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portrait of Brian Privett

Geoffrey Ogden

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at United States Attorney's Office

Political Science and History

Graduated in 2011

Explain your career path

After graduating from SEMO, I commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. I attended SLU law, and then proceeded on to active duty. While on active duty, I spent the majority of my time as a criminal defense attorney. Once I leave the Marine Corps this year, I will transition to the Marine Corps reserves, and will begin civilian employment with the Department of Justice.

What was your major at Southeast and what led you to that?

I studied political science and history. History is something that I have always been passionate about, and I chose it because I intended to either teach or go to graduate school.

Why did you choose to attend Southeast?

I chose SEMO because of its affordability, size, and quality of education.

Who influenced you most during your time at Southeast?

Professor Joel Rhodes in the history department. His lectures were always captivating, and he had a way of making history come alive. He could tell a story better than anyone, and it's a skill that I have tried to develop and perfect as a trial lawyer.

Share your best college memory.

Unfortunately, that memory is with Sigma Tau Gamma and is secret.

What is the most important thing you learned while you were at Southeast?

Sleep more than you study, study more than you party, party as much as you can.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Being hired by the department of justice.

How did your education at Southeast prepare you for what you are doing today?

The College of Liberal arts helped me develop my reading and writing abilities. I still had a lot to learn through law school, but having the baseline knowledge they provided paid huge dividends and set me on a path to success that I am still on today.

What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?

Develop a sociopathic work ethic, and make connections early and often in a place that you think you might want to work one day.

What do you wish you had known before graduating and entering the "real world"?

While you still remain close with friends, it will never be the same as having them live right down the hallway or street.


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