This week we caught up with Ben Throndson a third year Political Science major and Sociology minor. When not studying, he serves as the VP Communications for the Political Science Undergraduate Association and as a Councillor on the SU’s Students’ Council, representing Arts students’ interests.
What was one of the best pieces of advice that you received throughout your degree? Did this advice have a lasting impact on your career path?
One of the pieces of advice that I remember most clearly from Orientation was the suggestion to be active outside of classes on campus. As a first year, I was nervous enough just being in a new environment that “getting involved” did not particularly appeal to me. While I eventually became comfortable enough to step out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t until recently - during the second half of my third year - that I have had a chance to stop and take stock of all the advantages associated one gains from participation in extracurricular activities. In hindsight, I can confidently say that extracurricular involvement is one of the best ways to make the most of one’s time as a U of A Arts student.
Through my involvement with the Political Science Undergraduate Association and the Students’ Union, I’ve had the chance to make many new friends, apply what I’ve learned in class, and developed skills that will serve me throughout the rest of my life. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about the legislative process - an interest which I hope to pursue throughout my professional career.
Serving as VP Communications of the PSUA has been a really enjoyable experience. Not only have I learned a lot from my fellow Executive team members, I have had the chance to help build a stronger and more cohesive Political Science department. It’s great to be a part of such an exciting, fascinating, and friendly community, and I’d wager that similar opportunities for personal development and growth can be found within many other student groups at the U of A. Find one that interests you, and get in touch with them!
Another fantastic way to get involved on campus is to run for election to a representative position. I am very thankful for my friends who encouraged and helped me to run for Students’ Council, as representing students has turned out to be a really rewarding challenge. While it is nerve-wracking to let one’s name stand for election, the opportunities that serving in this position has provided in terms of meeting new people, learning more about University governance, and advancing change make the entire experience worthwhile. Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in running for Students’ Council or any other representative position on campus, and I’ll do my best to provide helpful advice!
What is a career challenge that awaits you after graduation?
Moving forward, the next challenge that awaits me is making the transition from undergraduate studies to law school. While I’m not certain exactly what my career trajectory will look like, I am confident that the leadership skills and strong relationships that I’ve developed by being an active member of the U of A community will serve me well throughout my life.