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Alumni Spotlight:


Brenée Goforth is a UNC class of 2018 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) who majored in Political Science. Upon graduating from Carolina, she took a position in activism at the nonprofit law firm the Institute for Justice where she worked with clients on organizing to defend their rights. She is currently a communications associate with the John Locke Foundation where she helps craft promotional materials to share with the public and policymakers. Brenée plans to continue her work with think tanks until she attends law school.


A Conversation with Brenée

(1) What led you to minor in PPE at UNC? 

I minored in PPE because I wanted to be able to apply my political science degree to the real world. PPE gave me the tools to figure out how to get to the root of a societal problem, how to craft potential solutions, and how to ensure those solutions are compatible with the real world.

(2) How has what you learned from the PPE Program helped you in your career? 

Through the amazing workshops and programs PPE has offered, I got connected with the think tank space. I met people who inspired me and learned from their experiences. Don’t skip on the programing you have access to as a PPE student! It was by far the best programming I participated in, both in terms of the content itself and the people you get to meet along the way.

(3) What is your greatest professional accomplishment so far?  

I now get to host my own live streams to the John Locke Foundation audience. As a person who loves chatting about policy and has a passion for unpacking complicated subjects and making ideas accessible, I love that I get to break down policy for an audience.

(4) What professor or course influenced you the most during your time in the PPE Program? 

I had the wonderful Alex Oprea as my intro and capstone instructor, and I have even had her as an alumni reading group leader! She is intellectually honest, kind, and intelligent. Every chance I’ve had to talk with Alex has opened my eyes to a new way of thinking and exemplified what it means to be curious and open-minded.

(5) What was your favorite extracurricular programming that the PPE Program offered (i.e. reading groups, weekend seminars, speaker series, etc.)?

I loved the weekend seminars! The first one I attended essentially got me my job at the Institute for Justice! After attending a week-long summer seminar that I learned about through the PPE event, I met a think tank recruiter and a former Institute for Justice employee who served as my reference for my position there. The connections you make in PPE are endless as long as you have the confidence to pursue them.

(6) What advice do you have for prospective PPE students? 

Take advantage of the supplemental programming like the reading groups and summer seminars! They are amazing exercises in constructive conversation and help diversify your perspective. Plus, you never know who you might meet!

(7) What advice do you have for recent PPE graduates? 

I recommend taking advantage of fellowships while you can. These positions are often one-to-two-year contracts and can potentially lead to a full-time gig at the same company. Fellowships also help you develop the network you need to get that next job!

(8) Where do you see yourself in five years? 

In five years, I see myself helping draft policy that makes people’s lives better and empowers them to choose their own destiny. One thing I will say about the future is: I always hope I can be as flexible in my plans as I am now. My ultimate goal for my life is to create the most love and promote the most joy I can — being open to change if and when it comes is the best way to achieve that goal.

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