Category Archives: Search Tips

Tips on how to prepare for the job search

Acronym Salad: Part I – USAID

USAID Small Logo

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the U.S. Government’s primary agency for international development and humanitarian assistance.  Given the breadth of its programming, the agency and its workers will often use short-hand notation to describe the offices in which they work and the programs that are carried out within.

In this edition of acronym salad, we will discuss two primary acronyms of use to potential development workers, IQC (Indefinite Quantity Contracts) and PVO (Private Voluntary Organizations)

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What Language Should I Study?

“To prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries, Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages.”  U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, 8 December 2010.

While learning a second language is linked with a number of different benefits, including slowing brain aging, improving multitasking abilities, and the acquisition of another language, this somewhat elides the question of which language should one study for a career in public administration or international relations? Continue reading

How to Make Your DoS Internship Stand Out!

On Friday, we spoke about State Department Internships, what they are and how they can benefit graduate students.  Now, since the Department’s internship application opens today, I thought it would be good to talk about how to make your application stand out and secure the internship placement that fits your strengths. Continue reading

Unique Job Search Concerns of Graduate Students

Something coincidental about a Jerseyian writing about a Jersey Barrier

A roadblock you will hopefully not have to face.
Source: Wikipedia

Several years ago, an alum forwarded PAIA staff an article written by Mr. Peter Vogt for Monster.com, discussing several search challenges faced by graduate students.  Given the hyper-competitive nature of today’s search environment, these issues are as relevant today as when the article was written.

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Becoming Policy-Relevant

The White House Situation Room

The White House Situation Room, hopefully a goal of all policy professionals.
Source: whitehouse.gov

All of you interested in working in international relations or public administration policy are looking to make sure that your research and insight is at the forefront of the field.  Thus, it makes sense to take some time to read “So You Want to Be Policy-Relevant” by Professor Joshua Busby, Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Continue reading

Ways to Handle a Professional Transition

Mind the Gap

Good Preparation for a Career Transition Source: Wikipedia.org

Throughout your post-Maxwell School career in international relations or public administration you will likely have several different jobs. A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics study estimated that late-period Baby Boomers (1957-1964) will hold 11.3 jobs in their lifetime. Some Millennials are expected to hold 15-20 jobs during a career. (Personally, I’m on 6, depending on how you count different positions within the same company). Continue reading

The Art of Informational Interviewing

It's not always this complex

A Social Network
Source: Wikipedia

Students are often intimidated by the idea of “networking” and feel that they should be able to compete successfully for a position based solely on their qualifications. While this is an honorable approach, it is especially necessary in today’s market to identify people in your field of expertise who you can use as contacts when looking for a professional position.  Continue reading

Getting Started in International Development

Remember that it is a marathon and not a sprint

Getting started in Development
Source: flickr.com

For those of you interested in working in the international development field, starting your search will involve more than just deciding on what the focus of your studies will be, but conceptualizing the development landscape to make sure that you are pointing your career search in the right direction.  Luckily, Michele Carter, an Association of Professional Schools in International Affairs (APSIA) aluma wrote an essay that can offer some additional tips to those of you interested in the field.

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