Hannah Hudgins, UNG’s 2016 Clark-Theodore Outstanding Student and UNG-Gainesville’s 2015 Outstanding Political Science Student, is currently serving as a legislative aide in the Georgia General Assembly for State Representative Clay Cox of Lilburn.

Newsletter editor Maria J. Albo interviewed Hannah.

Q:Why did you choose political science as a major and are you confident that it prepared you for your future goals?

A: I chose political science as my major because I have always been interested in American politics. Politicians are individuals who hold so much power and influence over every American’s life. It is important to understand how the political process works. One also must realize how every American citizen can impact who gets voted into our elected offices at all levels of government. And it is equally important to comprehend how we can help shape the public policies that policymakers develop.

I not only wanted to learn about these things, but I also wanted to have a career in politics. I have recently graduated from UNG with my bachelor’s degree in political science and my major has helped me tremendously in my current work. Furthermore, I know it will continue to benefit me as I work toward my political career for the future.

Q: What experiences has your political science education offered you which have provided you with a competitive edge? How have you leveraged these experiences in your career?

A: My political science education allowed for my communication skills to flourish. The open debate style of the classes I took aided me in developing the proper verbal decorum appropriate for speaking with peers as well as superiors. Additionally, these open discussions taught me to have tact, tolerance, and respect for others’ political opinions, ideologies, beliefs, and ideas. Not only did my education help develop my oral communication, but it also helped hone my written communication skills. The rigor of the classes helped develop my determination and ambition to keep pushing forward which is needed to be competitive in the job market. In addition, I learned scientific skills and how to think analytically, critically, and rationally. All of these benefits of my education have helped me to be successful in my career.

Q: Describe how your coursework and other experiences helped you.

A: The experience I gained through my internship helped me tremendously. It provided me with the opportunity to receive class credit while getting to learn outside of a classroom. The real-world experience was so beneficial. Being that I was about to graduate and actually be thrust into the real world, my internship was helpful. I learned networking skills as well as time management because I was juggling classes and my internship, and a job on the weekends. The coursework was demanding but it helped me to become better at managing and organizing my life and being able to multitask.

Q: If you had to provide a blurb about your courses, the faculty and the major, what would you say?

A: I took most of my classes at UNG-Gainesville and one semester in Dahlonega. The faculty members at each campus were equally qualified, professional, skilled, proficient and overall wonderful. This major really allowed me to learn about all types of subjects under the political science umbrella. I did not just learn about things happening in the United States, but global issues as well. I took a range of classes varying from “Media and Politics,” “Congress,” “Religion and Politics,” “Civil Liberties and American Constitutional Law” to “Central and Eastern European Politics,” “Politics of Development” and the “Introduction to the European Union.” This major truly helped me to have a very diverse and well-rounded education.