Our Alumni Spotlight is a series that shares the stories, successes, and student memories of our talented and inspirational alumni. This month we had the pleasure to hear from the Class of 2000, Sarah Rogers.
Major(s) at Ursinus:
What do you currently do?
I am currently the Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Navigators Global LLC, a full-service issues management, government relations and strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C. As a federal lobbyist, I provide our corporate and trade association clients with lobbying services aimed at solving their legislative and regulatory challenges.
My career path since graduation…
After studying politics at Ursinus (Class of 2000), I worked as a paralegal at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel LLP, a law firm in Philadelphia, thinking I would soon go to law school and work as an attorney. While working at the firm, I volunteered on a congressional race (Dr. Melissa Brown) for a local seat in Pennsylvania and just loved it. The long hours, stuffing envelopes, going door-to-door, talking to the community with the candidate, meeting voters and everything in between that comes with a campaign. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in politics in some capacity. After a few long trips back and forth to D.C. with my dad for interviews, I moved to D.C. and got a job working as a staff assistant in my hometown representative’s office, Congressman Curt Weldon.
After the Congressman lost his election in 2006, I moved on to work for a few other Congressmen holding various legislative positions, briefly lobbied for a health care association, and finally served as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Patrick Meehan from that same seat in Delaware County, PA. After serving in this role and working on the Hill for several years, I accepted a position as a corporate lobbyist, working as Director, Federal Government Affairs for Walmart. Here, I advocated for the company’s legislative priorities primarily with House Republican Members of Congress. Following my time at Walmart, I moved to my current position as a multi-client or contract lobbyist at Navigators.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is helping a client accomplish something and seeing it have a positive impact on their customers and/or business. During the pandemic, for example, our team worked diligently to connect our clients with key members of Congress and the administration to assist in our country’s covid response. Our team is proud of the work they did and continue to do in the areas of vaccine manufacturing, transporting vaccines and PPE and helping with various community-related efforts.
Building and maintaining relationships is another rewarding part of my job and something that is so important in lobbying the Hill and representing our clients.
How do you see the connection between the time you spent as a IR major and what you’ve been able to do since?
College gave me a great background in areas such as American History, constitutional law, and political philosophy. Being in D.C. and working my way up in various congressional offices on Capitol Hill gave me the first-hand experience that I needed to do what I do today.
What advice do you have for students currently majoring in, or considering to major in Politics or IR?
Build relationships and keep up with your friends and professors. You never know if you’re sitting next to a future colleague, client, mentor, or member of congress! Read the news, volunteer on a campaign, and ask people for advice. Having mentors along the way has been so important to me in my professional career. Learning to write (and speak) in a clear, succinct, and persuasive way will also serve you well.
What is one of your favorite memories, classes, professors, or activities while attending Ursinus College as a student?
I had great professors in the politics department while I was at Ursinus who sparked my interest in politics and government. My favorites also include playing soccer at Ursinus and making lifelong friends in my sorority (Tau Sigma Gamma), leadership program and in my politics classes. My time at Ursinus gave me a solid foundation in which to begin my career.