Illustration of a US Capitol Building

Serving our nation's capital

For Zach Samson, ’14, the dedicated professors and meaningful relationships he found at Loyola prepared him for a successful career with the United States Capitol Police
Zach Samson portrait photo

When Zach Samson earned his bachelor’s degree in Global Studies with a minor in political science in 2014, he knew he wanted a career in federal law enforcement. An internship with the United States Marshals Service in Washington, D.C., during his junior year gave him the opportunity to work in the Prison Operations division—an experience which inspired his calling.

After graduating from Loyola, Samson worked as a deckhand on a car ferry in Portland, Maine, and earned his 100-ton captain’s license, all while applying for law enforcement jobs in the nation’s capital. After months of waiting and the extensive application process, he was offered a position to serve as a police officer with the U.S. Capitol Police.

My time at Loyola taught me to appreciate everything and not take anything for granted.

It’s been nearly five years since Samson packed his bags and moved to Washington, D.C., to follow his dreams. As a special agent, Samson helps ensure the safety of congressional leadership. He currently provides security detail for President Pro Tempore Senator Charles Grassley, and previously for former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

“My favorite thing about my current role is nothing is ever the same. All aspects of my job are always changing,” said Samson.

I was also able to take away valuable insight from all my teachers that helped shape me into who I am today.

While Samson attended Loyola, he was on the International Student Orientation Committee, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, played club volleyball, and studied abroad in Newcastle, England.

Samson believes the lifelong relationships he created at Loyola prepared him for his profession and made him strive to be the best version of himself.

“My favorite aspect of my experience at Loyola would have to be the friendships formed while I was at the University and while studying abroad,” he said. “I was also able to take away valuable insight from all my teachers that helped shape me into who I am today.”

Fabio Mendez, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, and Kevin Hula, Ph.D., professor of political science were two of Samson’s mentors at Loyola who helped prepare him for the real world. Mendez was Samson’s senior seminar professor and Hula taught his Strategic Intelligence and American Democracy class.

“Both teachers taught me to think outside of the box,” said Samson. “Even when something is holding you back or you have a problem you can’t work out, they taught me how to keep pushing, work through it, and everything will be all right in the end.”

Samson’s advice to current and future Loyola students is to get involved and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

The Loyola community has so much to offer. You need to take advantage of it.