Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Poole
Taylor Poole is a two-time graduate of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. She received her B.S. in International Affairs and Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies in 2020, and then graduated again with an M.S. in International Security in 2021.
She told us about her career in nuclear security, as well as her life post-graduation.
What are you up to post-graduation? What led you there?
I am living in Washington, D.C. and completing a fellowship program at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Through the program, I work as a data analyst at NA-84, or the Office of Nuclear Incident Response. My work helps the U.S. government prepare for and manage international and domestic nuclear emergencies.
I was always interested in policy and working for the government, but nonproliferation research with Adam Stulberg solidified my interest in nuclear security issues. An alum of Georgia Tech who also researched with Stulberg put the NNSA fellowship program on my radar — I applied, and the rest is history.
What’s your favorite part of your current role?
I enjoy how much I am learning about the way the U.S. government operates behind-the-scenes; in particular, when it comes to crisis management. Policymaking in the crisis response space oftentimes requires coordination between multiple, competing federal agencies, if not the governments of multiple countries.
How do you think your Georgia Tech international affairs education prepared you to succeed?
My Georgia Tech international affairs education gave me the technical literacy to succeed. My office hired me with a specific data-based project in mind, and the combination of technological and soft skills on my resume helped it stand out.
What’s something that surprised you about post-graduation life?
Georgia Tech alumni are everywhere! I have terrible aim, but I could throw a rock in any random direction around D.C. and hit a Georgia Tech alum.
What’s something you miss about Georgia Tech?
I miss my friends and the nerdy discussions we used to have about policy or comic books.
What’s one piece of advice that you have for students who are graduating this semester?
Landing that dream job takes time and effort. There are multiple ways to reach your goal, so don’t stress if you don’t get it quite right the first time. It is best to think of your career as a tree with many branches and possible paths rather than a rigid ladder.
Can students interested in pursuing a similar field reach out to you?
Yes! Please send me a message on LinkedIn.