Jesse WalnoferPolitical science
Tea, South Dakota
A defensive back on the Red Raider football team, Jesse leads a discipleship group for other guys on his residence hall floor. He’s combining his political science major with another major in economics and plans to attend law school after graduating from Northwestern.
Political science is a fascinating case study of the many different factors that lead people to form the government that best suits their needs. It’s a melting pot of history, philosophy, sociology and economics. Being a political science major has taught me to think critically and do research—both of which are skills I need as a pre-law student. It’s a great major for someone interested in going into law, because both deal with the intricacies of how government works and involve analysis of the laws and policy that flow out of government. The theories I’m learning in my political science courses are often realized and carried out into law, so my studies here provide the base on which my knowledge of law will grow.
The best thing about the political science department at Northwestern is the interactions students have with the faculty. Because of small class sizes, it’s easy to engage in discussions about the concepts being covered in a course. My professors are passionate about their field, and that makes what we’re learning come alive. They also stress the importance of maintaining our faith in the public sphere. Their wisdom helps us keep the principles we learn in perspective with the kingdom of God.
The summer after my freshman year, I had in internship at my senator’s state headquarters. It was an amazing experience getting to talk with powerful political leaders, sit in on meetings, and join the functions of the senatorial staff. One of the primary reasons I was granted the internship was because they were impressed with the research skills I gained as a political science student at Northwestern, so they created an extra spot just for me.
I’ve always been an introvert and still am, but Northwestern is a nourishing environment. The community here makes me feel comfortable getting to talk with and know other people. My dorm has been especially great for that. I’m also learning to network. Getting to know guys who are going into the same field as I am provides me with different perspectives and connections to rely on when I graduate.