Political Science at Work
4:00pm - 5:00pm CDT October 3, 2013
Learn effective uses of political science skills in just about any job from alumnus Matt Beck ‘01. When he graduated, he wondered how his BA in political science would benefit him, since he didn’t pursue a law degree or a career in politics. But after 12 years in the corporate world, currently as the Director of Global Trade Compliance at ATMI in Round Rock, he is sure the concepts he studied in political science classes have paid off. Career Services and the Department of Political Science are proud to host Matt to help you learn how you can capitalize on your political science education.
Matt, who also earned an Master of Public Administration at UT Arlington, began his career as a technical sales representative at Austin’s National Instruments. Using his background in political science, he quickly moved into a role in global trade compliance at NI. After several promotions, he advanced his degree further with a move to ATMI.
“My degree in political science has been a major boost to my effectiveness and my ability to get things done,” Matt said. He believes there are a lot of political concepts that many people just don’t understand but would benefit from in the workplace, such as:
Avoiding having people think of you as the ‘other’. The better people know you as a genuine person and a competent professional, the easier it is to agree to do what you want.
Reciprocity (yes, from the American Politics class). I do something really awesome to help you out and you’re more likely to do it for me.
Power. Who really makes the decisions behind the scenes to provide budget or other resources? Who can you go to who will be able to lean on a particularly recalcitrant or unresponsive person?
Communication. Get your message out to everyone, make them feel like they are part of the whole and part of something great and you get better results.