost, but Esterhay loved the experience. “I think working a campaign can be pretty grueling, but it’s really great knowing you’re going to work every day doing something that you believe in,” she says.

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Esterhay studied abroad in Hamilton’s program in Beijing and wants to return to China. Her longer-term goal is a career, maybe in government or foreign polity, in which she can use her Chinese language. She feels prepared for whatever. “I didn’t fully realize everything my time at Hamilton gave me until I left,” she says. “As a student at Hamilton, in everything you do, you’re learning how to problem-solve, how to adapt and pick up things quickly and to write - especially learning how to write.”