For Kayla Young ’16, deciding to pursue the Political Science (BS) - International and Comparative Politics degree at Appalachian State University meant pursuing her passions.
“Studying international and comparative politics means an incredible amount to me,” Young said while a student. “I truly want to impact people’s lives and I’m choosing to do that through government and an understanding of policies and how that affects people.”
Through Appalachian’s accelerated admission program to graduate school, Young stayed on campus for a master’s degree in political science with a concentration in environmental politics and policy analysis.
In summer 2017, she interned at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Conservation and Water (ECW) in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), working with both foreign service officers and civil servants. “It has been the most fulfilling summer of my life so far, and I hope everyone has the opportunity to have an internship before they graduate,” she said.
Young said her undergraduate classes prepared her well, and her professors took time to give her career advice and share their own experiences with her.
“I have been so lucky as to work with Dr. Tatyana Ruseva for the past several years as an undergraduate/graduate assistant, which I recommend to anyone who is hoping to delve further into academic research,” she said.
Young’s advice to potential political science students is to pursue their passions, speak up in class and get to know faculty.
“Appalachian and its professors will teach you more about international and comparative politics than you could ever imagine if you let them,” Young said. “Just bring a sturdy notebook and a willingness to learn.”
After earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Appalachian, Kayla Young is researching Ph.D. programs and jobs related to international environmental politics/policy.