If you have not met or heard of Bridget Rose, some things you might what to know about her are what she’s majoring in, future plans after college, and what experiences she’s endured while at Roanoke College. Well, to answer those questions, buckle up because we’re in for a long ride.
Bridget Rose is a senior here at Roanoke, finishing with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. When asked what fascinated her to combine these two majors, Rose said, “I wanted to combine the ability to analyze with the ability to apply things, in an effort to exert critical skills.” In addition, she hopes combining the two of these will help pair her for a future job with a non-profit NGO that involves international human rights — certainly a career path that requires these skills. Where Bridget’s career at Roanoke gets interesting is how she broadened her learning through cultural experiences abroad and political experiences in D.C.
For the fall semester of her junior year, Rose studied abroad in Italy. The beauty of studying abroad in Europe is that neighboring countries are not far away, which allows students the opportunity to see more cultures than the ones they are studying in. Rose took advantage of this geographic advantage and went to multiple countries during her semester abroad. Regarding her Italy semester and cultural experiences, Rose said, “it was interesting to see the historic roots of other countries, and how that embeds within their cultures. Milan wasn’t as historical as Florence or Rome, but it still was enriched with history and culture.” Bridget was also in Europe during the time of the refugee crisis and terrorist attacks in Paris. Rose said that this definitely had an impact on the European culture, and she was able to see how conservative those nations became in regards to refugees during the crisis. With her hopes to be involved with a non-profit organization that works internationally, traveling abroad benefited her in that regard.
Instead of heading back to campus for her spring semester, Rose had other plans. Among many students within Public Affairs, Rose took advantage of the Lutheran College Washington Semester in D.C. Before I could even ask her about her experience, Rose beat me to it — “It was awesome.”
For her semester in D.C, Rose interned with the White House Office of Correspondents. If you are asking yourself, “did she meet the President?” the answer is “Yes.” During one of her first days on the job, President Obama spoke to those working in the department. Rose said, “I’ve never been so close to someone that powerful and that influential. It was honestly crazy.” She then elaborated further on this by saying, “People may have their opinions about the President, but what was amazing about my job was I was able to see how many people he has actually impacted in such a positive way.” Working for the Office of Correspondents, some of Rose’s daily tasks involved sorting through outside mail from citizens, and making sure it made its way to the President. Rose said, “The people care about hearing back from the President, and it was a great experience to be apart of the job that helps make that possible for them.”
Rose was back at it again quite recently, when she was one of three students from Virginia (139 from the country) to participate in the College Debate 2016 Conference in California. Working with other student representatives, Rose was part of a committee that collaborated to come up with questions for the 2016 Presidential debates coming up shortly. The questions focused on the 5 best issues the committee believed most accurately reflected college-bound students. So, if you hear Megyn Kelly asking the Presidential candidates and their running mates about foreign policy, it may be because this was one of the topics chosen by the student representatives in California, including Rose.
Bridget Rose encourages all Public Affairs students to not just take advantage of the D.C experience, but to also find a way to travel abroad. These experiences both helped aide her cultural understanding of the world, as well as contribute to her ability to see how jobs in the White House can actually impact lives across our nation.
If you didn’t have any before, now you have a couple conservation starters next time you see her!