YCP@Work: David Zellers, Montgomery County
David Zellers graduated from York College in 2005 with a B.A. in Political Science. He currently works as Director of Commerce for Montgomery County in PA.
What made you choose to pursue a degree in this field?
I have always been interested in understanding how things work; studying political science is a way to understand the intersection of how people, government, policy, and so much more work in our world.
Describe a typical day on the job.
Being in the field of economic, workforce, and community development makes each day unique. There are days that are very much about helping businesses and then there are days when it can be all about helping a community plan for their future. Then there are the days that are focused on the "big picture" issues like the social determents of health or infrastructure or housing affordability. It all goes back to figuring out how to make things work and supporting people, businesses, and communities as they're doing the same.
How have you used your York College education since graduating?
There is not a single day I don't think about the most important lesson I learned at York College and apply it to my work; the late professor Dr. Mel Kulbicki told me to "see both the trees and the forest and be the person to connect it all together." And that's what I strive to do each day.
What is most challenging about a career in this field?
Things do not progress in a straight line; you have to be ready for setbacks and be quick to adapt to changes beyond your control, all while continuing to move forward.
What do you like best about your career?
The opportunities to bring people and organizations together to build consensus, seize opportunities, and collaborate to "move the needle" on the most pressing issues for the benefit of everyone.
What advice would you have for a student who is just starting out in this major?
Force yourself to be curious, challenge your own ideas, and most of all listen to others—understanding partisan politics is a small part of political science. Embrace a broader view of the world and dedicate yourself to seeing both the trees and the forest.