by Abigail Chasteen

SPIA is a place of endless opportunities. One of my personal favorite ways that SPIA presents opportunities to the student body is through the certificate options. I am currently getting a Public Affairs Professional Certificate, with an emphasis on public affairs communications. This certificate has opened so many doors that wouldn’t have been possible without it- from internships all the way to networking opportunities. By taking the applied politics course, I had the opportunity to go to a networking luncheon with some of Governor Kemp’s staff. As a result, I became more aware of the amazing internships the Governor’s Office offers. This upcoming spring I will be interning in the Governor’s Office, and I can confidently say that this certificate program played a huge role in that.

The Public Affairs Professional Certificate combines both of my majors in a super cool way- being both a journalism major and a political science major, I have been exposed to multiple different opportunities my degrees present. It is also the first certificate program in the nation of its kind. I would recommend this certificate program to any SPIA student because you are exposed to all different types of career paths and meet amazing people.

In both of my certificate courses: the applied politics course taught by Professor Haynes, and the public affairs communications course taught by Professor Watson, I have had the chance to see multiple different career opportunities for SPIA students. We have learned from those in the legislative field, including State House Representatives. Earlier this semester we had the opportunity to video call Senator Johnny Isakson! We have also heard from communications directors, campaign managers, lobbyists, and more. Anyone interested in a career in the political world would be lucky to be in these classes with these opportunities.

SPIA presents a number of different ways to be involved and become engaged in future career opportunities, whether that be through the certificate programs, student organizations, or even networking events- you only have to take advantage of all of the amazing opportunities to find out what’s best for you and your future!