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Britney Samuelson '17

Finds Success with Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Drake University


Britney Samuelson ’17 wants to make a difference in the world and she needed a place to start. Somewhere she would be supported, challenged, encouraged and involved. She found that place at Simpson College.

“Choosing to attend Simpson College was the best choice I’ve ever made,” she said. “At first, I wasn’t sure which school was right for me; however, once I got involved at Simpson, I knew I made the right choice.”

The investment in students Britney noticed from Simpson’s faculty attracted the Newton native when she visited. When she started classes, she saw just how connected the professors were with students on campus.

Britney quickly learned she could go to her professors for anything. First on the list, choosing an area of study.

“My professors helped me realize the varied ways that my interests could be applied in the real world, and they were influential in pushing me to explore all of my options,” she said.

One such professor was Allison Wolf, whom Britney calls the most influential person she met at Simpson.

“She believes in me and my abilities whole-heartedly and always pushes me to strive for more,” Britney said. “She took the time to invest in me and help me navigate college and what I want to do after graduation.”

And after taking a variety of courses and exploring through internships, Britney realized she loved public policy and having an impact on people’s lives. Her professors helped set her up to receive her bachelor of arts in social justice, applied philosophy and Spanish.

With a major picked, the next step was getting involved on campus and worked to become the person she wanted to be. Britney participated in Delta Delta Delta sorority, Student Government Association, the John C. Culver Public Policy Center and the Iowa History Center.

No longer shying away from leadership, Britney hopes to one day be an elected official in state government or a lobbyist for a non-profit that advocates for policies that alleviate poverty.

Her favorite memory at Simpson is one you’re not likely to find elsewhere either. During the 2016 caucus season for the presidential election, several politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton visited campus to campaign. Britney was one of the students who heard and even met many of them.

Britney’s tenacity and passion didn’t go unnoticed. Before she had the chance to apply for post-graduation jobs, she was approached by a former internship boss who offered her a position working at the Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Civic Engagement at Drake University.

“I think I stood out because of all the work experience that I had accumulated through the internships that I had,” Britney said. “This showed employers that I was well-prepared for work in the real-world and that I was dedicated to learning more in my field.”

Moving forward, Britney has nothing but gratitude for everyone who helped her get this far and she’s excited to see what lays ahead.

“College is truly a time to grow into the person that you want to be, and everyone at Simpson helps make that process so much easier,” she said. “I am so thankful for the experience and the people that I’ve met here because they have given me the tools I need to be successful in this new and exciting chapter in my life.”