Nitika Sethi – Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM)

GRAAM workers in the field

Preparing the District Human Development Report
Source: Graam.org.in

Ms. Nitika Sethi is a dual-degree student studying International Relations and Public Administration.

I spent 11 weeks in Mysore, India working for the Grassroots Research and Advocacy Movement (GRAAM). GRAAM is a policy initiative of the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) nonprofit organization. The GRAAM team works to develop research and advocacy agendas to influence all levels of policy in response to the widespread grassroots efforts of SVYM in public health, education, governance, and rural development. Continue reading

Advice for Job Market Shoppers

Mass Market Paperback Not Included

Something to bide your time. Source: Wikipedia.org

Regardless of whether you are a public administration or an international relations student, you will be on the job market before you think.

During your time here at Maxwell, we hope that you will also develop the professional skills necessary to succeed in the job search.

Thus, we wanted to share the following article about Going on the Job Market? by Professor Amanda Murdie of Kansas State University. Even though it is written for a doctoral audience, Professor Murdie gives some advice that is applicable for all graduate students and job seekers. 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

Darci Pauser – Boren Fellowship and Critical Language Scholarships for Turkey

Turkish Street Scenes by Darci Pauser

Turkish Street Scenes.
Credit: Darci Pauser

This interview with Boren Fellow and CLS Scholar Darci Pauser (MPA/IR) is republished from the Fall 2013 Middle East Studies Program Newsletter.  Thank you to the MESP program for the republication permission.

Why are you interested in Turkey?

My interest in Turkey is actually somewhat of a coincidence. When I was 17 years old, I was attending community college and studying anthropology, and was working as a babysitter. One woman I worked for asked me to accompany the family on a three-week trip to Turkey to visit relatives. It was the first country I had been to outside the U.S. and I was completely enamored. And as a student of anthropology, I took great interest in the Turkish language and culture. When I transferred to the University of California at Berkeley the next year, I began my study of the Turkish language. Continue reading

Op-Ed: US Policy in Egypt Inconsistent and Counterproductive

Al Nakhlah Header

Al Nakhlah is the Fletcher School’s Online Journal on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization
Source: fletcher.tufts.edu

On November 24, 2013, Maxwell students Seth Binder (MAIR ’13) and Amrou Kotb (MPA/IR ’14) published an opinion piece titled “US Policy in Egypt Inconsistent and Counterproductive” in Al Nakhlah, The Fletcher School’s online journal of Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization. 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.

Continue reading

Greg Flatow – Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability

During the fall semester of 2013, I participated in an internship program with the Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability (TAMSS). I completed this internship while taking intensive Arabic courses at the University of Tunis Carthage.

University of Tunis - Carthage

University of Tunis – Carthage
Photo: Greg Flatow

My internship provided me with a forum to practice my newly acquired language skills, while simultaneously affording me the opportunity to gain professional work experience with an international organization. Due to my experiences at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, which provided me with the necessary skillset to engage in an internship organization, I was able to actively participate in my internship program and enhance the productivity of my organization.

My activities at TAMSS varied significantly throughout the semester, and I have been utilized on an as-needed basis by the different offices in the organization. My first project entailed constructing information packets for Tunisians in the informal economy. Many Tunisians are not cognizant of the robust labor code in Tunisia and the governmental programs established to help informal workers enter formal employment. My objective was to summarize the benefits of formal employment in a concise document that could later be translated into Arabic.

I also worked on the Women in Democracy project, which focuses on augmenting Tunisians’ knowledge on democratic practices and preparing Tunisians for the upcoming elections. Local volunteers collected surveys on the population’s knowledge and interest in democratic affairs, and I worked with TAMSS employees to compile the data.

Additionally, I assisted a colleague with a research project on female entrepreneurship. Her intent is to analyze trends in the post-Arab Spring era, including the rise of Islamism and a more democratic government, in order to assess the impact that these changes have on female entrepreneurs. She is an American professor without a background in Arabic, and I assisted her in translating Arabic surveys and entering data into Excel spreadsheets.

My studies at the Maxwell School have pertained to security and foreign affairs, and it is my desire to acquire a governmental position that relates to these concentrations. I believe that many governmental agencies actively seek individuals who have previously engaged in international work and language studies. Through my work at TAMSS, I worked on various projects in the organization (some of which are funded by the US State Department), gained potential references for future job applications, and proved my ability to work in a foreign environment. It is my hope that this experience will provide a bridge to a desirable job in the future.

Matt Podolak – Converse Trading Company, Singapore

Just a pair of Chuck's

Converse’s most famous product
Source: Wikipedia

In the summer of 2013 I was hired by the Converse Trading Company to work in their finance section as an intern. I was assigned was to develop a database that would organize, track, manage, and provide data for projections/analysis in regard to their retail business return operations. Continue reading