George Gabriel

Class of 2014
Major/Minor: American Studies with concentration on Political Science

My liberal arts education influenced me enormously, not only through what it taught me academically but also in terms of how I approach my work.

I think with college it’s very easy to come into it saying “this is what I’m good at, this is my area of specialism and this is what I’ll stick to.” A liberal arts degree pushes you out of that comfort zone, and emphasises the value of receptiveness and the fruits of an open mind. My working life is very much the same because I work for a small company who deals with a lot of big clients. My day-to-day role has a lot of variety and, in many ways, those responsibilities actually mimic the liberal arts structure. As a writer, my primary duty is to take care of all the company’s press, marketing, and public relations - almost as if it were my major. Then, duties like competitor research, analytics presentations, and helping out on new business pitches represent my distribution requirements. Essential to my job, they take up the rest of my time but aren’t necessarily what I thought I’d be involved in when I got hired.

What you swiftly realize, both in college and on the career ladder, is that in order to make the strongest impact and give yourself the best chance of success, it’s essential to embrace things - subject areas, classes, tasks, people - that you wouldn’t necessarily identify with. Before you know it, your skills have become more diversified than you may give yourself credit for, and you’re ready to jump into whatever needs doing around the office (or indeed out of it). A liberal arts degree mirrors the real world in that it is fluid, varied, and susceptible to change, and for that reason it couldn’t be more influential on my career. And, although I am understandably biased, my advice would be to start at a small company. Just like Washington College, a tighter community affords you more opportunities to get involved, make connections, and have a lasting impact on your environment.

Who was your favorite faculty/staff member?

I worked closely with Professor Jennifer Hopper in the Political Science department. Her class on the American Presidency was the very first I took at Washington College and it ignited a fire of political curiosity for the rest of my undergraduate career. I took several of her classes but it was her advisory role on my thesis which left the greatest impression. She challenged my research, questioned my sources, and always prompted me to delve further with the ultimate goal of bringing the best out of me. I can say with great confidence that she did just that, helping me to gain formal recognition for my research, and, more importantly, validate my claims to what is an incredibly esteemed and reputable political science department. Dr. Hopper is also a phenomenal baker, which always made the end of the semester a little more bearable, and I’d recommend working with her to anyone at the school. She is however, a Yankees fan, a fact she makes no bones about.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

That’s a tough one! In many ways I view my entire experience as a single memory, with the various ups and downs as a series of timestamps and plotted points along the way. There wasn’t a day I woke up and didn’t feel blessed to have the opportunities Washington College affords us. If I had to pick one memory, it would probably be Homecoming during my junior year, my first at Washington College. As an Englishman, I wasn’t at all sure what it entailed and, due to our home soccer game at 7pm that day, I had to wait longer than most to find out. To cut a long story short, during the rain-sodden game against Gettysburg I was fortunate enough to score the game-winning goal and, from that point on, I discovered very quickly what Homecoming was all about! A great night was had by al, and no practice the next day made it even sweeter.

Where are you currently employed?

I’m currently working as a Marketing Executive for digital agency Future Platforms. Based in London, we build apps for mobile/smartwatches/games consoles, websites, and other really cool techy stuff.

Campus Involvement
  • Varsity Men’s Soccer
  • Washington College Review Contributor
  • Student Worker in the Office of College Relations and Marketing
  • International Student

I belonged to the wonderful international student community at Washington College, but spent the majority of my time with the Men’s Soccer team. Head Coach Roy Dunshee worked very hard to find me NCAA eligibility before he’d even met me, and I’m so grateful that he took a chance because the team gave me the best two years of my life and bonds that will last forever. I was also inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, received the Holstein Prize for ethics, and worked (most of the time) diligently in the Office of College Relations & Marketing with a delightful set of co-workers.


Student Q&A

Cambridge, United Kingdom

What do you do for a campus job or work study?
I work in the school’s Office of College Relations and Marketing. I help coordinate the school’s social media presences, construct press releases for upcoming campus events, and write student spotlight stories for the website. I also referee and help run intramural soccer.

Have you had any internship, research or study abroad experiences?
You could call my very presence at WAC a study abroad experience, because I am an international student from the United Kingdom. I studied in England for two years before transferring to Washington College, in the north of England at the University of Hull. I want to go into the writing/marketing industry, so I view my job here on campus as a great paid internship as well. 

How has WC changed your life? Or, what does WC mean to you?
It’s a small school with a big heart. That makes all the difference both in the classroom and on the athletics field; professors have an interest in sporting events and how your team is doing, and your coaches are always keen to help you with classes and academic issues. You can’t get that at bigger schools and the attention you get at WAC creates immeasurable benefits.

What’s it like living in Chestertown?
Chestertown has made me realize the power of the small community. I didn’t think I’d enjoy myself in a tiny, rural place like this but I was very quickly made aware of just how valuable that can be. Seeing familiar faces wherever you go, speaking to local business owners and residents, coming together for good and for bad, the Washington College community is like a home away from home.