Tuesday, May 21st, 2024
Review Magazine

How This 27-Year-Old MU Grad and First-Gen College Student Landed a Job in Washington, D.C.

PATRICK WEAVER is a 2017 graduate of Millersville University with a degree in government and political affairs. In the three short years since graduation, he’s worked for the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Council, the president’s principle forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and cabinet officials.

At just 27 years old, he’s one of the youngest people on the council. “I spend a lot of time at work, but everything I get to do is an incredible opportunity,” says Weaver. “I’ve really learned a lot from the senior officials, and I respect their experience.” So, how did he end up here, working on Western Hemisphere Affairs at the highest level of the U.S. government? Well, it all started at Millersville University in quiet Lancaster County.

While pursuing an undergraduate degree at Millersville, Weaver was originally set to study psychology. He made the switch to government after one fortuitous meeting with Dr. Richard Glenn, department chair of government and political affairs. “He really inspired me,” says Weaver. “As a first-generation college student, I felt unsure about what I wanted to study, but Dr. Glenn saw something in me and encouraged me in this direction.”

Weaver says his time at MU was formative. “The best part about MU were my classes taught by Dr. Glenn, and it was also my most difficult experience at MU,” he says. “Dr. Glenn, who was also my advisor, assisted me with applying to graduate school, and the American Government classes gave me a fundamental understanding of how the United States government operates.” The two stay in touch. “I’ve never had a professor like him since,” he says.

After he graduated, Weaver pursued a master’s degree in global security studies from Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C., but he never lost contact with another key connection he made while at the ‘Ville: Robert Walker, a fellow Marauder and founder of the Walker Center Fellows, an MU organization that gives students the opportunity to develop and master skills that are essential to being civically engaged and active in the communities where they live, work and study. “Bob told me to give him a call when I got to D.C.,” says Weaver. “And so I did. When I relocated to D.C., I called him up and he really took me under his wing.”

With Walker’s help and guidance, Weaver entered the fast-paced world of life and work in our nation’s capital. For a time, Weaver even worked with Walker at a public policy firm, and when Walker founded a new aerospace consulting company, MoonWalker Associates, Weaver became its chief of staff and director. “I loved working with Bob,” he says. “The one thing he taught me was the importance of being kind to people. He often told me, ‘The business of personal relationships is a very big deal.’”

In 2019, Weaver was hired by the Trump Administration to work for the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, where he focused on counterterrorism, domestic terrorism and foreign affairs. In his role at the National Security Council, he works on Western Hemisphere Affairs. “I was very excited about the role,” he says, “I wanted to expand my foreign affairs experience, and this job allows me to do so at the highest level. I am passionate about understanding how governments communicate to solve problems and negotiate on national security issues.

It is interesting to see tense issues of national security be resolved or agreed upon through diplomacy.”

“Working for federal, state and local governments can be a very rewarding experience,” says Weaver of students who might be considering a similar career path. “You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room, but you always have to be the one who is willing to work the hardest.” He also notes that Millersville students should take advantage of the resources they have on campus—or now, virtually. “If you desire to work for the United States government or want to go to law school, you need to take Constitutional Law 1 and 2 with Dr. Glenn,” encourage Weaver.

“What he teaches in these two classes will be the foundation of your career and will prepare you like nothing else will.”

In the future, Weaver says he’s looking forward to working on national security issues in the White House for as long as he’s able and is seriously considering earning a Ph.D. in international relations to further his career aspirations. Weaver says, “It has been my greatest honor to work for the U.S. government and it has been an experience I will never forget.” When Weaver isn’t working in D.C., you can find him in Lancaster County spending time riding his horses on his family’s farm. “The fast-paced life in D.C.is exciting and fun, but I always enjoy coming home.”

Do you want to work in the government someday? Check out our program in Government and Political Affairs. Learn more at millersville.edu/government.

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