Career on Capitol Hill: Hannah Cooper ’14
Hannah Cooper ’14 graduated from Westminster College with majors in Political Science and Transnational Studies, as well as a minor in Security Studies. She now works on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as a Grassroots and Advocacy Coordinator for Smiths Group plc specializing in internal and external political communications.
Her job includes mobilizing employees on issues that affect their industry through grassroots efforts such as sending letters, calling, and meeting with elected officials who represent the business’ manufacturing facilities. She also helps Smiths Group’s lobbyists by researching various policy issues related to the business’ industries.
Hannah initially visited Westminster because her dad, Steve Cooper ’75, was a student here. She knew she wanted to attend college out of state, and when she visited she knew she had found the school for her.
“When I visited, I immediately fell in love with the sense of community and passion for a well-rounded education Westminster presented.”
Hannah really enjoys the diversity Westminster offers. She finds that it creates a community that benefits students in many different ways on campus.
“I think diversity enriches a community for the better because it forces you to expand your understanding and view of the world. It also teaches you how to productively work with other people who have different beliefs and operating systems.”
In Hannah’s professional career, being able to interact with people from different backgrounds is a vital tool. This communication ability assists her in managing relationships with colleagues who work and think differently than her, which overall helps her perform her job successfully.
“Westminster gave me the confidence and education to speak to my beliefs and opinions among a diverse population. This could not be more important in a place like Washington D.C.”
At Westminster Hannah also says she learned how to think critically and write well, which are skills she uses at her job every day.
“Westminster’s professors gave me a truly comprehensive education that was both enlightening and challenging.”
Hannah is especially grateful for her time spent with Dr. Tobias Gibson, a political science professor at Westminster.
“Tobias’s classes really taught me how to both speak with thought and meaning, as well as how to back that thought and meaning up with confidence.”
Hannah also accredits Westminster sorority Kappa Alpha Theta with changing her life for the better.
“My involvement with Kappa Alpha Theta not only provided me with great leadership opportunities, but also provided me a sisterhood for a lifetime. I still keep in touch with my sisters from college and have made new life-long friendships through Theta in D.C.”
Hannah hopes to continue working in political communications and advocacy, as well as to one day get her Master’s degree in Political Communications. She encourages students to practice humility when they embark on their careers out of college.
“There are people in every field of work who have been working a lot longer than you. Just remember that nobody is better than you, but you’re not better than anyone else.”
Overall, Cooper recommends Westminster to prospective students without hesitation.
“Westminster offers a comprehensive, enlightening liberal arts education that not only prepares students for their everyday careers, but for a happy and fulfilled personal life.”