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.”