Shervin Taheran graduated from SMU in 2013. She majored in International Studies and Political Science and minored in Arabic and Human Rights. She currently works on Capitol Hill for a United States Representative.
I double-majored in International Studies and Political Science, along with a minor in Arabic and Human Rights. After graduation I found a job in Washington, DC, working on Capitol Hill for a Representative on the House Foreign Relations Committee and Middle East and North African subcommittee.
Before I transferred to SMU, I knew I wanted to be an International Studies (IS) major. I liked how the IS major allowed a concentration in specific regions, and I knew that I really wanted to focus on the Middle East and Africa. I also knew that I wanted to study a foreign language, and the IS program and the Foreign Language program work together to make that happen for students. As someone who had decided on a Middle East and African concentration, imagine my excitement when I learned that the Arabic program would launch the same year that I was transferring to SMU.
Once I began my studies at SMU, I grew to fully appreciate the broad of spectrum of classes the IS major allows. I took classes in Anthropology, Linguistics, History, and Political Science. I personally believe that we cannot understand our current policies and actions if we do not understand the culture and history in different societies. So I was very happy with IS as my primary major.
As I entered my upperclassman years, I decided that I wanted to double-major in Political Science. A very attractive feature of the IS major is that it is really flexible and makes double-majoring easier to manage. I was able to excel in the Political Science program because of the background I had as an IS major. IS gave me a very stable foundation which enabled me to branch out more easily in other topics of interest to me.
This component of having a stable well-rounded foundation is also valuable when it comes to deciding on career choices. An IS major can be used in various ways to meet different career requirements. It can take me to law school, or to work with a NGO. I could work in the private sector, or at a public research institute. The options are endless when it comes to what can be done with an IS major after graduation. I highly recommend this major if you want to learn about our global community, and to be able to understand contemporary international challenges.
Shervin is an aide for Congressman David Cicilline (R.I.) and works in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill.