Meet Kait: Her interdisciplinary degree launched her into public service


Honors alumna Kait's flexible major kick-started her public service career before she even graduated.  

She entered Pitt majoring in political science, but was really more interested in theory. She discovered the Politics & Philosophy major, an interdisciplinary degree offered by a collaboration of departments and advised in the Honors College.

The P&P is sort of a ‘build your own’ program. I got to pick the balance I wanted. It even allowed me to skip some of the intro-level classes and get into the nitty-gritty of everything. It’s a really wonderful blend that’s tailored for people like me who are pursuing public service.”

As a student, she started working in the Pittsburgh Mayor's office, then became the Special Assistant to the Mayor when she graduated. She got to work on a variety of key projects right out of school, and focus on her own interests in urban resilience and sustainability. 

She was also able to tailor her degree to her long-term interest: conflict in the Middle East. Her advisor helped her work non-traditional courses into an even more custom curriculum. 

“I graduated with a very tangible understanding of how my studies applied to the world. I got a fair amount of the background theory, but also in applying those theories to the Middle East as it relates to conflict.”

Now Kait is in a Masters of Public Policy and Management program that will take her to DC, and interning with the Metro 21: Smart Cities Institute.

“Having a broad background is helping me a lot in right now. I had classes in a variety of disciplines in my undergrad. Now that I'm in graduate school, I'm doing the same thing. It's almost like a continuation.”