Matthew Ness ’09

Major in International and Comparative Politics

I love to travel and meet and experience different peoples and cultures. I was an 18-year-old freshman in Connecticut when the September 11th terrorist attacks occurred, and, like many Americans, the crumbling of the Twin Towers had a profound effect on me. I remember sitting in my dorm room for the rest of the day, unable to take my eyes off the awful events unfolding before me. I decided to do something about it: I completed the rest of the school year, took a break from college life, and signed up to serve my country in the United States Army as a combat infantryman. After four years and two deployments to the Middle East, I came back to America with a newfound sense of maturity and a fresh outlook on life. It was my first time traveling outside the US and my exposure to a culture so vastly different from what I knew left me wanting more.

With over a thousand students from so many different cultural backgrounds all learning together, AUP impressed me immediately as the right place to develop my interests. What school could be more amazing and dynamic for someone who wanted to study politics and explore new cultures? With only about 40% of AUP’s undergraduate student body being American, I felt privileged to hear the perspectives of people from so many different walks of life. I strongly believe that every young American would benefit from studying in such a diverse and multicultural environment.

I decided to major in International and Comparative Politics after meeting my academic advisor, Professor Susan Perry. Her passion for politics and especially human rights was palpable and I became hooked. As busy as she was, she always took time to listen to my interests and worked with me to develop a curriculum track tailored to my interests. I still look back fondly on how passionate she was about her work. 

That only about 40% of AUP’s undergraduate student body is American, I felt privileged to hear the perspectives of people from so many different walks of life.

Matthew Ness ’09

Through the help of the Internship Office, I was able to land an internship with a British-American international law firm in Paris. This was anything but your typical internship experience, as I found myself daily working on high-profile, international disputes. It was incredible.

After graduating from AUP in 2009, I was fortunate enough to find a job with a large, international bank in Boston, providing regulatory support for its global wealth and investment management division. It was a great introduction to the world of politics and regulation, two areas that almost always go hand in hand. I later asked my boss what set me apart from the other candidates and he said one of the primary factors was my international experience.

In 2012, I left the banking industry to work for a rapidly growing Fortune 1000 healthcare company based in Nashville. As the US healthcare industry undergoes tremendous changes, I am proud to be with a company that’s playing a major role in making healthcare more efficient and cost effective for all Americans. I currently lead our State Government Affairs department, where I get to travel across the US, speaking to lawmakers at both the state and federal levels. I continue to draw from the academic and social experiences that only an institution as diverse as AUP could have offered.