Jamie Darnell

What do you do professionally?

Jamie works for the constituents of Washington’s 2nd Congressional District.  When citizens reach out to U.S. Representative Larsen, Jamie works with those individuals to problem solve their concerns, ranging from health care, education, environmental regulation, visa applications, and many other areas where Congressman Larsen’s office tries to assist the residents of the 2nd District.  She works as a liaison between federal agencies and constituents to clarify miscommunications, relay information and guide constituents to the appropriate channel of government.  Jamie also takes note of casework trends in the district and relays the information to the Congressman and staff in Washington, DC for legislative action. 

How did your Sociology degree help prepare you for your work?

I think my degree really applies because everything I do involves working with people.  I spent my senior capstone project working with people in health care, interviewing and problem solving.  I think my ability to communicate is directly related to the training I got in Sociology, especially in dealing with all sorts of people who come from different backgrounds.  My job entails helping people solve problems, and there is a lot of research in that process.  All of the research we did in Sociology makes it easier for me to wade through that information.

Did you have a favorite class in the Sociology Department?

I really enjoyed the practical experience from my Global Health capstone with Liz Mogford.  We worked with the Health Department and it was a great learning opportunity.  I also loved the research I did with Kirstin Anderson on gender norms for my senior thesis, and of course Glenn Tsunokai’s class was outstanding.”   

​If you could go back to Sociology at WWU all over again, would you do anything differently?

I probably would have told myself to calm down, and not take everything quite so seriously.  In hindsight, I was so stressed out and too focused on getting that ‘A’.  The difference between a 3.75 and 4.0 doesn’t really matter on a job application, so I wish I would have calmed down a bit and not been so intense.  I am really glad that I worked hard and accomplished a lot, but a little less pressure on myself would have been good.

​What career advice would you offer for current Sociology majors?

I think everyone should consider internships to get your foot in the door.  Don’t worry about getting your dream job right away, but get in at a lower position and gain experience as you work your way up.  Most jobs want three years of experience and it is difficult for a college student to have that, so through internships and other opportunities try to get that experience wherever you can find it.

What are your favorite ways to spend time when you are not working?

I spend my time doing all of the typical Northwest stuff… hiking, canoeing, camping, and being outside.  I also spend a lot of time reading books and watching movies.  My boyfriend and I are currently working our way through the latest Sundance award winners.” ​