The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rocky Senior Spotlight: Paul Strauch '13

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After visiting on Dartmouth's Dimensions weekend, I knew that I had to come here. My formal introduction to the Rockefeller Center occurred Freshman winter when I took Professor Shaiko's Introduction to Public Policy (PBPL 5) course. The course cemented my interest in the practical applications of what I was studying as a Government major and encouraged me to apply to internships in Washington DC that summer. With the assistance of Rockefeller Internship funding, I lived in DC to intern on Capitol Hill the summer after my freshman year. I worked in the office of Representative Frank Pallone, who chairs the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

Although not a Public Policy Minor, my academic interest in public policy and advocacy directly informed my Senior Honors Thesis project in the Government Department. My senior thesis examined international non-governmental organization advocacy at international criminal courts, with the purpose of identifying political factors driving NGO activity at international courts. Professor Shaiko generously was on my Defense committee, and the lessons of Public Policy 5 served me well as I performed interviews and developed the theoretical portions of my thesis. Ultimately, the thesis was actually awarded the Rockefeller Prize for Outstanding Essay in the field of International Relations.

Beyond the academic realm, my experiences at Rocky - and particularly my experience as a Rockefeller Leadership Felllow - have prepared me for life beyond Dartmouth. I eventually aspire to enter public service, by representing the United States at international governmental organization or as a human rights attorney at the Hague. As I pursue that goal, I will need to interact with, and work for non-profit and business sectors as well. Rocky uniquely focused on preparing students with skills relevant to all three sectors, and the Rockefeller Leadership Follows Program, building off of the MLDP program, program in particular focused on navigating decision making situations in each of these three environments. I particularly appreciated RLF's focus on equipping students with the theoretical and practical skills associated with decision-making and problem solving during challenging work-place situations.

As a co-captain of the Dartmouth College Club tennis team, I had the opportunity to apply the skills developed in RLF and develop my own leadership abilities and confidence. Further, by encouraging the fellows to carefully evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, RLF helped me strategically target room for improvement. The retreat at Lake Morey constituted a key highlight of the program.   

Perhaps most importantly, I had the opportunity to meet and befriend a new set of incredibly impressive, exciting, and talented students who cared about Dartmouth as much as I through RLF.  Building this network was a real advantage of Rocky programs. 

Paul Strauch is from Piedmont, California and attended the College Preparatory School in Oakland, California.  At Dartmouth, Paul majored in Government and History modified with Economics.  On campus, Paul captained the Dartmouth Club Tennis team, played trombone in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble, participated in the War and Peace Scholars program, was a brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and was a Rockefeller Leadership Fellow.  During his off-terms, Paul worked on Capitol Hill focusing on Armenian-American issues, interned in the Political Section of the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain, and worked as a Summer Analyst in the Global Compliance Division at Goldman Sachs in New York City.  Paul will be returning to Goldman Sachs as a full time analyst, and he will be applying to Law School and Political Science graduate programs following graduation.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences