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COLLEGEKNOWLEDGE

Learningnewthings,developingskills,understandingconcepts,thisisallpartofa
naturalphenomenathatisofcrucialimportancetobothsocietyandindividualseducation.
Educationhasalwaysbeenveryimportantinmylife.IgrewupknowingthatIwouldgoto
collegeandeventuallygraduate.MyparentsdidandIwasgoingtoaswell.Thisinfluencegave
meareasontodowellinmiddleschool,highschoolandbeyond.Whenitcomestothescience
behindlearning,itisimportanttounderstandthebasicsofhowthebrainworksbeforethe
specificsoflearning.

Thebrainiscomposedofaseriesofpathwaysthatneuronsrunthroughtotransfer
informationandactivatecertainfunctions.Thebraincontainsbillionsoftheseneurons.The
brainismadeofthreedifferentmainsections.Thestem,cerebellum,andcerebrum.Theplace
thatmostlearningtakesplaceisthecerebrum,becauseitisresponsibleformemoryand
reasoning.Memoryorlearningoccurswhenneuronsandbraincellsinteractwitheachotherto
formaconnection.Theconnectionmakesiteasierforthemtotransmitinformationaccurately.
Duetothisprocesssometypesofskillsandtechniquestoachievethisresultareadaptedtoand
practicedmore.Forexamplesomepeopleareablefromthoseneurologicaltransfermoreeasily
throughkinestheticorhandsonlearning.Iamavisualandauditorylearner.Thatbeingsaid,I
amadaptabletodifferentlearningstylesandambidextroustothewayIlearnandunderstand
content.Avisuallearnerissomeonethatisabletorememberthingsandmemorizepiecesof
informationbetterbylookingatitasopposedtoothermethods.Neurologicallyspeaking,
researchhasprovedtobedifficulttoconductontheexactscientificdifferencesbetweenthe
typesoflearners.Sometheoriespointtopersonalitybeingprimarilyresponsiblefordetermining
learningstyle.

ApassionofminethatIwouldliketopursueasacareeraftergraduatingcollegeis
politics.Ihavealwaysbeenpassionateaboutpoliticsandenjoyreadingaboutit,participating,
andbeingapartoftheprocess.Therearemanydifferentfieldssurroundingpoliticssuchas
journalism,law,orlobbying,butIwanttogointopoliticalstaffing.
Politicalcampaignsand
electedofficialshaveseveraldifferenttypesofstaffersandcomponentsoftheirorganization.
Communication,policy,andfinancearethreemaincategoriesthatstaffersfallinto.

ThespecifictypeofpoliticalstaffingIaminterestedinispoliticalcommunication.
Politicalcommunicationconsistsoftheshapingandarticulationofacampaignorelected
officialsmessage.Differentpositionsormorespecifictypesofpoliticalcommunicationinclude
speechwriting,mediarelations,constituentservices,intergovernmentalrelations,andmore.
Enteringintothefieldofpoliticalcommunicationrequiresseveraluniqueskillsets.Writingand
researchskills,crisismanagementandproblemsolvingskills,interpersonalskills,public
speaking,andverbalcommunicationareallnecessarytobesuccessfulinthisfield.Writingand
researchskillsareessentialtoplayaroleasaspeechwriterorresearcher.Besidesthenecessityto

COLLEGEKNOWLEDGE

researchpolicyandwaystobetteracampaign'smessage,researchskillsalsohelptoresearchthe
opponentandtheirpositionsonissues.Crisismanagementandproblemsolvingskillsare
essentialonacampaigninordertoquicklyreacttosituationsandanythingthatcouldbe
problematictothecandidate.Beingabletothinkonyourfeetandreacttoasituationisahighly
desirablequalityinthisfield.Interpersonalskillsarealsoveryimportantbecauseasapolitical
stafferyoumustinteractwithconstituents,othercampaigns,otherstaffers,advocacygroups,
unions,andmanyotherpeopleorgroupsofpeople.Beingabletorelatetothemand
communicatewiththemeffectivelyisverybeneficial.Publicspeakingandverbal
communicationskillsarealsoveryimportanttoacampaign.Asastafferyouactasa
representativeofthecampaignorofficialatevents,meetings,andinthemedia.Beingableto
verballycommunicatetheplatformyou'rerunningondeterminesyoursuccess.Alloftheseskills
needtobedevelopedthroughpracticeandexperience.

Thebrainismadeupofseveraldifferentcomponentsthatareresponsiblefordifferent
functions.Aspreviouslymentionedtherearethreedifferentidentifiablecomponentsofthebrain
thestem,cerebellum,andcerebrum.Thesecanfurtherbedividedintosectionswithinthosethree
components.Allofthesesectionsofthebrainhavedifferentfunctions.However,theyalso
overlapeachothertoalargedegree.Partofthisisbecausesomethingassimpleasrecallinga
memorycanhaveseveraldifferentintricatefactorsatplay.Sensorydetails,emotionalreactions,
andotherassociatedmemoriesalloccursimultaneously.You'llbegintoseethatwhenlookingat
thedifferentfunctionswithinthebrain.Thecerebrumcontainsthefrontallobe,whichis
associatedwithreasoning,planning,partsofspeech,movement,emotion,andproblemsolving
(allkeythingsinpolitics,butmoreonthatlater).Theparietallobealsodealswithrecognition,
movement,andorientation.Theoccipitallobeisinvolvedinvisualprocessing.Thetemporal
lobeplaysaroleinperceptionandrecognitionofauditorysenseswhatwehear.Allofthose
lobesaresectionswithinthecerebrum.Inthecerebellum,theregulationofmovement,balance,
andposturetakesplace.Anatomically,itisdividedintothecortex,ortheinnerpartofthe
section,andthesurface,whichistheexposedfoldedpart.Thelimbicsystemislocatedinthe
innerpartofthebrainandisknownastheemotionalcenter.Herememoriesarerecalled
triggeringcertainemotionalresponses,sensorydetails,informationbecomepermanent
memories,andmore.Finallythestemofthebrainiswherevitallifefunctionstakeplacesuchas
breathing,heartbeat,andbloodpressure.Thisisahugeamountofinformationthatallplaysan
essentialroleinunderstandingthefunctionsofthebrain.However,giventhatIwouldliketo
pursueacareerinpolitics,andasIpreviouslymentionedspecificskillsarenecessaryforthat
profession,thereareareasofthebrainthatareofprimeimportance.

Thefrontallobeisoneofthekeycomponentsofthebrainforallfunctionsbut
specificallytheskillsnecessaryformetosucceedinmychosenfield,politics.Differentsections
coordinatedifferentresponsesandactions.Thebroca'smotorspeechareaisasectioninthe

COLLEGEKNOWLEDGE

inferiorfrontalgyrus(thebottompartofthefrontallobe)thatcontrolsspeechandthemuscular
reactionnecessarytospeak.Thisistheessentialpartofthebrainwhendealingwiththedelivery
ofpublicspeaking.Howyouareabletoconnectyourthoughtswithaphysicalreactionthat
producesthevocalshappensinthissection.Theprefrontalcortexwhichisthelocatedatthe
extremefrontofthebrainisresponsibleforhighlevelcognitiveandintellectualfunctions.That
isimportantbecauseitisthecorecomponentofthebrainfordecisionmaking,andbyextension
problemsolving,anotherskillIpreviouslyidentifiedasnecessaryformycareerambitions.

Themajorthatismostfocusedontheskillsandcontentknowledgethatpreparesmefor
mycareerambitionsispoliticalscience.Politicalsciencemajorsacrosstheboardarefocusedon
developingcommunications,analytical,andleadershipskillsneededtosucceedinavarietyof
careers.WIthinthemajorstudentsareabletochoosesubfieldsthatwouldbestpreparethemfor
theircareerambitionsformeitwouldbepoliticalcommunicationandamericanpolitics.Italso
providesstudentswithinformationofamericanpolitics,americanhistory,campaignstructure,
advocacy,philosophy,internationalgovernment,currentaffairs,andothernecessarycontent
fieldsneededinpoliticalcareers.Outsideofmymajor,thereareotheractivitiesthatcanbevery
beneficialtothedevelopmentofskillsIdiscussedearlierinthispaper.Participationinstudent
organizationscanhoneinonthedevelopmentoftheseskills.Toexercisetheanalyticalskillset
(writingandresearch),joiningthecollegenewspaperorotherformcampusjournalismcouldbe
veryhelpful.Toforumtodeveloptheleadershipskills(crisismanagementandproblemsolving)
wouldbestudentgovernmentoncampus.Herestudentstackleissuesaffectingthestudent
populationandalsoplansocialeventsthatcouldhelpstrengtheninterpersonalskillsatthesame
time.

Therearemanydifferentexamplesofclassesthatwouldbetakenbyapoliticalscience
majorsuchasmyself.AsIpreviouslystated,Iwouldliketofocusonamericanpoliticsand
politicalcommunication.AnexampleofaclassregardingthissubjectmatterisCampaign
Strategy:MediaandMessage.Thisisa4unitundergraduatefallsemestercoursethatistaught
byaformerpoliticalstafferinthefieldofpoliticalcommunication.Thiscoursefocusesonhow
campaignsoperateandspecificallyhowstaffersandconsultantscanshapethemessageofa
campaigntothebenefitofacandidateandusethemediaasatoolforshapingconversationor
framingacandidateinapositivelight.Inadditiontothecontentmatter,thisclasswouldhelpme
developtheanalyticalandcommunicationskillsIidentifiedasimportantinmycareerpath.The
classisalsoanexampleofhowIcanusemyalreadytriedandtestedskillsofprojectbased
learninginthecollegeenvironment.Someofthecourserequirementsarethefollowing:
Studentswillberequiredtodevelopacompletewrittencampaignstrategydocumentinorderto
fulfillclassrequirements.Studentswillbeexpectedtofollowpoliticalandcampaignnews
throughthenewsmediaandbepreparedtodiscussthosedevelopmentsinclass.

COLLEGEKNOWLEDGE

Outsideofcollege,thereareseveralthingsthatIcandotoprepareformycareerand
developmyskills.WhiledevelopingtheskillsIhighlightedareimportanttosucceeditisalso
essentialthattheseskillsareadaptedtotheworkingenvironmentofapoliticalcampaign.
Volunteeringoncampaignscanbeveryhelpfulinpracticingandusingtheskillsandinformation
Iwilllearnincollege.Internshipsarealsoanopportunitytoutilizetheseskillsinaprofessional
context.Finally,whileintheprocessofattainingmydegreeorshortlyafter,therearealwayslow
levelpositionsoncampaignsthatgetyouinthedoor,whilenotrequiringtheextensivetime
commitmentandexperienceformoreprofessionalstaffingpositions.Alloftheseoptionswill
alsoallowmetonetworkcoordinatewithpotentialemployersforafterIgraduate.

ThecollegethatIbelievewillproducethebestlearningenvironmentformetoattainthe
skillsetsthatIneedforsuccessinpoliticalstaffingistheUniversityofCaliforniaBerkeley.
Berkeleyisoneoftheoldestandmostprestigiouspublicuniversitiesonthewestcoastand
acrossthecountry.TheyofferthemajorthatIaminterestedinaswellasallofthe
extracurricularsthatwillhelpmedeveloptheskillsIneed.Beyondthosereasons,Berkeley
offersanacademicexperiencethatistailoredtohowyoulearn.KnowingnowthatIhave
specificskillsetsthatIwouldliketofinetunehavingtheabilitytocustomizemyeducationand
choosetheclassesandcourseworkthatwillhelpmeachievethatgoalwillbeahugebenefitin
myacademiccareer.Berkeleyisalsoknownforhavingoneofthebestpoliticalscienceschools
inthecountry.Beingaroundotherstudentsthataredoingthesamethingoffersasupport
structureandopportunityforcollaboration.Berkeleyalsooffersthequalitiesofaschoolthat
haveworkedformeinthepast.Havingastudenttofacultyratioof171and60%ofclasses
withlessthan20students,thisisthekindofsmallschoolfeelwhilestillexperiencingallthe
amenitiesandopportunityofalargepublicschoolcampus.

GoingintothisprojectIhadavagueandoutlinedviewofwhatIwantedtodo.Iknew
thatIwantedtodopoliticalscienceofsomesortandtherestIfiguredwouldjustfallintoplace.
THroughoutthecourseofthisresearchIwasabletospecifythetypeofpoliticsIwouldwantto
workonandhowthatcouldtranslateintoaviablecareer.ThenIdiscoveredalltheskills,
academics,andexperiencesrequiredtobesuccessfulinthatcareer.KnowinginadvancewhatI
wanttodoandhowIamabletodoit,setsmeupforasmootherandmoresuccessfulfuture.
Achievingmygoalsisallaboutopportunity.Imustactivelyseekopportunityandacceptitwhen
itcomesrollingaround.IfIpresentmyselfwiththeopportunitiesthatIneedtobecomea
politicalstafferandutilizethoseopportunitiestodevelopthecorrectskillset,thansuccessis
withingrasp.IbelieveIwillbeabletoaccomplishthatandmakemydreamsbecomeareality.

1
https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/lsu/content/1_StudySkills/study_tuts/learning%20styles/visual.h
tml

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2
http://www.uvu.edu/learningstrategies/styles/auditory.html

3
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/isteachingtoastudentslearningstyleabogusidea/
4
http://www.careersingovernment.com/tools/govtalk/aboutgov/jobdescriptions/5skillsneedpu
rsuecareerpoliticalcommunications/

5
https://www.udemy.com/blog/listofinterpersonalskills/

6
http://www.trainingindustry.com/contentdevelopment/articles/howthebrainlearns.aspx

7
http://www.cvcc.edu/Resources/Learning_Assistance_Center/pdf/Understanding_How_the_Brai
n_Naturally_Learns.pdf

8
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/kinser/Structure1.html#limbic

9
http://scitechdaily.com/roleofthefrontallobesinreasoninganddecisionmaking/

10
http://biau.org/aboutbraininjuries/cognitiveskillsofthebrain/#frontal

11
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z78fYCGR7WY

12
http://www.allabouttbi.com/partsofthebrain/

13
http://college.wfu.edu/politics/students/whymajorinpoliticalscience/

14
https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/socialsciencespoliticalsciencegovernmentpoliscigo
vt

15
http://berkeley.edu/about/fact.shtml

16
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/bestcolleges/ucberkeley1312

17
http://polisci.berkeley.edu/course/campaignstrategymediaandmessage7