Writing His Way Up
An Interview with Chris Pandolfo, ’15
Written by Katie Beemer
Certain that Hillsdale was the place for him, Chris Pandolfo, class of 2015, didn’t apply to any other colleges during senior year of high school. He graduated with a double major in politics and economics, but his time here wasn’t just limited to academics. He joined Phi Mu Alpha, the national men’s music fraternity, and served as secretary for the next few years. He also interned at FreedomWorks, a non-profit in D.C, through the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program (WHIP) during the fall of his junior year. Chris now works at Conservative Review where he researches and discusses the national political scene.
How did you hear about Hillsdale College?
I found Hillsdale College through Mark Levin’s radio program. My dad introduced me to his program when I was thirteen, and it really sparked my interest in politics. Levin advertises for Hillsdale, so when I was looking for a college during my junior of high school, I thought, “Hmm, Hillsdale’s an option.” After learning a little about the school, I was attracted to the politics program, specifically to the Washington-Hillsdale Internship Program in D.C.
How did you find your current job?
Providentially, I found my current job once again through the Mark Levin program. Levin had been advertising for a website called Conservative Review, so I shot them an email but didn’t hear back for three months. Then one day in early August, they replied and asked if I enjoyed research and if I’d be interested in moving to Greenville, South Carolina. I’d always wanted to visit the South, so I replied in the affirmative, took the interview, and landed the job. In another act of providence, Conservative Review announced that Mark Levin was taking over as editor-In-chief two weeks after I moved to Greenville. So now I’m working as a writer for Conservative Review, my boss is the man who introduced me both to my alma mater and my job, and I am getting paid to think about politics, which is my passion. God is good.
What does your average day look like?
I work with the Conservative Review research department in downtown Greenville, an absolutely beautiful city. I typically spend my day looking for stories to report on the CR-Wire, which is the breaking news or topical news section of the website. Most of my work has been covering the election, which includes monitoring the GOP candidates and looking at their records. It’s really cool to see the research I’m doing appear in the candidate profiles on the website or in something one of our senior editors writes.
How did Hillsdale prepare you for what you’re doing now?
The most beneficial thing I learned at Hillsdale was how to learn. Sometimes I’ll be asked to write about a new idea that I’ve never heard of before, which means that I have to dissect it, learn what it is, and then articulate it in a way that others can understand it. The politics department was instrumental in developing my ability to analyze an argument. I think learning how to read closely is one of the most valuable skills that Hillsdale imparts in its students. I’m also grateful for the economics department, which really shaped my thinking on public policy and taught me to always look for unintended consequences.
What is your favorite memory of your time as a student?
It’s hard to pick a single favorite memory. Performing with my Phi Mu Alpha brothers in our annual concerts and in battle of the bands was always exceptionally fun. I also cherish the time spent with my hall-mates in Galloway dorm, the classes where we discussed the American founding and the roots of American conservatism, and the meals with friends in the dining hall.
If you could use one sentence to sum up your experience at Hillsdale, what would it be?
The good, the true, and the beautiful were nice, but it’s the people that make Hillsdale so exceptional.
Katie Beemer is a #supersophomore from #puremichigan in pursuit of a degree in #politics and #classicaleducation. She is an #extremeextrovert, uses hashtags excessively/inappropriately, and is the proud owner of a pet reindeer named Edgar John Cervantes III #itsalongstory. In her free time, she volunteers with A Few Good Men and Crossroads Farm.