Gettysburg College prepares students to be leaders and active citizens in their professions, communities, the nation, and the world. Many students get their first significant taste of our increasingly global society while at Gettysburg – through course work with faculty, study abroad opportunities, service projects, and more. For many, that taste is merely the beginning of exciting and productive lives and careers abroad.
Read on to find out what some of our political science majors are working.
Nancy Kupfer ’81
Academic focus: Political science major
Location: Hong Kong (formerly Zurich, Switzerland and Singapore)
Job: Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Marriott International Inc.
Kupfer (pictured above, left) is the first to admit that her career path would have been impossible to forecast. She never anticipated living outside of the U.S. for almost a quarter century. She worked on Capitol Hill in D.C. after graduation and then went to law school. During law school, she spent a summer in Singapore, which included Asian legal studies and an internship at a local law firm. Kupfer fell in love with Asia. After law school graduation she clerked for a judge in New Jersey, but in 1989 she moved to Singapore and worked at two law firms, and then joined Marriott in Zurich and now Hong Kong.
“I feel strongly that a liberal arts education is an excellent grounding for any career. It gives you exposure to many subjects and can be a catalyst to point you toward future studies (like law for me),” Kupfer said. “Students who choose a liberal arts college have a curiosity about the world, which can serve them well in a career like mine which involves understanding different cultures and ways of doing business.”
Kavya Kumar ’13
Academic focus: Political science and globalization studies double major
Location: Madrid, Spain
Job: Auxiliare de Conversación at a public primary school through the Spanish government
With the encouragement of Kathy Williams in the College’s Center for Career Development, during her senior year, Kumar applied for her teach abroad program. After learning of her placement in Madrid just before graduation, she volunteered at an ESL center on Long Island, and then took a month-long language immersion course in Seville, Spain before starting her placement.
“There are two major factors that contributed to where I am today: my study abroad experience in Geneva, Switzerland, which made me feel passionate about traveling, learning about new cultures, and becoming an active global citizen, and my involvement in the Globalization Studies department, which allowed me to experience courses in many different areas which helped open my mind,” Kumar said.
Britt-Karin Oliver ’96
Academic focus: Political science major, sociology minor
Location: London, England
Job: Head of International Operations at BTIG Ltd
Oliver never expected to be an expat. The route to living in England started when she did an AFS Year Abroad in Borlänge, Sweden before she started at Gettysburg. That experience, combined with a semester abroad in Cologne, Germany, made her want to travel more. After graduation, she moved to New York City, and then to London to pursue her Master’s degree at Kings College, London. Her former U.S. firm, E-TRADE Financial, re-hired her in London, a role which meant frequent travel to Hong Kong and New York. Oliver then accepted a role in Hong Kong as Head of Client Services for Asia and Japan at BNP Paribas, and has been back in London for five years, now at BTIG Ltd.
“Although I work in finance, my background in political science and sociology from Gettysburg has been the foundation and strength of being able to live and work successfully abroad,” Oliver said. “The professors were always tough, and demanding, but that excellence is what gets you ahead in today's fast past international workplace.”
Jesper Rosenkrans ’07
Academic focus: Economics, political science, and globalization studies triple major
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Job: Head of the European Fuel Trading desk at Maersk Oil Trading
Rosenkrans (on the left) earned his M.S. in Economics from Copenhagen University. While studying, he worked at the Danish Ministry of Finance before taking a job with AP Moller-Maersk as a Business Development Manager in Maersk Oil Trading. He then joined the trading desk as a fuel trader before assuming responsibility for the European team of traders and operators.
“One of the lessons I learned early during my time in Gettysburg is that life is what you make it. I found that if I had the drive, ambition, interest and passion there were really no closed doors in Gettysburg. It really is about making those four years count, and that philosophy continues in life,” Rosenkrans said.