Student Reflection: Patrick Schmidt
Senior Patrick Schmidt (political science) shared his experience at the college's Celebration of Excellence.
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- [00:00:03.003]Good evening, everyone.
- [00:00:03.870]It's an honor to be here with you
tonight to celebrate
- [00:00:06.206]the College of Arts and Sciences
and all my wonderful
- [00:00:09.442]fellow students and graduates
that are here tonight.
- [00:00:13.246]So I arrived here in fall 2018 as a pretty
shy kid from from Minnesota.
- [00:00:18.585]I didn't know anyone here.
- [00:00:20.787]And as was mentioned earlier,
I'm a member of the drumline.
- [00:00:23.556]So I showed up ten days early for band
camp when there was nobody on campus.
- [00:00:27.794]And I kind of had to figure it out.
- [00:00:29.529]I was alone in my dorm with a bunch
of new people who I'd never met before.
- [00:00:33.666]And so I came in navigating that.
- [00:00:36.970]I was really afraid of professors,
you know, coming to college.
- [00:00:39.506]One of the things they say
is get to talk to your professors.
- [00:00:42.509]Well, 120 person lectures.
That's not an easy thing to do.
- [00:00:45.945]It took me a while,
- [00:00:48.248]and I'm happy to say that I've been able
to be more comfortable with that
- [00:00:52.252]as I've gone on through my career
in the College of Arts and Sciences.
- [00:00:56.222]I came in as a history and French major
because those are two things
- [00:00:58.858]that I like studying in high school.
I was good at them,
- [00:01:01.761]but that changed pretty quickly.
- [00:01:03.096]I took POLS 160, which is the introductory
level political science class
- [00:01:06.933]in international relations.
- [00:01:08.068]My freshman year
and I changed majors that same semester,
- [00:01:12.272]so I was pretty quick turnaround for me.
- [00:01:14.340]The professors in the international
relations program at UNL
- [00:01:16.876]pushed me to get involved very quickly,
- [00:01:18.545]and not just in international relations,
but in poli sci as a whole.
- [00:01:21.815]That first looked like me
getting involved as a legislative page
- [00:01:25.552]at the Nebraska legislature,
which is a fantastic opportunity
- [00:01:28.988]that's allowed me to make a lot of great
friends and coworkers
- [00:01:32.392]and even better classmates like my friend
Kennedy Zuroff, who is here tonight,
- [00:01:36.529]as well as pushing me to apply
for other internships
- [00:01:39.833]such as the one I had with the US
Department of State in the spring of 2020.
- [00:01:44.871]In the midst of spring of 2021,
excuse me, in the midst of COVID,
- [00:01:49.509]where I was able to speak
with members of the State Department
- [00:01:54.247]as well as of foreign governments
virtually through Zoom, of course,
- [00:01:58.051]and where I was also able
to write a climate change report on Monaco
- [00:02:02.989]and do a bunch of other stuff that I felt
was very beneficial for my career
- [00:02:06.759]and for the advancement of the US
Department of State and the US as a whole.
- [00:02:12.232]Now that I've kind of talked about
some of the stuff that I've got involved
- [00:02:14.300]in, I want to transition
to what everybody else has talked about,
- [00:02:18.371]the professors here in the College of Arts
- [00:02:19.672]and Sciences and how beneficial they are.
- [00:02:22.742]There's such a wide
variety of opportunities with professors
- [00:02:25.845]as well as fantastic individuals
themselves to get involved with.
- [00:02:30.250]Whether that's my history professor
that I had last semester, Dr.
- [00:02:33.253]Coble, who's been teaching
about China here since before I was born,
- [00:02:37.090]or my French professor this semester, Dr.
- [00:02:39.559]Stump, who just received an award
for Creative Arts
- [00:02:43.029]and is a fantastic
translator, whether that's
- [00:02:47.300]the director of the National Security
Studies Program here at UNL, Dr.
- [00:02:50.203]Tyler White, who paused class
in the middle of this semester
- [00:02:53.339]to take two weeks to talk about Ukraine
- [00:02:55.074]because it was just pertinent
to what we were doing.
- [00:02:57.777]Whether that's Dr.
- [00:02:58.478]Robert Schub, who I took a class
with last semester entitled U.S.
- [00:03:02.715]Foreign Policy and Military Intervention,
- [00:03:04.951]who was a reference for me
on my applications for grad school
- [00:03:08.121]and for whom I currently do
a bunch of research.
- [00:03:09.989]So I'm incredibly grateful
to the fantastic faculty of the College
- [00:03:13.826]of Arts and Sciences and the University
for those opportunities.
- [00:03:18.264]Where I go on from
here will be with their support behind me.
- [00:03:21.301]And I couldn't be
more grateful to have it.
- [00:03:24.304]With that being said,
where I will go from here is to a Master
- [00:03:27.307]of Arts program in international security
at the University of Denver.
- [00:03:31.244]And I'm very sad to be leaving this place,
but I'm excited for new things to come.
- [00:03:35.582]What I do know, though,
is that I will always cherish
- [00:03:38.418]this town, this university, these people.
- [00:03:42.722]And I'll always have Husker fans with me
wherever I go. Go, Big Red.
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