2000 - Pat Sheehy
PATRICK SHEEHY ’93 earned his bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Political Science from UW Oshkosh.
Two weeks before graduation, he realized he wanted to work on Capitol Hill.
“I wanted to find out how Congress worked and what made it tick,” Sheehy explained. So, 10 days after graduation, he packed his belongings and drove East to our nation's capital.
Two jobs and several promotions later, Sheehy has come a long way i his quest to understand what drives the gears of government. He uses that knowledge to his dvantage as manager of state legislative affairs at the National Restaurant Association.
He first worked with Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, as a case-worker before he was promoted to legislative correspondent and then to legislative assistant. He helped constituencies interact with the federal government, dealing with everything from servicemen requesting early discharges to people having problems with Social Security checks. He answered mail on legislative issues and kept Petri informed of the status of bills.
"It was the best education I ever had," says Sheehy. "I had to interact with federal agencies, interest groups and congressional staff on a variety of issues," he adds, "and I was able to see how members of Congress interacted when the general public wasn’t there and the cameras and microphones were off."
In March 1997 Sheehy accepted a staff writer/photographer position with the National Restaurant Association. He was promoted to manager of state legislative affairs in early 1999. His responsibilities now include analyzing, tracking and managing legislative issues that involve the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Tracking developments in so many places, says Sheehy, requires an "attention to detail and an appreciation of quality that I really got from my time at UW Oshkosh, particularly from my involvement in Model UN." In his role as a state legislative liason to both corporate association members and affiliated state restaurant associations, Sheehy also says he often uses the diplomacy skills he first developed in UW Oshkosh's award-winning Model UN team.
While a student, Sheehy held several officer positions within the Model UN team, including a term as president from 1991-92. At graduation, he was also named one of two Juris Veidemanis Outstanding Seniors in International Studies, his primary major. He also completed a major in Political Science.
For the future, Sheehy hopes to take his job "to the next level" while juggling the demands of being a student and a new father. He is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA., and enjoying time with his wife Missy and 1-year old son Ryan Xavier.
In April 2003, Pat Sheehy became the Manager of Government Relations for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. In this capacity, he oversees all intearction with all levels of government, particularly state and local governments, and also maintains the exchange of information between the Store chain and state and local government units.
In 2004, he was promoted to Director of Government Relations for Cracker Barrel.
If you would like to learn more about the International Studies Program, please contact David Cottingham.