Nicholas Giaquinto was undecided about his course of study when he enrolled at Suffolk University, but a professor’s encouragement led him to government--as a major, internship, and now a successful career.

During Giaquinto’s first-semester at Suffolk, English Professor Eileen Feldman assigned an in-class essay on a political subject, and Giaquinto chose to address immigration.

“My professor was so impressed by what I wrote, she assumed I was interested in politics, which I wasn’t,” he said. “She then arranged for me to join her on a tour of the State House.”

It was Giaquinto’s first time under the Golden Dome, and he didn’t really know what to expect inside the University’s well-known neighbor. “I wore a shirt and tie because I didn’t own a suit back then,” he said.

Internship offered on the spot

Once inside, the Marshfield native was introduced to his state representative, and with a positive verbal recommendation from Feldman, he was offered an internship on the spot.

“That’s kind of how all it all got started,” he said. “I was very fortunate to have met a professor who influenced me to get involved with politics. If it weren’t for her and this unique Suffolk experience, I’m not sure I would have discovered my passion and be where I am today.”

Giaquinto, BS ’10, is deputy chief of staff to Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, as well as a 2017 “10 Under 10” recipient, an honor presented to Suffolk young alumni making a difference in their careers, communities, and to the University.

Giaquinto spent nearly all four years of his Suffolk student years working as a State House intern. Shortly after he began, he changed the status of his major from undecided to government.

“I loved the whole environment of working at the State House,” he said. “Once I was drawn in, I became excited about all of the political issues and the legislative process. The more I learned, the more excited I got.”

Giaquinto believes that his internship, coupled with the American Politics and Government track he followed in the classroom, gave him “the skill set I needed” for success after college.

Career track

After graduating from Suffolk Giaquinto worked in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for more than three years before joining Carpenter’s administration, where he manages a staff working on communication, government affairs, community relations, constituent services, and the mayor’s day-to-day schedule.

“It’s a busy, fast-paced job, but that’s what I like about it,” he said.

Giaquinto is grateful to have found a career path offering opportunities to grow and excel.

“I consider myself very fortunate for everything that Suffolk has done for me,” he said.

Advice to would-be politicos

Giaquinto’s advice to college students looking to enter the political arena: Get involved early, just like he did.

“Work as an intern, volunteer, do whatever it takes to make yourself known,” he said. “Approach people, develop relationships, and ask a lot of questions.

“No matter how much time you spend, it’s all about the experience you gain. In the end, it will all pay off. I’m a direct result of that.”