Joe Estes

A double major in political science and international studies, Joe describes his UE experience as giving him the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in the U.S. foreign service. “The professors here pushed us to constantly challenge and improve ourselves, and the difference from the beginning to end of college was astounding.” He highlights UE's small liberal-arts college environment and the frequent interactions between faculty and students both in the classroom and beyond as key benefits of the UE experience. “Our advisors proved to be our greatest asset in planning our undergraduate course work, preparing for graduate school, and preparing for our careers.”

While at UE, Joe studied abroad during his sophomore year at Harlaxton and during his junior year in Nagoya, Japan. He also participated in the Model United Nations class, which he found “fun and engaging” and encourages all of his fellow students to sign up for: “We would try to resolve international issues like the Israel-Palestine conflict or the Syrian conflict. My senior year I had the pleasure of representing China at a session where one of the topics on the table was China's land reclamation in the South China Sea.”

Joe also engaged in substantial research while at UE, writing a senior thesis on nation-building and working one summer as a research assistant for Dr. Maass, which he looks back on as “one the greatest opportunities I received at UE.” He particularly points to the research skills he developed during that summer as giving him a crucial leg up on his graduate work at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies: “That opportunity taught me a great deal about professional research and resources available. It prepared me for my work in grad school, where I write research papers every other week.”