Skip to main content

Jessica Glover

Ms. Jessica L. Glover (Class of 2008)

Biography:

Ms. Jessica L. Glover is a 2008 Alumna of Fitchburg State University where she earned a BS in Political Science and minors in Peace Studies and International Studies. Since 2011, I have worked as a Desk Officer in the Office of International and Interagency Relations at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters office in Washington, DC, where I provide advice and analysis on international matters to the agency’s senior leadership, negotiate international agreements, and coordinate NASA’s international activities with foreign governments.

As an undergraduate, I interned through The Washington Center at the Terrorism Research Center in Arlington, VA, where I conducted research in support of senior national security analysts. I also studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, taking courses on international conflict and negotiation that focused on the Middle East. I culminated my undergraduate career by completing my undergraduate thesis on Egyptian politics, examining the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in politics, and upon graduation from Fitchburg State continued my education at The George Washington University’s Elliott School for International Affairs, and received an MA in Middle East Studies in 2010. I have also studied in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco, and was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the Department of State and a Boren Fellowship by the Department of Defense to support advanced Arabic training.

Impact the University had on my career path:

The four years I spent as part of the Political Science department at Fitchburg State truly shaped my career path in ways I couldn’t imagine when I first walked into a Global Issues class my freshman year. Learning about the many interconnected issues that affect our shared planet inspired me to try and learn about how governments and people could work together to solve such issues. The coursework provided a very solid foundation, and the encouragement and support from Fitchburg State for “extras” like internships, study abroad, Moot Court, and Model United Nations truly allowed me to develop a skill set that enabled me to excel in graduate school and in my career. At every juncture, the faculty supported my efforts to apply for competitive opportunities and helped me obtain fellowships and internships that greatly enhanced my education and career.

Now, every day I have the privilege to assist NASA scientists in their work across every culture and in every region of the world to help them to conduct work that provides critical data about our planet and its place in the broader universe. This involves researching the politics and policies of foreign governments, writing briefing memos and talking points, briefing leaders via PowerPoint presentations to explain strategic issues, arranging high-stakes business meetings and negotiations, and lots and lots of intercultural communication with colleagues around the world. Fitchburg State really prepared me well to do this kind of work.

I offer the following advice for current and prospective Political Science students:

  • Consider internships locally and through the Washington Center. Financial Aid can help cover the costs and spending 10-weeks or a semester in D.C., and gaining this kind of experience may open up career opportunities.
  • Study Abroad – Whether you’re interested in U.S. Government or International Affairs, this will give you a great perspective on the world.
  • Learn a language! Really, language is just the beginning – maybe try to learn a culture. Gaining intercultural experiences, especially through study abroad, is a great asset in our increasingly connected world. There are scholarships out there that can help make it happen.
  • Participate in the Political Science extracurricular activities such as Model United Nations or Moot Court– these are a great way to apply coursework to simulated scenarios, network, and develop leadership skills.
  • Find one or two subjects that really interest you and try to become an expert in those topics – learning everything you can about them. Even if you find new topics later on (and you will!), once you experience the process of gaining this expertise, you’ll be able to continue your education throughout your life.
  • Math and science skills are incredibly important to policy-making, international affairs, and political science. You probably knew this already, but I didn't appreciate it until graduate school. The statistics courses and research methods will serve you very, very well.
  • Along those lines, consider taking a financial management course while in college, for your own personal benefit. Your goals may include going to graduate school, moving into your own home, or paying down your student loans – and a class like this might provide a structured way of thinking about how to meet these goals.
  • Schedule meetings with people who seem interesting or whose careers seem interesting to you – most people are very happy to talk to students. This includes Fitchburg State alumni. Don’t be shy about scheduling informational interviews, phone calls, or meetings. And, when you eventually graduate and become an alumnus, consider engaging with students, who seek you as their mentors or would like to find out information and insight from you.
  • Work hard – it pays off.

Have fun. College isn’t always easy – especially if you are working and going to school. Take the time to get to know your classmates, as the friends you make in college are some of the best you’ll have.