We interviewed Rushil Vashee '25, a sophomore at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service studying International Political Economy with minors in Journalism and Spanish. With a keen interest in the intersection of people and politics, especially as it relates to U.S. constitutional law, economic statistics, and data analysis, Rushil has worked with these issues at the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, on a competitive U.S. Senate campaign, at USA TODAY's Sports Media Group, and through a published research paper.
Key points from the interview:
"Time management strategies like task prioritization, daily planning, and mental health awareness can do wonders in preparing for college before the admissions cycles even start."
"However, I would encourage high school students to explore different student organizations and find what feels the most fulfilling! While extracurricular activities can help prepare students for a college major, they are also an outlet to find and explore a passion or hobby."
Q: What drew you into specifically majoring in International Political Economy and minoring in Journalism? What are some things you enjoy while studying these topics in particular compared to other subjects?
A: Entering Georgetown, I had a few ideas about what I wanted to study. Thanks to a few of my AP courses, I knew I wanted to explore economics and government. Thanks to extracurricular activities like Public Forum Debate and Mock Trial, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public service. And thanks to some work experience at USA TODAY Sports, I knew I wanted to continue learning about journalism.
Before committing to Georgetown, I took some time to reflect on how to connect these interests into my eventual field of study. When I came across the political economy major at Georgetown, I was intrigued by its inherently interdisciplinary twist. From there, the international twist on the major in the SFS appealed to me as a more well-rounded degree that can broaden my knowledge to include non-Western perspectives.
Combined with journalism, I appreciate the perfect blend of theoretical and practical education my academic fields offer. While traditional economics courses often simplify reality to fit within the confines of models, my political economy courses focus on breaking down and rebuilding models to more accurately fit reality. At the same time, studying journalism ensures that I am able to communicate and apply these topics to help a wider audience through policy.
Q: What are some past activities and opportunities that you have participated in that have excited you about this particular major? Are there any of these activities that you recommend to other students to not only let them experience, but explore their interests?
A: I can instantly think of three high school activities that opened up the world of politics and economics for me: Mock Trial, Speech and Debate, and the Boy Scouts Exploring career education program. Mock Trial was one of my favorite organizations in high school because it offered me everything from invaluable knowledge about teamwork and leadership to the real-world experience of being a trial attorney. I would absolutely recommend the club to anyone considering a career in law or legal analysis.
Through Public Forum debate, I gained exposure to the most salient current events and learned how to conduct efficient research. Because of debate, I was able to use some research I did throughout high school as sources in my international relations or economics classes. I also used everything that debate taught me about research to inform my use of engines like Google Scholar or ProQuest, which proved to be extremely valuable.
Finally, the Boy Scouts Exploring program was one of my “hidden gems” of high school. I stumbled across the program entering my first year of high school and enrolled in their post at the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office. Throughout the year, our cohort learned about what it is like to be an Assistant District Attorney through hands-on experience in courtrooms and legal offices.
Of course, not everyone who wants to major in something related to government, economics, or journalism needs to join these specific clubs to succeed. However, I would encourage high school students to explore different student organizations and find what feels the most fulfilling! While extracurricular activities can help prepare students for a college major, they are also an outlet to find and explore a passion or hobby.
Q: How did you prepare for your studies prior to your admission to Georgetown? What are some steps you took to ensure you were fully prepared for the challenges up ahead?
A: Throughout high school, I took 15 Advanced Placement (AP) classes both to challenge myself academically and to prepare me for the rigor of a college course load. While I enjoyed taking these classes and diving deep into subjects I am passionate about, I also recognize the stress that a full AP course load can place on students. Because of that, I don’t necessarily believe that AP courses are the only way to prepare for the challenges of college. Time management strategies like task prioritization, daily planning, and mental health awareness can do wonders in preparing for college before the admissions cycles even start.
Thanks for reading!
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