Applying the Study of Political Science to my Professional Environment
Partaking in the study of Political Science at the University of Michigan, I have honed a specific skill set that allows me engage in an active, professional environment. Coming out of high school, I knew I was passionate about being aware of and advocating for local, national, and worldwide issues, only I never thought I could immerse myself so fully in the study of them to make an academic concentration of it. Once I discovered my intrigue and passion in the field of political science, I knew I couldn’t draw myself away from it. In my four years as a Political Science student at the University of Michigan, I have uncovered so much about myself and my ability to lead through conviction, humility, articulation, and integrity – attributes which I believe are strong components of my concentration.
1. Conviction: the aptitude to express beliefs when challenged
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in the study of Political Science is to have confidence in your beliefs. I consider myself very lucky to be at the University of Michigan because it offers a diversity of backgrounds. Even inside small seminars offered within my concentration, eclecticism in ideology is present among the attendees. I often found myself out-numbered. This element has challenged my thoughts and made me more open-minded, while still teaching me to hold true and strong to my core values. Instead of shrinking behind the majority, I found strength in my core and courage in my own voice. Conviction will be useful for me in a professional setting because I will have the strength and courage to have faith in my ideas, whether they fall in line with the majority or not.
2. Humility: the capacity to admit fault with grace
In the study of political science, discussions are often facilitated through challenging one’s peers. Often people from similar regions hold similar beliefs. As an incoming freshman, I had never been aggressively challenged on my political ideology. My peers were not afraid to stand up for their own ideas, supported by their own evidence and their own experiences. My peers also were not afraid to let me know that I’d been misinformed, sheltered, or illogical. These critiques have been some of the most valuable lessons in learning as both a scholar and a person. Accepting criticism as it is, building upon it, and transforming my logic as a result can only make my arguments stronger. While I have the strength to assert my own, I have also learned the grace to surrender in the face of defeat. Humility will aid me in my professional environment because I will have the capacity to accept that my knowledge may be flawed, allowing me to be a productive and effective team member.
3. Articulation: the ability to translate ambiguity into language
The study of political science in the classroom forces students to be simple and clear in their persuasive language. They must transform thought into concrete language at rapid pace. It’s easy to feel passionate about something, but putting that emotion into words can be challenging, especially when on the spot. Because political science is often taught in a facilitated discussion format, students challenge each other through debate. I have been in many situations where I needed to articulate novel and strong counter-arguments in an instant, in order to continue actively engaging with the class atmosphere. This competitive and heated environment offered within Political Science classrooms allows students to acquire the ability to develop astutely, verbally, and analytically. Articulation will be helpful in the workplace because I will be able to coherently express my thoughts ideas creatively and eloquently.
4. Integrity: the ability to challenge with sensitivity
One of the most important things that I’ve learned in my study of the major is to attack the idea, not the person. It’s a lesson that everyone is aware of, but until one practices in a challenging, argumentative, and passionate environment, it's hard to know the true value of this concept. I have learned that there is an art to argumentation that allows you to work as opposites effectively and respectfully. By treating others with respect to their backgrounds and experiences, creative collaboration is possible. The best ideas come from being honorably challenged. Understanding this skill constructs a productive and effective dialogue. In a professional setting, I will use my integrity to be respectful others’ differences in culture and background, while still holding true to my own.