Michael Neary '15
Major: Political Science
I just announced that I am running for Congress in my home state of Rhode Island. I am also a Sr. Analyst at CVS Health and I previously worked in the Office of Ohio Governor John Kasich after working on behalf of his 2016 campaign for President of the United States.
Professor Shad & Professor Prud'homme were both incredible mentors. I took many classes with Dr. Shad (one of my favorites was his course on the politics of South Asia) As President of the International Studies Council I also worked very closely with him to lead several of our Model UN delegations. Getting the chance to be Dr. Prud'homme's Student Assistant for the Institute of Politics, Religion & Culture also gave me experiences that certainly helped me when I was first getting started in my career after graduation. Dr. Deckman was also an incredible thesis advisor & a special shout-out also has to go to Professor McCabe in the Philosophy Department for the "Philosophy of Humor" course that was easily my favorite class that I ever took at WAC!
Fondest WC Memory
So many to choose from but it will always just be the collective moments with the roommates, friends, and WAC community that I will always just cherish. Getting elected (and then reelected) as President of the Class of 2015 was truly an honor & leading our delegations to the Harvard World MUN in Brussels & Yale Security Council Simulations were also unforgettable experiences.
Let’s Hear It for the Liberal Arts
It started with the writing-intensive curriculum & having to write/defend a thesis. I have had to communicate with federal, state & local leaders while working as an Executive Assistant to the Lt. Governor of Ohio. I've developed advertising content across every medium with multi-million dollar budgets for clients on both sides of the political aisle. I've also just knocked on doors and talked to people about who they are thinking about voting for President. Communications, strategy, management, all of these skills were further developed for me during my three and a half years at WAC — my only regret was graduating a semester early! But now as I find myself running for Congress at 28 years old, I know without a doubt that the unique hands-on experiences I had at Washington College planted those seeds for me when I first arrived on campus the summer of 2011 (when just about everyone else was already going home at the time because of Hurricane Irene - IYKYK!).
Go for every program and opportunity that is avaliable that you are interested in. Even if you aren't sure you can afford it like I often was, the professors, staff, etc. were always able to help in some way. Develop good relationships with the Professors in your area of study especially — the work they are doing and their accomplishments are absolutely amazing. Perhaps most importantly of all, find that group of weirdos that turn into the friends you end up eating, living, going on road trips with. They are the people who are still going to be in your life in some way 10 years+ down the road and you're going to need someone to watch your personal belongings at some point on May Day at least once.