Oct. 21, 2021

Let’s Meet a UCalgary Political Science Undergrad: Alejandra Vivas!

On Brooklyn 99-influenced high school dreams to a love of political philosophy!
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Alejandra is a 4th year student in the Department of Political Science. We cover everything from Brooklyn 99-influenced high school dreams to a love of political philosophy for its ‘commitment to making the world less confusing’… plus some good advice!


If we asked when you were in high school what you planned to study at University what would you have told us?

I would have probably answered something along the lines of Modern Languages or International Relations. I wanted to be part of an embassy or the UN, work as an interpreter or a policy maker. I had a hard time deciding between the two, and I sort of never did, since I went on to do German, French and Political Science in university. I think it’s worth mentioning, though, that earlier on I actually wished to be a lawyer and before that, a detective, like Brooklyn Nine-nine’s Jake Peralta!

Vivas Headshot

What’s come to be your favourite areas of Political Science?

Political Philosophy, hands down. I find that it’s a versatile field with lots of room for people with both an imagination and a commitment to making the world less confusing. Which may be odd to say about a discipline that bears the stereotype of being detached and self-indulgent. But, hey, it’s not!

I also like the areas of Political Science that deal with environmental policy, including Indigenous Studies, as well as Comparative Politics, the field that I think unifies theory and empirical research.

Where do you hope your degree might take you?

I hope my degree takes me right where I am, university. I would really like to teach and become a researcher and be able to work with people who are driven by curiosity in everything they do. I can’t tell if it will happen for me, but it’s definitely one of those things that gets me out of bed in the morning.

Finally, any advice for students who are considering Political Science?

Keep and open mind? I get the feeling we get lots of strong personalities in this undergraduate degree, and that’s really nice, because I got to make friends who’ve achieved incredible things, gone above and beyond for what they believe in. But, also, a die-hard attitude is not always what you want to see in a class full of political thinkers.


Thanks Alejandra Vivas for sharing with us!