by Ivana Motes

When I first came to college, I really had no idea what I truly wanted to do with my life. This is very similar to many freshmen coming in with thousands of opportunities getting thrown in their face. While walking on campus, I ran into a SPIA table and after talking to them, I was convinced this is what I wanted to go into. My very first Political Science class had to be the driving force in deciding my career. It was American Political Development with Dr. Jamie Carson. Not only did his knowledge on the material help me, but his excitement when students were engaging in discussion and understanding the underlying facts on the legislation and what builds our government as a whole made my decision so easy. Of course his excitement rubbed off on me and made me excited to go to class every day. I always had a little interest in the law field, but after this class it showed me this is exactly what I want to do.

After a lot of research, meeting with my professors and advisors, and getting more involved with SPIA through the ambassador program, I felt so much peace with my decision to work towards this goal. The ambassador program through SPIA has allowed me to meet many others with similar career goals as me, which has led me to surround myself with people who push me everyday for those goals. This fall the ambassador program met with 40 under 40, which is a group of accomplished alumni that were previously in SPIA. This meeting was a huge push for me in the right direction in terms of seeing other women in high law positions, showing me that it is possible to get to where they are. There was one person in particular in the meeting that I met with who gave me great advice for both my career and life in general. After, she offered for me to even come shadow and network with her at her work place. This really did show me the great access to knowledge that I have through SPIA.

The School of Public and International Affairs offers numerous opportunities to grow as a person as well in future endeavors. Since being in SPIA, I have learned of so many career opportunities, even outside of the law field, that have given me even more options. Political Science and International Affairs majors are such broad majors that give you such a great networking community, especially through SPIA, and build great characters. I am so thankful for the faculty at UGA, but more importantly in SPIA for giving me such immense amount of help during decision making while working towards my career.