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Career Conversations with Alumni

Submitted by Stephen Dunne on March 17, 2023 - 12:39pm
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In our annual Career Conversations, alumni share their personal and professional stories with undergraduates. What do they do? How did they get there? Are they doing what they thought they would be doing upon graduation? How did their UW Political Science degree prepare them for their careers? This year students heard from and asked questions of Lindsay Scola and John Amaya.

Lindsay Scola
Lindsay is the CEO of Audeamas, a Los Angeles consulting firm that advises non-profits organizations, issue campaigns, and impact-oriented businesses on how to work with celebrities to raise their profiles. Upon graduation, Lindsay went to work for Representative Adam Smith in Washington DC. When she learned that Barack Obama was running for President, she applied to work on his campaign and ended up in Iowa and later Nebraska. She then worked in a variety of government positions, including at the United Nations before leading Michelle Obama's advance team during the 2012 election. She then transitioned to the private sector where she worked for the Television Academy (the Emmys) in New York City before moving to Los Angeles and starting her own consulting firm. Lindsay still loves campaigns and maintains her political connections. When we first contacted Lindsay, she apologized for her slow reply, explaining that she had just returned from an overseas trip with the Second Gentleman (Vice President Kamala Harris's spouse).

J. Amaya
John Amaya was a first generation student and student Regent at the UW.  After graduation, he went to work for Rep. Norm Dicks in Washington DC and was working at the Capitol during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. This was a life changing experience for him. He returned to the UW to get a law degree and then back to DC where he worked as a trial attorney with the US Department of Justice.  John subsequently served as senior counsel to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as Congress tried to pass a major immigration reform bill, and  was appointed by President Barack Obama as a senior advisor to the US Department of Homeland Security. He is currently an attorney in Washington, DC where he focuses on representing corporations and individuals in connection with global immigration, customs enforcement, and homeland security investigations.

Both of them ended up doing things they never expected and both commented on how seemingly unrelated experiences helped prepare them for where they are today. Lindsay emphasized the many opportunities available in politics for young people. Both  emphasized the importance of building connections both on campus and after graduation.