Just do it like Liam

Liam Stenglein, 2020 political science graduate

Liam Stenglein graduated in May 2020 with a degree in political science and advises recent or soon-to-be graduates about what to expect after leaving Columbia.

After graduation, Stenglein worked at an audio start-up based in New York City doing project management for a year before heading to Oregon to work at Nike. Since graduating from UofSC, he has learned a lesson or two that he hopes will guide new graduates.

“Be comfortable in not having it all figured out,” Stenglein said. “I’m still learning how much I should spend on groceries, when to eat out and how to balance my time. You have to be okay with everything being unbalanced at certain points.”

As a political science major, Stenglein understood what it was like to not know what to do with his degree after graduation. But Stenglein took an internship each summer in a different field. He advises students to do this to experience as much as they can before graduation. Those experiences led him to where he is today.

“I interpreted political science as a great opportunity to get into public policy and government relations, so for my internships I worked at a lot of government agencies or PR firms in D.C,” Stenglein said. “I advise other students studying political science to explore every field and figure out which one you really like. Some students get stuck and go the traditional route of law school. There is nothing wrong with that, but there are so many other opportunities a political science degree can give you.”

While this article is not about how to get a job at Nike, he advises soon-to-be graduates how much a simple informative interview can take you as you are finishing up your last semester of college. A short phone call is all you need to start a connection and lead to your dream job. 

“Your career is like a building process,” he said. “You can’t expect to go work for Facebook, Twitter, or some of these bigger names immediately after graduation. Find a position that will guide you up to take on those positions or larger roles.”

Stenglein encourages others to be open-minded in their careers. “Be like a sponge. No matter where you work or what industry you go in, there will be people who know more than you. Absorb as much information as possible and be open to learning from them.” 

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