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Christian DiGiacomo: ' My thesis allowed me to research a topic I was truly passionate about and work with faculty members closer than I had in any other setting.'

Thu, 04/27/2017

Chistian DiGiacomo

Government

New York, NY

What was your most profound turning point while at Cornell?

My most profound turning point while at Cornell occurred during the fall of my junior year when I took International Political Economics with Professor Katzenstein. It utilized a variety of teaching techniques that were not frequently found in classes in the College of Arts and Sciences. The course existed at the intersection of economics, political science, and philosophy, and taught me to view the world and specific events in an entirely new way. After taking the course I now have a much better understanding of how integrated world events are, as well as a new tool kit for analyzing and understanding current events.

What, if any, research projects did you participate in at Cornell?

As a senior I participated in the government honors program where I undertook a year-long honors thesis. My thesis examined why a divergence often exists between a nation's religious demographics and how deeply religion is integrated into the nation's legal codes. I observed Muslim majority nations in particular because of my deep interest in the politics of the Middle East and my study of the Arabic language. Undertaking a thesis was one of the highlights of my time at Cornell. It allowed me to research a topic I was truly passionate about and work with faculty members closer than I had in any other setting. My understanding of Islam and the deep conflicts that exist during nation building was profoundly changed by my research. I hope that my findings will help others gain a better understanding of the root causes to governments' often peculiar relationships with religion.

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Next year I am entering the workforce as an associate at a consulting firm that operates predominately in the healthcare space. Eventually I would like to return to graduate school, either for an MBA or a masters in public policy or international relations. My ultimate objective in life is either to work for a policy think tank or the U.S. government in some capacity, or to continue in the consulting industry but with a focus on geopolitics or international economics.

 

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