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Alumni Profile: Keith Barnicle

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0:00 - [Music Playing]

0:17 - My name is Keith Barnicle,

0:19 - and I'm a district representative for the second

0:21 - congressional district in Massachusetts,

0:24 - and an aide to Congressman Jim McGovern.

0:26 - I cover constituent services for Congressman McGovern out of his Northampton District Office.

0:32 - One of the things I really enjoy most about my job is serving the public and giving back to the community.

0:40 - I also really enjoy being an ambassador of sorts for Western Massachusetts.

0:45 - And having the ability to promote everything that is great and wonderful about this area.

0:52 - I was an English major at UMass and I graduated in 2002.

0:57 - I chose to be an English major because I wanted to be a writer.

1:00 - One of my favorite professors at UMass, specifically in the English department was Randall Knoper.

1:05 - He led one of the first classes I took when I got to UMass

1:07 - and introduced me to a world of writers and literature that I hadn't been exposed to before.

1:13 - The dynamic of his class and the way it was run included a lot of peer review from classmates

1:20 - and working together on writing and editing.

1:22 - I think the experiences I got at UMass in the English Department to develop

1:26 - those skills in writing were really key and really helped me to learn how to express myself

1:31 - and express my thoughts in clear, concise ways.

1:38 - I actually do a lot of writing in my job still to this day.

1:42 - It includes a lot of corresponding with the public and constituents and the federal government.

1:47 - Working in politics and working with constituents on a day to day basis you're often presented with lots of information.

1:52 - Often time it's conflicting information.

1:55 - And I believe you know the analytical and critical thinking that was instilled in me at UMass

2:02 - really plays a role in how I'm able to see the big picture, and see all sides to a story.

2:09 - I didn't feel pigeonholed at all to my major and I felt that I had a very broad spectrum of experiences at UMass

2:17 - ranging from politics to history, gender studies, science and math.

2:23 - When I look back one of the things I really love about my experience there is that richness of coursework that I was able to experience at UMass.

2:35 - If I were to give my advice to a student who was considering an English major, I would say, "Definitely go for it."

2:42 - If it's something you're passionate about, that is gonna be what sustains you.

2:45 - No matter how complicated the world continues to get or what type of advances come to the workforce.

2:52 - The world is always gonna need skilled thinkers and communicators.

2:56 - With a lot of things in life, going to college is really all about getting out what you put into it.

3:03 - And specifically at a place like UMass, that's the type of investment that pays back.

3:19 - [Music fades]