The head of „United Kaunas“ talks about political science
The bachelor‘s program of Political Science in Vytautas Magnus University is one of the most popular programs, and the employment opportunities for graduates are one of the best ones. The head of the community organization „United Kaunas“ and member of the Kaunas city municipality City Council, Andrius Palionis, agreed to share his thoughts about career and studies of Political Science.
In your opinion, what are the main advantages of the VMU Political Science study program that make it different among other similar programs in other universities?
Personally it is difficult to compare it with other programs of Political Science, because I studied political science only in VMU. However, I can highlight what I liked and why I recommend VMU to young people who are interested in this field. First of all, the philosophy of the university and the attitude towards the student. Here the student and the professor are colleagues that respect each other. I improved and learned specifically during discussion. Of course, I was deeply impressed by the professionalism of most of my lecturers. Another important aspect – the opportunity to realize your potential in the environment of the University. If I would have an idea of what I can do in the University or in the Faculty, I would receive only help and positivity.
You finished the bachelor‘s of Political Science in VMU. Did you already envision your career when you chose your bachelor‘s studies?
I had at that time. I wanted to study political science specifically, and later to become a diplomat or politician. My life is currently going in a very similar direction.
How, in your opinion, the profession of a political scientist different?
To me this profession is different, because it teaches you to look at life from a wider point of view, than people are typically used to do. It also helps you understand that in life there usually isn‘t just one truth or one right decision. And that is very important when you make decisions both in your personal and your professional life. I often use this comparison: someone from a different profession is ready to only be an expert in one area (like an engineer, architect or medic), but when you study political science you have a chance to study many subjects, but not as deeply as an expert would know their area. Which is why when you get a broad education you can later decide during your career if you need to gain more knowledge, or if what you have learned is enough.
In your opinion, what are the main current challenges in the world today, and how could political scientists help solve those processes?
The modern world is incredibly fast, dynamic and diverse. Which is why there are many various challenges (refugee crises, rising nationalism in states, rearmament and redistribution of powers, redistribution of economic centers, etc.). I see, that political scientists, who continue their careers in the academic field and who make up the minority of graduates, can contribute by discussing about different issues not just in small academic circles, but also by educating the society, sharing their insights, shaping the public opinion. Most of the graduates, in my opinion, contribute every day to solving different issues through their abilities to look at the bigger picture, analyze and think critically.