2016 Graduate | Board Administrator, National Restaurant Association
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From Local Beginnings to National Organizations
Inspired to help people and impact the greater good, Seth Coppe, a recent George Washington University graduate, made it a goal to explore local opportunities and be proactive in his West Virginia community and now in Washington, D.C.
“I knew I wanted to get involved and help the residents of the state that gave me so much,” he says. “I wanted to give back.”
Seth found that path while working for Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. His position supported the senator, but he quickly developed a cross-functional approach to his role by connecting with young West Virginians all across the state through youth outreach on behalf of the office. He decided to pursue a master’s degree to further develop his political education and leadership skills.
“There’s nothing quite like the master’s in political management at GW — learning how to write, negotiate and build the strategies that continue to help me every day of my professional life,” he says. “I started the program online because I was working in West Virginia at the time. Little did I know, there were students just like me in similar jobs across the country and world who were motivated to gain the knowledge and experience that comes with political management.”
Midway through his master’s, Seth left Sen. Manchin’s office in West Virginia to work for the government relations team at the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C. Despite the close proximity to GW’s main campus, he continued his online education with GW because of the great rapport with his cohorts and online professors.
Just a few weeks before his graduation in 2016, Seth received the opportunity to work directly for the CEO of the National Governors Association. He was able to apply his graduate-level education to this new position and credits his master’s degree as the reason for his promotion. Seth recently moved to a new role working for the leadership of the National Restaurant Association, where he continues to use those skills he gained in his graduate classes.
The graduate experience taught Seth that furthering your education requires commitment, but all the hard work can improve your career and help you stay focused. Seth’s advice is to know the payoffs. “Some days it might be a lot of work, but the payoff – sometimes it’s unimaginable.”
“I really credit the skills, writing and strategies that I learned from my master’s. GW helped propel my career and set me apart. At the end of the day, your professors know what skills you need to be proficient in helping you succeed.”
– Seth Coppe