Mitchell ’19 Carves Path in Politics

Woman on balcony overlooking National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Carter Mitchell ’19

An interest in politics has always played a role in Carter Mitchell’s Holy Cross experience. Since volunteering on a local campaign during high school, Mitchell ’19 has carved out a path for herself in the political world, with stops such as the Speaker’s Balcony in the United States Capitol and the re-election campaign for Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

“My interest in politics first began during my senior year of high school when I volunteered on Governor Baker’s first gubernatorial campaign,” said Mitchell, a Political Science major. “It was a great hands-on approach to the election process. Through my political science courses at Holy Cross, I developed my passion for politics, and particularly enjoyed classes relating to American Government.”

Mitchell took part in both the Washington Semester Program and the Academic Internship Program (AIP). She interned with former U.S. Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership office in Washington, and then interned with Gov. Baker’s re-election campaign through AIP.

“My semester in Washington, D.C. was a great opportunity to fully immerse myself in the city, and to focus on my internship and thesis,” said Mitchell. “The AIP course allowed me to further my interest in politics and campaigns while remaining on the Holy Cross campus.”

As for what comes after graduation this week, Mitchell will find herself in the world of politics full-time. She secured a position with Targeted Victory, a full-service political strategy and marketing firm based in Arlington, VA. Mitchell described how her Washington Semester and Academic Internship experiences played a role in securing her job offer.

“The internships developed my work ethic, time management skills, and the ability to handle new responsibilities,” said Mitchell. “During job interviews, I was able to articulate the ways that I approached my tasks, challenges, and other aspects of my internships. The skills and relationships that I developed through both semester programs were beneficial in the job search process.”

Mitchell encouraged future Holy Cross students to consider taking part in either program, as it played an important role in her post-graduate plans.

“My experiences in the program were valuable in shaping my Holy Cross experience and future career,” said Mitchell. “During the internships, I recommend taking advantage of every opportunity, learning and understanding all the aspects of your internship site, and fostering connections within your office and with Holy Cross alumni. The real-world and hands-on experiences of both programs is unmatched, and I encourage students to consider pursuing a semester program.”

Grey ’19 Impresses in Washington and in Summer Research

Man in suit standing in front of window
Alexander Grey ’19

When Alexander Grey ’19 first came to Holy Cross as a transfer student, his decision to major in Political Science was somewhat unexpected. Originally an International Relations and Diplomacy major at Seton Hall, Grey decided to change his course of study.

It worked out well for Grey, as he would go on to take part in both the Washington Semester and Weiss Summer Research programs. After graduation, he will be traveling across the Atlantic to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) on scholarship for a M.Sc. in Political Theory.

“I pivoted to Political Science,” said Grey, “a choice which I am more than pleased with since it granted me a wide-reaching background in politics. The philosophical side of politics, in a field that is going increasingly quantitative, is exciting to delve into and fits with how my brain works more than statistical modeling and such.”

In the Washington Semester, Grey interned with the office of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. This internship gave him the experience of seeing “real-live policy making” in addition to his political philosophy background.

“Having experience in the real world is always helpful,” said Grey, “when applying to graduate school, and LSE greatly appreciated the background in American policy which my internship brought to the table.”

He also attributed his application’s success to the Weiss Summer Research Program. Grey, who is also an English major, researched in Summer 2018 how author Joseph Conrad’s letters influenced his novel, Heart of Darkness. The experience, even though not in the realm of Political Science, played an important role in his application to the LSE.

“The ability to say that I have crafted, researched, executed, and presented on a significant scholarly endeavor,” said Grey, “shows demonstrated capability which even a healthy term-paper cannot prove. Weiss demonstrated I am capable of putting in the work required for the M.Sc.”

Grey credited several mentors at Holy Cross for his achievements, including Profs. Madigan Haley and Sarah Stanbury of English, Profs. Alex Hindman and Eric Fleury of Political Science, and Dr. Anthony Cashman, Director of the Weiss Summer Research Program in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Fine Arts.

When asked to give advice to future Holy Cross students considering graduate study, Grey said that it’s important to take chances and to highlight your accomplishments.

“You never know what graduate committees will find interesting about you,” said Grey, “Yours could be a voice they want in the classroom as it brings a unique perspective to a room of otherwise like-minded people. If you find an interesting way to craft your story, no matter what that story may be, there is no telling what might happen.”