Erin Getz '18
Describe what you are currently doing for work and the path you took to get to this point?
My current role is as the coordinator of government affairs for the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD). In this role, I split my time evenly between legislative and regulatory affairs. At NACD I help coordinate efforts to advocate for sound policy, rules and regulations in the U.S. Congress and the current administration. My internship experiences with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and at the New Hampshire State Senate, my education in the political science department, and consistent networking are what truly paved the way for me to be in the position I am today.
How did your education in COLA prepare you for life after college?
My education in COLA presented me with many opportunities to learn both in and out of the classroom. In the political science department, I had the flexibility to choose the classes within my major that most interested me and shaped my degree. I was able to study abroad in London through COLA's study abroad program. I participated in the New Hampshire State Senate internship through the political science program. I also learned how to maintain valuable academic relationships with my professors and fellow students, which helped foster my professional relationships after college. Lastly, I partook in Model United Nations throughout my college experience and that by far was the most positive experience for me. I learned how to network, research thoroughly, use diplomacy and conflict resolution, understand different cultures, and made friends around the world (and some really great ones at UNH!). I would highly recommend Model U.N. to anyone, not just political science students! There's something for every major and interest in Model UN.
All of these academic and extra curricular experiences through COLA and more have developed my professional life and helped me pursue a career in my degree field.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
The course that most influenced me was my State & Local Government class with Prof. Tama Andrews. Up until then, my understanding of state and local politics and governance was minimal, and I found a true passion for civic involvement and duty in that class. This course confirmed for me that I was meant to work in government affairs in some way shape or form. It also was the reason I applied to the NH State Senate Internship.
What do you know now that you wish you'd known while at UNH?
That 4 years of college flies by and that I should take every advantage of every opportunity I could while at UNH.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
1. ) Apply for the internship you want! You may just get it! And it's also a great way to figure out if it is something you truly want to do. 2.) Don't hesitate to reach out to alumni in the field to ask questions/grab a cup of coffee. (or anyone for that matter, you'd be surprised how many people are willing to talk to you if you just reach out and show interest in their field). 3.) Maintain good relationships with your professors both while you're at UNH and after you leave. 4.) Read the news, and from more than one source. Staying up to date in current political and world news is essential and will always help you strike up a conversation when you network!