Highlighting the stories of Drake students and faculty.
Strategic political communications major Sarah Schroeder is a Drake junior, but you won’t be seeing her on campus next semester. Instead, she’ll be in Washington, D.C. interning with the Bureau of Public Affairs.
A lover of politics since middle school, Schroeder discovered the opportunity while spending a week in D.C. this summer through her current internship at the World Food Prize. After her boss mentioned it to her, she immediately took action.
“I looked it up and it was due that day, and I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll do it!’ So I applied and somehow got it,” said Schroeder.
Her main duties will revolve around diplomatic social media, which she says incorporates both “the communications side and the policy side.” As an aspiring diplomat, the position is perfect for her.
“I’ve obviously never worked for the State Department, but I’ve always said that’s where I want to work,” said Schroeder. “So I think it’ll be interesting to see either way if I hate it or if I love it.”
Her first visit to the nation’s capital, which she calls her “favorite place,” was during this year’s J-term through Drake. Meeting successful Drake graduates who work in D.C. put her dream into perspective.
Along with writing for the Drake Political Review, Schroeder is also a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, a group she says has been fundamental to her career pursuit.
“It was the best thing I did to feel like I belonged at Drake, and it felt like I knew what I was doing, like I was an actual student here,” said Schroeder. “It’s just having people who believe in you.”
In the next few years, she hopes to travel more and take full advantage of her education. She enjoys how her curriculum allows her to learn about politics on a broad spectrum, incorporating everything from cyber security to lobbying.
Looking past her Drake career, Schroeder said she plans to join the Peace Corps after she graduates. When she finishes that, she hopes to move to D.C. and work her way up to her dream position: a foreign services officer.
“I think it’d be really interesting to do something in food security and how that relates to human rights and human growth and development,” said Schroeder. “American politics wasn’t necessarily something I wanted to do, and I didn’t want to be on a campaign forever … I want to be at the core of the issues, so you can fix the actual problem rather than putting a Band-Aid on something.”
Schroeder attributes much of her success to the support of her family. She claims she has never spent more than about two weeks without seeing her parents, so she knows distance will be a major challenge when she moves away next semester.
Her mother, she says, is her biggest inspiration.
“I think that she’s selfless,” said Schroeder. “She has a job that she loves and is super passionate about and puts everything into … And I think we have very different interests, she’s a teacher, but she was meant to be a teacher and I think that’s really cool—when you see people doing what they’re meant to do.”