Cross-Sector Success in Business and Politics

Kogod MBA’22 alumna Samantha Denham is a press secretary for the US House of Representatives. Her Kogod experience and political exposure strengthen her across both sectors.

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Kogod School of Business MBA'22 alumna Samantha Denham


Kogod MBA’22 alumna Samantha Denham grew up just outside of Washington, DC. She says that politics are in her blood, which is true now more so than ever as she focuses on her current role as a press secretary for the US House of Representatives member from Texas’s 24th district, representative Beth Van Duyne’s office.

“As with any big life decision, there were countless variables that played into my decision to pursue an MBA at the Kogod School of Business,” says Denham. “The timing was right, so I went for it and became the first in my family to complete a graduate degree!”

Though Denham’s long-term goal is to work in international business and negotiation, her current position as a press secretary offers plenty of overlap and educational experiences that she can continue to build on outside the political sector.

I had transformational lessons over the past two years both in my career and through education. I could not have been successful with the combination of school and work without first learning efficiency, time and stress management, having confidence in my knowledge, and maintaining meaningful relationships with classmates and colleagues."

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Samantha Denham

Kogod MBA Alumna

One thing that a career in business and a career in politics have in common is that there is no such thing as a “normal” day in either field. “One of the first things any press secretary would say is you never know what is coming or from where, so you always have to be prepared and ready to adjust,” explains Denham. “My phone ringer is always on loud and crisis management is a critical skill.”

Denham’s usual roles include overseeing social media, coordinating media appearances, writing deliverables like speeches and talking points, and communicating on behalf of Congresswoman Van Duyne.

“Being a quick and precise writer and a well-versed public speaker was invaluable to my role as a press secretary and my responsibilities as a business student. There have been many occasions in both positions that I am asked to deliver immediately, either verbally or in written form, with little to no time to prepare,” says Denham.

She says ample practice opportunities are the only way to adjust to this fast-paced environment. “I had to learn not to be phased by it and to adjust logically at the moment,” explains Denham.

Denham and her congresswoman’s office have been in campaign mode for the past several weeks leading up to last week’s midterm elections.

“I’ve worked on dozens of campaigns, so the stress-filled environment we’re currently in is nothing new to me. No two campaigns will ever look the same, but I know to be ready for anything,” says Denham.

In Washington, DC, there is always a bit of a crossover between politics and other career fields. Kogod’s business students and alums will find themselves well-versed in the political and business sectors. The two go hand in hand when using business to create meaningful change in the world, and Denham is just one example.

An education in business can help advance individuals across all fields. Problem-solving and quick shifts while remaining true to your messaging and appealing to a larger audience are universal skills.