Graduating senior Sarah Gonsenhauser is a political science major with a minor in gender studies. Last spring, Sarah followed these interests all the way to London, England where she studied abroad and worked at an internship in Parliament. Back at Marist, Sarah is the President of Marist College Hillel.
What do you feel has been your most meaningful experience over the past 4 years and what did you take away?
Aside from making lifelong friends, I think that studying abroad was one of my most meaningful experiences over the past 4 years. The opportunity to live and work in another country and immerse myself in the culture was amazing and extremely valuable. Not only was it incredible to travel and make new friends, but my internship gave me unparalleled experience in my field. Through working in another country’s government, I was able to gain a better outlook on international politics as well as the American political system. As a political science major, I found this experience extremely meaningful.
How did you decide on your major and what has your experience been like in the program?
I decided to become a political science major when I was a junior in high school. I took an AP Government class and really enjoyed learning about politics. I also really wanted to be a lawyer from a young age, so I felt that political science would set me on a good path for law school. I have really enjoyed my time as a political science major at Marist. The department is relatively small compared to other majors, so I have been able to have the same professors multiple times and build relationships with them.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years - by the time you have your first college reunion?
In 5 years, I hope to be finishing law school and taking the Bar exam. After I (hopefully) pass the Bar, I really would like to work as a civil rights attorney for a nonprofit. If I’m not doing that, I would really like to work in Massachusetts state politics.
What was it like to have an internship in Parliament?
Interning in Parliament was a once in a lifetime experience. When I was there, the current government was dealing with the repercussions of the Brexit vote the previous June. The Member of Parliament I worked for, Diane Abbott, was a far-left frontbench Labour member who was very outspoken about the issues surrounding Brexit such as the rise in hate crimes, terrorism, and economic decline. By working in Parliament during this tumultuous time in British politics, I was able to gain hands-on experience in constituent issues, press relations, and the overall Parliamentary process.
How did you get involved in the Jewish community at Marist?
I first got involved in Jewish life at Marist when a friend brought me to a Hillel meeting freshman year. At the time, the club was still a part of Campus Ministry, which meant we didn’t get priority points or funding. By the end of my sophomore year, we were able to charter Hillel as an official Jewish cultural club, with the spiritual group, “Ruach” remaining a part of Campus Ministry. Since then, the club has grown exponentially in regards to membership, campus involvement, and community outreach. I am currently the President of Hillel, and am excited to be able to grow Hillel even more in my last year at Marist!
Written by Sarah Gabrielli '18
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Class of 2018
Major: Political Science
Academic School: Liberal Arts
Campus: New York