Students Attend Pizza & Politics Networking Event with Alumni
By Alexandros Pandazis '20, April 10, 2017
On Tuesday, April 4th, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) held an engaging networking event for the students of Saint Anselm College. The program, a Pizza & Politics event with alumni, aimed to give current students an edge in establishing a future in politics and public service. Former members of the Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassador Program and politics majors of the school were invited back to the NHIOP to take part in a panel discussion that gave students advice on pursuing a future in politics, as well as offering them opportunities in garnering internships, jobs after graduation, and connections in the field.
The night began with two groups of alumni introducing themselves on stage and detailing their journeys from students at Saint Anselm College to movers and shakers in the political world. Occupations ranged from legislative aides to attorneys to marketing consultants, giving students a wide range of perspectives and examples of potential landing spots post-graduation. The alumni in attendance were:
- Katherine A. Bourque, legislative aide at the New Hampshire Senate and current law student at Suffolk University
- Ben Bradley, Director of Government Relations and Communications at Granite Healthcare Network
- Tom Cronin, University of New Hampshire Public Affairs Manager
- Jane Hirsch, Director of Scheduling for New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu
- Jon Jarvis, New Hampshire Operations Manager for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen
- David McKillop, Government Relations Advisor at Rath, Young and Pignatelli
- E.J. Powers, Executive Vice President of Strategic Communications at Montagne Communications
- Tom Prasol, Managing Director for Demers, Blaisdell & Prasol Inc.
- Lindsay Robinson, student at UNH School of Law and Law Clerk at Tober Law Offices, P.A.
- Tara Sennick, Political Director at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee
- Ricky Serino, Legislative Aide to Massachusetts State Representative RoseLee Vincent
- Kate Giaquinto Spiner, Communications Director for the New Hampshire Senate
- Maurya Tollefson, current graduate student and former Executive Assistant to Senator Mark Warner
- Tim Wilkerson, Vice President and Policy Counsel for New England Cable and Telecommunications Association Inc.
- Kara Patrie Worthington, Senior Human Resource Generalist at Reading Cooperative Bank
The groups were made up of alumni that graduated as early as 1998 and as recently as 2015, offering the students in attendance a wide variety of outlooks on life after graduation. After telling their stories and tossing in pieces of advice based on their own experiences, the panel opened the discussion to answer questions from the audience. Students asked questions that ranged from, "What class here at Saint A's benefitted you the most in your career?" to "What do you believe is the most important thing to consider when looking to apply for an internship or job?"
Regardless of their occupations and backgrounds, many of the alumni were in agreement on most answers. Nearly all highlighted the importance of establishing connections, finding ways to stand out, and taking courses that would ensure one's ability to write competently in the future. Many of the alumni also noted that their experience as student ambassadors for the NH Institute of Politics and the internships and job opportunities they had through the ambassador program and the college, were fundamental in establishing their success later on in life.
Following the question and answer period, students mingled with alumni, establishing connections and finding job opportunities over pizza and picking up more pieces of advice along the way. Overall, the night was an enriching session for the students in attendance, riddled with jokes and memories passed between former roommates, classmates, and fellow student ambassadors.