April 7, 2022

Let’s Meet a UCalgary Political Science Undergrad, Sofia Ali

Choosing Political Science and loving public policy!
Ali Banner

Sofia Ali is a 4th year student in the Department of Political Science 

Choosing POLI, loving public policy (thank you POLI 357!), on internships for first-hand experience (thank you Gov of Nunavut), and… some tips for success!


If we asked when you were in High School what you planned to study at university what would you have told us? 

Initially, I considered studying Psychology because I excelled at it in high school. My interest was rooted in seeing “how people work,” but I never really saw myself working as a psychologist. When it came time to apply to university, I contacted some friends in Political Science. Those friends assured me that if I wanted to learn about how humanistic systems work and why the world functions the way it does, Political Science was the place to be.   

Ali Headshot

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

My favourite area of Political Science is public policy. I had the opportunity to take POLI 357 Intro to Public Policy Analysis with Benjamin Adu Gyamfi, and it was one of my favourite classes to date. Studying and seeing the process of institutionalized proposals to solve real-world problems was a breath of fresh air in a highly theoretical field. I also had the opportunity to work with the Government of Nunavut as a Policy Analyst Intern, and that only further inspired my love for public policy.

During your undergrad, were you able to gain any internship experience? 

I was able to do a fair amount of internships during my Political Science degree! I was luckily able to experience both public and private sector work experienceI have worked with the Government of Nunavut and Amazon. I also gained research experience by holding a senior research position with a Calgary think tank. Working internships was one of my favourite parts of my degree; gaining first-hand experience was invaluable.

Where do you hope your degree might take you? 

What surprised me about the university experience was how many extracurricular opportunities UCalgary has to enhance your learning. I have joined a plethora of student clubs and taken on leadership roles. I have competed on behalf of the University of Calgary Intercollegiate Debate Team, participated in Hunter Hub innovation hackathons, and worked internships. These experiences shaped my university experience and added so much depth to my learning. I am very thankful for all these opportunities. 

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

I would recommend that all Political Science students take the time to engage with the community. Talk to your professors, build relationshipsthey have so much wisdom and insight to offer. I would also recommend actively looking for opportunities that serve your interests, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish. You got this.  

Thanks Sofia Ali for sharing with us!