Hello, everyone! My name is Ophelia. 🙂 I am a Political Science major, currently living in Omaha, NE and hoping to move to the D.C. area in the Spring of 2021. I am very much looking forward to the next four years, as I have always been quite fond of school, and am seeking a more challenging academic experience. I am always striving for academic success, although I do allow myself some leniency and flexibility in my life, acknowledging that my health and personal relationships are of equal importance. I do plan to attend graduate school, most likely outside of the States, immediately following my graduation from AU in May 2024. Although I’m sure an undergraduate education would be sufficient to support my idealized career path, I am privy to the belief that one can never be “too educated” and, as long as I am able, I would like to reach the highest level of education and earn my PhD. My professional ambitions are both lofty and diverse. While my main focus is Political Science, I have many varying interests which I believe can operate compatible in a professional setting. Among these interests are history, literature, language, writing, activism, philanthropy, and much more. (Some of my more irrelevant interests and hobbies include music, theatre, and art. :)) I do my best, as someone with a wide range of passions, to centralize my professional ambitions in certain career paths. I would be most interested to work as a political analyst, speech-writer, or political historian— although I am well aware, knowing myself and the unpredictable nature of life, that these ambitions may be too specific at this time. Generally, I am keeping my options open and my ambitions vague throughout my academic career, while remaining centered in my more general interest in public service and public affairs. I believe that I have certain “gifts” that will aid me in the coming years in which I will be coming into my professional ambitions. Among these, I suppose my greatest strengths, relevant to the question, are writing, public speaking, and rhetorical manipulation. More abstractly, I think I am gifted both in assertiveness and communicability; Meaning, while I think of myself as someone who is able to lead and center a group of people, I am also able to understand and empathize well with the interests and ambitions of others. I’d like to focus on these strengths as I work with the SPA Leadership program in order to enhance my own leadership abilities, while holding with equal consideration, the needs and interests of others. Practicing leadership presents this challenge, as to pursue leadership is to pursue a somewhat selfish interest. I’d like to use my gifts for orchestration and empathy jointly throughout my academic and professional careers. On a more practical level, I’d like to use my gifts for writing, speaking, and rhetorical manipulation in my professional career as tools relevant to the political field. Rhetorical writing and speaking are both crucial tools that I believe will aid me in pushing whatever (positive) agenda my chosen career path warrants. While rhetoric is often perceived in a negative context, I believe rhetoric can operate on a positive scale and support any agenda regardless of the intent. Therefore, I believe my skills in this context to be compatible with my predicted career path. Overall, I believe that my future will be certainly filled with challenges, and while my professional ambitions may at this time seem mixed and relatively uncertain, I am confident I have the tools necessary to structure myself towards success.