In college, political science students study political behavior, learn about the inner workings of political systems and actions to bring about political and social change. Raisa Majid aspires to use the knowledge she gained from majoring in political science to be part of advocating for that change and improving people’s lives.
As Majid prepares to graduate, she reflects on the significance of this milestone and how Cal Poly Pomona played an important role in getting her there. She is proud of her accomplishments at CPP including being named a 2022-23 Anette F. and Morton J. Blumner President’s Scholar as well as representing CPP in Panetta Institute’s prestigious Congressional Internship Program.
She also shares how thankful she is for her mentors at CPP and the opportunities the university provided that helped prepare her for the next steps on her journey.
Q: What does graduating college mean for you and your family?
A: To me, graduating college signifies the completion of a major academic milestone for me. It means the realization of long-held goals that I’ve worked hard for and persevered through challenging times to achieve. My graduation is also a proud moment for my family, who have supported me throughout my journey. They have been my cheerleaders, my advisors, and my sounding board. Their unwavering belief in me has been a constant source of inspiration. As I look back on the past four years, I am filled with gratitude for my family’s unwavering support, and for the opportunity to pursue my goals. As I move forward into the next chapter of my life, I am filled with hope and excitement, knowing that I have the skills, knowledge, and support to achieve whatever I set my mind to.
Q: What are your career plans after graduation and beyond?
A: After graduation, I plan to take a gap year to study for the Law School Admission Test and, at the end of the gap year, attend law school. As I look ahead to my career plans after graduation and beyond, I am filled with a sense of purpose and passion for the work I hope to do. After law school, my goal is to use my legal training to make a positive difference in the world, to advocate for justice, and to protect the rights and freedoms of those who may not have a voice of their own.
Q: What was your internship experience at the Panetta Institute like and what did you learn from it?
A: My internship with the Panetta Institute was an amazing experience, and it was such an honor to represent Cal Poly Pomona in the program. It was a very surreal experience to live in Washington, D.C., and intern for a member of Congress. The internship through the Panetta Institute provided me with a unique opportunity to work closely with experienced policymakers and gain hands-on experience in public policy. Through the internship, I gained valuable skills and insights into the world of public policy and government. I learned a lot about the policymaking process and the importance of public service as well as gained a deeper understanding of the issues facing our society and the ways in which policy can be used to address them.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories at Cal Poly Pomona?
A: Some of my favorite memories at Cal Poly Pomona have been meeting President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders while on a trip that the political science department hosted. Another favorite memory of mine is competing in New York and Japan with Cal Poly Pomona’s Model United Nations team. Being involved in student government, a resident advisor, and named one of the recipients of the 2022-2023 President’s Scholars Award were also memorable.
Q: Which professors and/or staff on campus have mentored you and how have they made an impact on you?
A: Political science professors, Mario Guerrero, Neil Chaturvedi, and Marc Scarcelli have mentored me. Overall, the mentorship of these professors was instrumental in my personal and academic growth during my time in college. They provided me with guidance, support, and encouragement, and helped me to develop the skills and knowledge necessary for achieving success in college and beyond.
Q: What is your favorite extracurricular activity and why?
A: One of my favorite extracurricular activities in college was participating in Cal Poly Pomona’s Model United Nations. Model UN is a simulation of the United Nations where students act as delegates representing different countries and work together to address global issues through diplomacy and negotiation. I was initially drawn to Model UN because of my interest in international relations and desire to develop my public speaking and negotiation skills. But what I loved most about Model UN was the sense of community and camaraderie that it fostered. I made many close friends through Model UN, and we worked together as a team to represent our country’s interests and negotiate with other delegates. Overall, participating in Model UN was an enriching experience.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self prior to college?
A: College is a time of exploration, and there are many opportunities to try new things and discover new interests. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. You never know what you might discover or where it might lead you.