Career Encounters: Charlotte Starke

The overall theme that that drove me to political science, really, was that I really wanted to make a difference and I was very idealistic and I still believe that I can and I did 10 years ago and I hope that I do. I could do in the legal system and become an attorney. I could do it in the political world and become, not a politician; I didn’t want to do that, but I thought what I could do is is work on campaigns and help get the right politicians elected or I could be in a watchdog position which was in journalism and television journalism is where I ended up. And it ended up being a great choice. When I was studying political science, it was probably one of the most exciting times you could be a poli sci major because the Berlin Wall came down, democracy was crushed in Tiananmen Square, and the Gulf War a short time after all that had just started. And so we were watching history unfold live on television in front of our very eyes and we had some of the background from our studies to understand why those things had erupted the way they did.

I think you know the the best asset that I have, that I got from political science was the background knowledge first of all – not just history but getting that worldview, understanding conflict understanding ethnic and racial conflict and the history of wars, but what what political science I think really helps newspeople do is look at the big picture and see how things are playing out in the world. Political science when you start looking at the court system and the legal system and learning how pertinent it is to keep an open mind and hear all the evidence and so forth, that’s good training for news because anytime you do an interview you know that just because the person in front of you telling one story, that’s not the whole truth. The people who enjoy a constant change of pace and a very, very fast pace would enjoy news and and the internship is the key. Once you get in and you can see how the daily operations go and how fast you have to be to beat the clock – because it doesn’t matter what happens you’re on live at five and you have to have your stuff together and your story together.


The video clip above was taken from Career Encounters: Political Science which APSA released in 2000. The documentary-style video features people from across the US who studied political science and discuss how their political science backgrounds have been critical to their vocations, their avocations, and their general lives. Career Encounters feature careers that can be launched with undergraduate degrees as well as graduate degrees.