Henry Algert ’19 wants to make an impact in the world. He’s poised to do that when he joins Facebook’s Risk and Response Team after graduation, where he’ll be looking at all the biggest issues on the platform, like Russian election interference, fake news and hate speech.
“I think these are really important questions that society is dealing with right now,” he says, “and I could have a real impact.”
A Presidential and Dornsife Scholar, Algert says, “I just want to pursue opportunities where I can continue to learn.” Since he first stepped onto campus, Algert has sought to maximize everything USC has to offer. This hunger for learning is what pushed Algert to declare a second major in International Relations during his sophomore year.
The opportunity to simultaneously study business and international relations sparked his interest to pursue a career that includes both. He knows he’ll do that at Facebook, where the chance to tackle global challenges excited him. One day he hopes to work for an organization such as the State Department or World Bank where he can help shape policy.
For Algert, a highlight of his Marshall education was the freshman Global Leadership Program (GLP). The year-long seminar culminated in a trip to Shanghai and Beijing, where students visited some of the largest companies operating in China.
“It really opened my eyes to how interconnected the world is now, but also how differently business is conducted internationally,” he says. “It was also a great chance to meet other interesting and driven students.” Many of them are still his friends today.
His advice for incoming freshmen? “College is not a time to be comfortable; it’s a time to step outside your comfort zone.” During his time at USC, Algert put those words into practice.
He studied abroad in the Netherlands, conducted research for a professor and took an internship with the USC Investment Office. “That was one of the best educational experiences I had during college,” he says. He also served as a mentor to elementary school students with a financial literacy-focused organization, Lemonade Day, and to high school students through Dornsife’s Teaching International Relations Program.
During his four years, he learned to get comfortable reaching out to people, building relationships and asking for help. “At USC there are hundreds of people out there—students, alumni, teachers—who want to offer you their time and energy, and it’s up to you to take advantage of those resources,” he says. “They’ve offered to help me in a dozen different ways, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”