University at Albany

Q & A with Dr. Peter W. Brusoe, MA '04, BA '03

If you had to condense your job description into an elevator pitch, how would it read?

Peter: At Bloomberg Government we take activities and actions around government and translate it into actionable intelligence for our clients. This includes legislative information, government contracting opportunities, and campaign finance and lobbying activities. Campaign finance and lobbying is where I come into play. I work with a dynamic team of people to take campaign finance filings and lobbying data and present it to our clients for functions and reports. These functions and reports allow our clients to make better decisions about PAC donations and lobbying strategies.

What about your job inspires/excites you every day?

Peter: Bloomberg is an exciting place to work and there are many things that inspire me every day. I have amazingly collaborative, smart and friendly colleagues who make coming to work every day a joy. I also know that my work has an impact on the world around me. As a student I would write papers that I was personally interested in, but may not have a tangible benefit to the outside world. The work I do has a direct benefit for our clients in how they approach public policy and understand developments on Capitol Hill. I also learn something every day. Mrs. Blance, my kindergarten teacher, always admonished us to never stop learning. At work I learn something new about a lobbying strategy being deployed by a company, or able to track down some campaign contributions that are being given to a key member by people attempting to influence committee action. Other times it may be something on the legislative side, or the regulatory side. Lastly, the energy is contagious here. You walk into our offices and you can't help feel the spark of excitement and energy that the company radiates.

How did Rockefeller College prepare you for your career?

Peter: Rockefeller College did a number of things to prepare me for my career. Rockefeller's Washington Semester program is probably the best kept secret in all of New York State public education.  I was able to work for an agency helping to address the housing situation in this country while learning from a senior faculty member who made Washington, D.C. our classroom.  If it wasn't for that program I would not be in Washington today. I also gained extensive topical knowledge. My first solid introduction to campaign finance came when Dr. Malbin talked to Dr. Hildreth's class about campaign finance in 2002. It was exciting to be able to hear from one of the top experts in campaign finance just as McCain-Feingold was becoming law.  So much of what I learned from Dr. Malbin and Dr. Hildreth I use in my day-to-day career.

I also developed the ability to ask good questions to find my own answers. On a recent trip home I had to go through some storage boxes sitting in my parents' attic.  I came across a paper I wrote for Dr. Schoolman when I was a freshman. It was bad.  But, I was able to look at the paper I wrote for Dr. Malbin in grad school and it was amazing to see the difference in my approach to the problem. Lastly, I had amazing classmates while at Rockefeller. When I was choosing schools, one of my mentors, Mrs. Yurkewecz advised that the students in the class are just as important as the professor. Was she ever right! I learned so much from my fellow students, from debating politics with Jason Shelly, Jon Hojnacki and Greg Monte, to studying for exams with Allen Linken, and Claudia Haupt, to discussing the nature of scientific revolutions with Dan Pragel.

What is one piece of advice you would share with a current Rockefeller student?

Peter: Learn to love statistics and take as many methods classes as possible. Methods is the currency of the discipline and the more sophisticated and nuanced your methods, the better you will be at answering the complicated questions.

When you're not on the job, where can you be found?

Peter: At one of the many museums in D.C.