Major: Political Science, Minor: Psychology
At 13, Aslam immigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan, so studying U.S. government in her American high school was a new concept. “I didn’t understand American politics well. I didn’t grow up with it.” She was fascinated by it and other social studies classes and became politically active through the National Social Studies Honor Society, Rho Kappa. Taking a leap, she decided to major in political science at Purdue, letting go of her family’s lifelong expectation that she would major in pre-med and become a medical doctor.
Warisha Aslam has many professional interests related to political science and Purdue’s program provides the broad academic foundation that is ideal for someone eager to explore a variety of career paths. On some days she thinks about pursuing law, public policy or non-profit management; other days she dreams of seeking a judgeship or running for political office.
An internship last summer in Senator Dick Durbin’s Chicago office impressed upon Aslam the efforts that American politicians make to help their constituents. Working in constituency services, she was the first point-of-contact for people who needed help with personal, family or business problems, and she created up to a dozen case files each day for staff to address. “So many hands touch these problems. The Senator and his staff members genuinely care and put their heart and soul into helping these people. It teaches you the kind of person you want to be in public service.”
Whatever career path she chooses, Aslam knows she will pursue it with passion, vigor, and determination. She proudly identifies as a Pakistani immigrant, practicing Muslim, person of color, and a staunch feminist. She now adds American citizen to her identities. Reflecting on the limited opportunities her mom had growing up in Pakistan, she says, “There are no limits here. I love it so much.”