All posts by Isaac Olson

Hyeseul Hwang Does Cross Sectoral Work at IOM

Hyeseul Hwang wrote about her summer experience in Geneva last August. She has now graduated with an MAIR degree from the Maxwell School and a wealth of professional experience.

I arrived in Geneva at the end of the May to conduct my internship in International Organization for Migration (IOM) and to participate in the Geneva Summer Practicum. Since the start of my internship at IOM on June 1st, it is hard to believe that today is my last day of the internship! Time really flies.

During this summer, I have worked in the department of International Cooperation and Partnerships in IOM for two and a half months. I worked at supporting my supervisor, a migration policy officer. I was mainly in charge of supporting and following up with an interagency research project about a crisis related migration stocktaking exercise which targets eighteen agencies over thirty‑nine countries from all over the region. Also, I conducted my own research and wrote papers about the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD), Global Migration Group (GMG)), and UN HABITAT III.

The other interesting activities that I have done during my internship in IOM are participating in various events and sessions that are going on inside and outside of IOM. Day by day, there are many learning sessions and events within IOM regarding the current migration crisis, such as the Mediterranean and Syrian crises. Also, I have participated in many IOM intern events with professional talks from the field of emergency affairs, shelter assistance, and many other topics. In addition to that, participating in the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment was an amazing opportunity for me to actually see how many UN organizations and other humanitarian affairs agencies such as ICRC are working for humanitarian affairs in more collaborative ways.

In addition to my internship, the Geneva Summer Practicum course provided valuable opportunities for me to gain more understanding about work within other international actors in Geneva via guest speakers from UNHCR, Permanent Mission, Center for Human Dialogue and others. Dr. Werner Schleiffer’s profound knowledge about the UN system and class debates truly nurtured my knowledge and sense of working in the field of humanitarian affairs. Moreover, class field trips to Bern, Luzern, Zermatt, Basel, and Zurich gave me a greater understanding about living in Switzerland. I am very happy that I have spent my amazing summer in Geneva through my internship, course with the Dr. Schleiffer and awesome classmates.

Hyeseul Hwang in front of Lake Geneva

Hyeseul Hwang in front of Lake Geneva

Jane Chung, Working with East Asia Foreign Policy Community in Washington DC

Ms. Jane Yoona Chung is a dual MPA/MAIR student in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs. She will be completing her dual degree program in Summer 2016.

During Summer 2015, I completed my internship at the US Korean Institute (USKI) at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) as Johns Hopkins University. As a program and research intern for USKI, I was responsible for several tasks, one being attending events on behalf of the research institute. This gave me the opportunity to be exposed to and meet experts from the larger East Asia foreign policy community in Washington D.C. Examples of institutes included the The Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Korea Economic Institute (KEI), Sejong Society of Washington D.C., the Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Once or twice a week, I attended workshops and/or talks all over the D.C. area. One workshop that stood out to me was a simulation on post-reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Attendees were divided into groups comprised of experts, students, and visiting North Korean scholars. This workshop was an especially humbling experience as I was able to hear from the North Korean perspective on reunification first hand. Moreover, meeting the North Korean students was a fascinating encounter, one that I will never forget. Other talks and conferences I attended discussed the Russian role in East Asia, the tense relations between South Korea and Japan, and the North Korean nuclear program. Learning and hearing from experts, political officials, and academics was very rewarding as it refined and expanded my knowledge and curiosity in East Asian foreign policy.

In addition to the talks and conferences, USKI hosted its first student exchange program with Ajou University in South Korea. This exchange program brought 30 college students, from a variety of majors, to spend a month in Washington D.C. to learn about American politics, history, and culture. I was both a discussion leader that led class in the afternoon and a “guide” for afternoon site visits around Washington D.C. This gave me the opportunity to visit organizations all over the city and to attend a Washington Nationals baseball game for free!

As part of my internship, I was also responsible for conducting independent research on a current topic related to the Korean Peninsula. I presented my research to the Staff on the implications of a land bridge that would connect the Russian Far East and North Korea. With this project, I communicated with experts and had access to a plethora of resources from USKI and Johns Hopkins University (a perk of working with a university). To be able to complete this research project on top of the other responsibilities taught me how to juggle multiple responsibilities with finesse.

USKI Stock Photo

At the same time of my internship, I also took courses through the Maxwell-in-Washington program at CSIS. While it was a bit tiring to take courses in the evening right after a full day at my internship, I would still recommend taking a course. These courses are taught my experts in the field and are conducted as a seminar rather than a lecture.

Being in Washington D.C. was an eye-opening experience as it challenged me personally and professionally. During my internship and stay, I learned about the culture of think tanks, the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital, and the immense beauty of the nation’s history. Although I worked full-time, Washington D.C. makes it easy to still have a social life after hours and on weekends. Friday evenings were spent enjoying a glass of sangria at Jazz at the Garden or getting a nice warm bowl of duck noodles in Chinatown. Weekends were spent traveling throughout the city on the $1 DC Circulator, free museums, free movie screenings, or hiking through Rock Creek Park. Balancing between professional and personal aspects of my experience was a challenge, but all in all, I would describe my internship experience in Washington D.C. to be humbling and rewarding.

Jane Chung (far right) with colleagues at US Korean Institute

Jane Chung (far right) with colleagues at US Korean Institute

Learn more about the Maxwell-in-Washington program

From Geneva to Pretoria, Kara Coughlin Builds Experience at IOM

Kara Coughlin is a joint MPA/MAIR student who interned at the IOM in Geneva, Switzerland during her summer semester and in Pretoria, South Africa during her fall semester.

This summer I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to intern for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in their headquarters office in Geneva, Switzerland. I worked within the IOM Development Fund (IDF) on project development, monitoring, and evaluation. The goal of IDF is to provide “seed” money to governments in developing countries for projects that build capacity to better manage migration in the future. These projects focus on developing policy frameworks, training government officials, building infrastructure, raising awareness, and developing guidelines and manuals to better protect migrants and enhance governments’ ability to manage migration in a humane and orderly manner.

Working with the IDF team was an incredible learning experience for me. IDF projects cover a wide variety of migration thematic areas and are implemented in IOM country offices all over the world. As a result, I was able to learn about key migration issues in each region of the world and be in constant contact with IOM staff members from all different country offices. My role was to assist country offices in developing project proposals, as well as edit and review interim reports, final reports, and extension requests. Through these tasks I was able to gain a deeper understanding of how projects are monitored and evaluated, and the importance of designing projects with well thought out indicators.

In addition to reviewing reports, I conducted a review of completed IDF projects that focused on the prevention of human trafficking. The goal of this review was to evaluate methods used for project development and implementation to better inform IDF on how counter-trafficking related projects can be more sustainable. Sustainability is a key factor for IDF and refers to how well governments and relevant stakeholders maintain project outcomes once the IDF funding period is completed. To assess sustainability, I developed a survey that was sent to each country office that implemented one of the 18 counter-trafficking projects being reviewed. I analyzed the data from the surveys and wrote an in-depth report outlining the project characteristics that led to the greatest level of outcome sustainability, as well as the main challenges that these projects faced in maintaining outcomes. Through this project I was able to develop a better understanding of project evaluation and obtain valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of methods used to prevent human trafficking.

Interning at the IOM in Geneva gave me the opportunity to use the skills I learned from my courses at Maxwell and gain indispensible knowledge regarding the phases of project development. Through this experience, I was able to seek out another internship opportunity with IOM for the fall semester and am currently in Pretoria, South Africa interning at the IOM Regional Office for Southern Africa. I am very grateful for Global Programs Award for supporting me in these endeavors. These experiences have been pivotal to my educational goals and have given me the practical skills needed to be successful when entering the workforce.

Kara Coughlin stands in front of the Nelson Mandela statue in South Africa

Kara Coughlin stands in front of the Nelson Mandela statue in South Africa

Kara Coughlin above Lake Geneva

Kara Coughlin above Lake Geneva

Food Security & Policy Class in Rome

On Friday, December 11, Catherine Bertini’s class on food security wrapped up here in Syracuse. But, not before PAIA students traveled to Rome to visit key international organizations focusing on hunger, nutrition, and agriculture.  As the former director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Catherine Bertini was able to gain valuable access to the WFP, FAO, and IFAD in Rome and arrange for world renowned guest lecturers on food security such as Sir Gordon Conway.

Find two articles on the class’ activities published on the PAIA Insider blog and SU University News.

When in Rome…Learn How to Solve World Hunger!

Excerpt:

This past week Maxwell offered 24 of my classmates and me the unique opportunity to attend a class on Food Security in Rome. Our classroom was the heart of the UN operations to eradicate hunger: the World Food Program (WFP), the (FAO) and (IFAD) and leading our class was the woman that transformed humanitarian work on food security as we know it, Professor Catherine Bertini.

In what was truly a learning marathon, for three days we visited the headquarters of the WFP, arguably the most effective humanitarian organization in the UN system. We learned the ins-outs of their operations, hearing from experienced passionate practitioners that frankly conveyed the challenges and opportunities of a career in humanitarian aid and international management, intertwined with stories from their years of experience in the field in difficult places like Sudan, North Korea and the Democratic Republic of Congo.[. . .]

Read entire article>>

Maxwell Students Travel to Rome for Unique Food Security Class

Excerpt:

The course allowed students to meet and learn from experts at the World Food Program (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on topics ranging from the logistics of food aid distribution to the role of gender and climate change in the forming of policies. Speakers such as Stefano Porretti, director of emergency preparedness and support response for the WFP; Adolfo Brizzi, director of IFAD’s Policy and Technical Advisory Division; and Anna Lartey, director of FAO’s Nutrition Division, were just a few of the experts who shared their experiences tackling food security in an ever-changing global context.[. . .]

Read entire article>>

Catherine Bertini and Food Security and Policy class at WFP in Rome

Catherine Bertini and Food Security and Policy class at WFP in Rome

Students Work with Nepalese Communities in Earthquake Recovery

In case you missed it, Syracuse University News ran an article in early November featuring one of our PAIA students, Rachel Penner, who worked in disaster relief over the summer in Nepal. Rachel is a dual degree MAIR/Atlantis* student.

Read the original article>>

Excerpt:

Working with Aythos

Kam and Rachel Penner, a graduate student in the international relations program in the Maxwell School, both connected with the U.S.-based organization Aythos. The NGO was co-founded by Maxwell School alumnus Beau Miller G’10, who is Aythos’ president and executive director, and has worked in Nepal for six years.

Penner, who is interested in disaster response and development, was also drawn to the work Aythos was doing.

“Since Aythos was focused on development through their agricultural work before the earthquake, I knew that they would have a unique perspective on how to respond to a crisis with an eye toward long-term efforts,” Penner says.

Nepal-relief.Rachel.Penner.2final

Rachel Penner displays a water distribution tank that allowed the biosand-filtered water to be distributed to different housing clusters in a Nepalese village. Penner designed the tank to ensure the structural integrity of the main, 2,000-liter storage tank.

Nepal-relief.Rachel.Penner.final

Rachel Penner, fourth from right, stands with other volunteers near a mission transport plane.

Read the original article>>

*The Atlantis Transatlantic Degree Program allows students to study at U.S. and European institutions while earning a MAIR or MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a MPP from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.

Emily Fredenberg Assists UNDP with Health & Development

The following entry was drafted by Emily Fredenberg, a dual-degree MPA & MAIR student.

Emily Fredenberg – UNDP Health and Development Unit

This summer, I had the opportunity to intern with the United Nations Development Programme, within their Health and Development Unit in Geneva, Switzerland. As an intern, my work was divided between the unit’s focal point on non-communicable diseases, tobacco control, and the social and economic detriments of health, and a team specialist on UNDP’s partnership with the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

Much of the work UNDP performs in-country specializes in government capacity building. At the headquarters level, the unit’s partnership team with the Global Fund serves an advisory function in that it provides technical support to UNDP country teams executing Global Fund grants. At country level, UNDP is selected as a principal grant recipient by the Global Fund in instances when a country does not have the capability to implement the grant themselves. As principal grant recipient, UNDP works simultaneously to implement a grant, as well as to build a country’s capacity to carry out Global Fund grants themselves. Currently, UNDP is principal recipient to Global Fund grants in 26 countries.

The UNDP Health and Development Unit in Geneva also specializes in non-communicable disease (NCD) policy. Much of this policy involves joint-programming initiatives with a number of other UN agencies and programmes, most prominently, the World Health Organization (WHO). UNDP and WHO are currently pursuing a joint NCD Governance Programme initiative. This programme is designed to enhance government capacity across government sectors by looking at NCDs more broadly, not only within the health sector. Such sectors include ministries of education, finance, agriculture, trade, and tourism with the ultimate goal of various ministries within a government working collaboratively to address the growing problem of NCDs. The Geneva team also works closely with the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in assisting countries to successfully implement and execute the framework.

Throughout the summer, my work was quite varied within the unit. I had the opportunity to attend the World Health Assembly, as well as several other thematic units at various UN agencies pertaining to health in development. I conducted targeted research with NCDs in capital infrastructure projects, examining ways large capital projects can affect the incidence of NCDs as well as solutions to mitigating the side-effects of such projects. I played an integral role in planning a South-South Triangular seminar with the FCTC, where countries in need of technical assistance implementing the FCTC framework could receive expertise from other countries willing and able to provide such. Additionally, two evenings a week I attended a class, as part of Maxwell’s Geneva Summer Practicum. During class, we often had presentations from various guest speakers of UN agencies, government missions, as well as NGOs.

My internship with UNDP certainly allowed me to get a fuller understanding of the intricacies of the UN system, and to develop my research, writing, and strategic planning skills. All in all, I had an amazing summer with the United Nations in Geneva. Geneva truly is a great city to spend the summer in, and I’m quite grateful for the experience I was able to have there.

Emily Fredenberg (left) and fellow intern at the World Health Organization in Geneva

Emily Fredenberg (left) and fellow intern at the World Health Organization in Geneva

Networking Tools

The best place to end this series is on the most important method for job hunting. Networking will typically yield far more results than endlessly filling out online applications. Of course, you need to actually apply for a job to have a chance of getting it, but keep in mind that around 50% of job openings are never advertised. This can be especially true for internships where the hassle of sorting through hundreds of applications is often deemed unnecessary when a person can simply find a candidate through their alumni or other professional networks.

LinkedIn
This is way too obvious. But, join internationally themed groups to find the right people. Then, actually contact those people and try to get them on the phone or face‑to‑face. I found Endless Job Offers to be a pretty helpful site to learn about cold calling people.

The Maxwell School of Syracuse University group and its sub‑groups has consistent job postings coming from alumni.

Maxwell School of Syracuse University sub‑groups

  • Maxwell School DC Network
  • NYC Area Maxwell School Network
  • Policy Studies Alumni Network
  • MAXCNY Central New York Network
  • Greater Boston Area Maxwell Network
  • Northern California Maxwell Network
  • Maxwell School Africa Network
  • Maxwell School India Network
  • Albany Area Maxwell Network
  • Maxwell School China Network
  • Southern California Maxwell Network
  • Chicago Area Maxwell Network
  • Maxwell School Texas Network
  • Maxwell School Japanese Network
  • Peruvian Maxwell Network
  • Philadelphia Area Maxwell Network
  • Maxwell School Korean Alumni Network
  • Thailand Maxwell School Network
  • Phoenix Area Maxwell Network
  • Maxwell SU in Minnesota

Internations
The premier community for current and former expats. This is a generally professional and mature network focused on activities and increasingly services for people working abroad. My wife and I have used it to do some great networking. While there is not yet a chapter in Syracuse, it’s still helpful to have access to the contacts within this network.

LinkTank
Great way to connect with people through events in Washington, DC.

Cuse Community
Networking site for all graduates of SU. A great place to connect with alum from nearly any profession.

Meetup
Great for face‑to‑face networking. Look for international or industry focused groups or just start one yourself and watch people flock your way.

Facebook
No, really. Evidence shows that more people get jobs through Facebook than LinkedIn. This is probably because your FB friends and family actually know you and are the people most willing to help you. Your mother’s friend from high school might actually be doing something that interests you or this person can give you the name of another more relevant connection. One never knows where networking might begin, but your friends, family, and social acquaintances will be willing to lend you a hand. Despite this, given how FB tends to distract you from job searching and all kinds of other important things in life, it might not always be the best use of your time.

If you’re nervous about networking, this video might help.

Featured image by Marc Smith, www.connectedaction.net. SU Maxwell School does not endorse any views of the creator. Image available on Flickr.

Miscellaneous Resources for International Work

There are of course hundreds of sites focusing on international work, especially industry specific ones, which is why this post will simply cover some of the more useful ones.

Research & Policy

Global Think Tank Index
A list of every known policy institute in the world provided by the University of Pennsylvania.

Higher Ed Jobs
The go to source for positions in higher education.

Regions

EuroBrussels
Jobs in Europe and the EU especially. Focuses more on technical, economic, and political positions for EU citizens.

Latpro
Speakers of Spanish or Portuguese will find job postings and advice for finding work using these languages.

Monster.com
Users can search for jobs in a specific country.

Random

MCCD Sample Group of Employers
Maxwell’s Center for Career Development has a list or prominent organizations categorized into IGOs, U.S. Gov, Development Consulting, NGOs, and Foundations and Policy Institutes. They also refer you to a number of international resources that I didn’t necessary mention in this series of posts.

U.S. Dep. of State International Job Resources
This page lists a number of sites that I have not covered in this series of posts.

University of Michigan Directory
Continuing down the rabbit hole, here is a list of lists including NGOs, think tanks, and development orgs.

Higher Ed Jobs – International Programs & Services
A whole category dedicated to international affairs.

USAJobs
Yes, the infamous site. Allow up to six months to hear back on a position.

Cost of Living

Numbeo
Crowdsourced cost of living data comparing cities.

The 10 Least Expensive Expat Cities: Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2015
For complete information, check out the Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2015

Expatistan
Also check out these informative infographics.

Job Advice

Be the Change
Tactics and career counseling focusing specifically on global development.

The Muse
General tips aimed mostly at American young professionals, but with a great deal of universal applicability.

Transitions Abroad
A bit of a hippy vibe on this page, but it still has some quality advice on working overseas.

GPC Listserves

Featured image by byronv2. Image cannot be used for commercial purposes and SU Maxwell School has no relationship nor endorses any views of the creator. Image available on Flickr.

Development, Humanitarian, & Non‑Profit Job Sites & Tools

A staggering number of sites exist which advertise job openings and advise on breaking into and becoming successful within the international development and humanitarian aid sector. Below are some of the most well run and widely used sites.

Best Sites & Tools

ReliefWeb
Run by UN OCHA with various partnerships. Definitely the go to source for humanitarian positions. The sites RSS feeds are especially handy.

DevEx
Privately run organization with more buy in from the private development sector than many sites. It’s a good source to find who is working on USAID projects for example.

Idealist
More focused on an American audience and almost exclusively on the non-profit sector, but with a huge number of international jobs. Be wary of scams, but still the go to source in the USA. Idealist also has a decent e-mail feed system.

International Organization Careers
Run by the U.S. Department of State, this is an excellent service with job postings and quality e-mail updates for jobs within international organizations.

Youth Opportunities
Internships, fellowships, conferences, and scholarships all suitable for internationally minded young professionals and students.

UN & USAID

UNjobs
The name says it all. Not part of the UN, but a superior job search tool in some ways.

Inspira
The UN’s official job site. For organization’s which work closely with the UN but are not UN agencies (ex. IOM), refer to the individual organization’s website.

Contract Types and Job Grades in the UN System
An article that breaks down the UN lingo for you.

PVO Registration
Register of USAID NGO partners. Basically, just a list of reliable orgs.

MCCD Career Field Guides

Other Humanitarian & Development sites/tools

PCDN’s World’s Top Meta List of Job Sites/Resources in Social Change, Social Impact, Development, Peacebuilding and Related Fields
Here you can find all the sites that I’ve missed in this series of posts, especially industry specific ones.

WANGO Worldwide NGO Directory
The name says it all.

Directory of Development Organizations
Hasn’t been updated since 2011, but still an excellent source to know who’s out there.

Eldis
Info source for development with a jobs page.

US Dep. of State IO List
List of international organizations by the US DOS.

Indev Jobs

Jobs 4 Development

DevNetJobs

Third Sector Jobs
UK based charity job board.

Featured image by Official U.S. Navy Page. SU Maxwell School does not endorse any views of the creator. Image available on Flickr.

Peace, Security, & Conflict Job Sites & Tools

While organizations focusing on peace and conflict resolution are generally quite transparent, it can seem unclear on how to go about working in security and intelligence. For students interested in the latter, definitely utilize SU’s Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism (INSCT), and refer to the sites below for job postings and information on security clearances.

Intelligence.gov
Job listings for all major U.S. government agencies working in intelligence. Not a very comprehensive site, but a great place to start your search.

Clearance Jobs
Information and job listing for positions requiring security clearance.

International Organization Careers
Run by the U.S. Department of State, this is an excellent service with job postings and quality e-mail updates for jobs within international organizations including NATO.

International Stability Operations Association
Professional trade organization for public and private entities working in the security sector.

Peace & Collaborative Development Network
A site for the peaceniks and conflict resolvers out there. Includes a jobs page and many other resources for the community of practice.

USAJobs
The go to source for federal jobs. Not everyone’s favorite site and only relevant for American citizens. Allow up to six months to hear back on a position and longer for security clearances. Cater your resume to match key words in the job advertisement. Many government agencies that work with intelligence have their own systems and do not use USAJobs, but this is not true of all agencies.

MCCD Career Field Guides

Featured image by Israel Defense Forces. Image cannot be used for commercial purposes and SU Maxwell School has no relationship nor endorses any views of the creator. Image available on Flickr.