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Careers in International Affairs, Eighth Edition

Careers in International Affairs, Eighth Edition

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 432
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  • Book Info
    Careers in International Affairs, Eighth Edition
    Book Description:

    Careers in International Affairs, now in its eighth edition, is the ultimate job hunting guide for anyone hoping to work in the U.S. government, international organizations, business, or nonprofits. This thoroughly revised edition provides up-to-date descriptions and data about careers in the global workplace and how to find them-along with nearly 300 organization profiles. In addition to a remarkably broad and deep list of organizations and contacts, Careers in International Affairs offers insight and guidance from a career counselor, a graduate student, and practitioners in the international affairs community on networking, interviewing, finding a mentor, and choosing the best graduate school. The book also presents numerous firsthand perspectives on various career sectors from those who have found their own international niche-from young professionals to senior policymakers. It is designed to encourage international job seekers to think about what they know and what talents they have to offer, to widen their horizons and reveal all the possibilities, to help them realize that the future could hold several careers, and to remind them that it is never too early-or too late-to consider the variety of options that await them around the world. Careers in International Affairs is published in cooperation with Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, the oldest and largest school of international affairs in the United States.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-289-9
    Subjects: Political Science, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Part I: Strategies

    • 1 Introduction to the International Affairs Job Market
      (pp. 3-12)
      Maria Pinto Carland

      A phrase that has crept into our vocabulary is “My first job was. . . .” We no longer speak of a single career in a single organization, and no one expects us to do so. For example, one of our Georgetown alumni started in the private sector after graduation with a major bank, overseas. He returned home to join the staff of a senior U.S. senator. Then, several years later, he left to head up a nonprofit group. He now runs a small think tank / educational organization and is a member of the board of a well-known foundation....

    • 2 Interviewing
      (pp. 13-26)
      Maria Pinto Carland

      This chapter is designed to make you think about interviewing and its elements: about how to present yourself, who you are, what you want, why you are interviewing, and where you want to go. You must think about and know these things because, in an interview, you choose what to reveal, and you are the source of all information about yourself. So you need to have that information prepared and polished ahead of time.

      Just as in your favorite seminar, in the best interview you listen, you share what you know, you ask questions, you learn, and you strive to...

    • 3 Networking
      (pp. 27-37)
      Maria Pinto Carland

      At some point, we lift our heads, leave our books, and abandon the library in search of good conversation. This is because a great deal of our learning comes from questions and answers, talking and listening. The information we accumulate in this fashion is valuable, precisely because it is not in the books and papers on our desks. Because you are the one who elicited it, the information you collect is unique to you. But that is not all. Conversations that involve learning and teaching are a means to form relationships, and they create an image of ourselves in other...

    • 4 Finding and Working with a Mentor
      (pp. 38-41)
      Maria Pinto Carland

      We have all been involved in a mentoring relationship at one time in our lives—with family, friends, or colleagues. Mentoring can be part of a formal program, a situational connection, a friendship, or a casual relationship without any formal structure. In this instance, however, we are discussing a professional relationship. Although you may find that this chapter simply confirms what you already know, it also seeks to provide a framework for your ideas and future actions as you form and establish mentoring relationships.

      In ancient times, young men and women were sent to other families to learn, through observation...

    • 5 Choosing a Graduate School
      (pp. 42-50)
      Candace Faber

      “I am a student in the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown University.” These sixteen words, whether they have been spoken or written, have opened more doors in the past two years than any other sixteen words in my vocabulary. Attending graduate school is still one of the best ways to broaden your horizons, develop your professional network, and gain invaluable experience in a short period of time. As a graduate student I have had more opportunities than time to explore them. The decision to come to Georgetown was the most significant of my life so far...

  5. Part II: Types of Employers


      • Careers in the U.S. Government
        (pp. 53-102)
        Matthew McManus

        Government service should be irresistible. It offers a chance for personal and professional growth, and these days it is well paid. But most of all, it offers the opportunity to have an impact on your country and your fellow citizens. You can make a difference in government service. It remains as true in both your job search and your life that “timing is everything.” Given demographics, there has never been a better time to look for work in the federal government!

        As one makes the long-awaited transition from student to twenty-first century knowledge worker, many catchphrases come to mind. In...

      • Careers in the U.S. Foreign Service
        (pp. 103-120)
        Maura Harty

        I have been in the Foreign Service for twenty-five years. Short of being a multimillionaire, there is absolutely nothing I would rather have done with the last quarter century. The Foreign Service has presented me with great challenges, great joys, and tremendous personal satisfaction. I believe it also has transformed my life. It waits to transform yours as well.

        I want to tell you why the Foreign Service was and remains the right career choice for me, what you might expect from a career in today’s Foreign Service, and I hope why the Foreign Service can be the right career...

      • Reflections on Joining the Foreign Service
        (pp. 121-124)
        Yvonne Gonzales

        Growing up in a working-class neighborhood in Southern California, I never met anyone who had a career in international public service. In fact, I was the only person in my family who ever owned a passport! I had been teaching high school for four and a half years, and I decided to study abroad. During a semester in Mexico, my Internet research for graduate programs revealed frequent mention of the Foreign Service on university websites. I did meet a former Foreign Service officer, who said he left the State Department to seek a higher salary in the private sector. But...

      • Careers on Capitol Hill
        (pp. 125-130)
        Denis McDonough

        The constitution ensures that Capitol Hill can offer challenging career opportunities to those with expertise and background in foreign affairs and an interest in public service. Though the Constitution names the president as the commander-in-chief, it also ensures that Congress retains both the pursue strings on the nation’s treasury and an aggressive role on oversight of the president’s conduct of all policy, including foreign and defense policy. From the League of Nations to Vietnam to Central America, history has demonstrated that a successful U.S. foreign policy demands an informed, involved, and expert Congress.

        To fulfill this important constitutional duty, every...

      • Careers in Intelligence Analysis
        (pp. 131-151)
        Volko F. Ruhnke

        The public retrospectives over the past several years on the failure to warn of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the mistaken assessments of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction programs have put the tradecraft of the intelligence analyst under the microscope. The examiners of pre–September 11 analysis spoke of the importance of analysts “connecting the dots” and guarding against “failures of imagination” while the Iraq WMD postmortem seemed to warn against straining too hard to imagine connections between dots that do not really connect at all. So what have we learned that all can agree on? First,...

      • Introduction to the Presidential Management Fellows Program
        (pp. 152-154)
        Robert F. Danbeck

        For the past twenty-nine years, the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program has been attracting outstanding master’s, law, and doctoral students to the federal service. The PMF Program is your passport to a unique and rewarding career experience with the federal government. It provides you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge you acquired from graduate study. As a PMF, your assignments may involve domestic or international issues, technology, science, criminal justice, health, financial management, and many other fields in support of public service programs.

        On November 21, 2003, President George W. Bush signed Executive Order 13318, “modernizing” the Presidential Management...

      • A Presidential Management Fellow Looks Back
        (pp. 155-157)
        Beth Flores

        The question that most inspires fear in graduate students is, “So, what are you going to do after graduation?” Little did I know then that my answer would be: “Become a Defense Department bureaucrat!”

        Now, two years after graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, I am a bona fide civil servant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. I entered civil service through the two-year Presidential Management Fellowship, a fast-tracked leadership developmental program sponsored by over ninety federal agencies. My own experiences over the past two years reflect the breadth of exposure that the...


      • Careers in International Organizations
        (pp. 158-205)
        Jorge Chediek

        Very often my friends and relatives ask if I am satisfied with my decision to have a career with the United Nations. Throughout the past sixteen years, since joining the organization, I have always given a positive answer. After all, I am part of an institution created to promote the best values and ideals of humankind: peace, development, and universal rights, achieved through collaboration among nations and peoples. At the same time, being an international civil servant can be very demanding at many levels, so someone planning to join the United Nations should be aware of the many dimensions of...

      • Starting Out at the United Nations
        (pp. 206-207)
        Alf Ivar Blikberg

        I joined the United Nations in May 2004 as a junior program officer (JPO) sponsored by my home country, Norway. Before this, I had worked in the HIV/AIDS field for three years and traveled frequently to Africa. Witnessing the devastating impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic first-hand was what triggered my interest in humanitarian affairs.

        My experience at the UN began in the Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), where I have remained ever since. OCHA is an excellent posting, first because it is a relatively small entity, and as a result, one gets to know most of its...

    • 8 BANKING

      • Careers in Banking
        (pp. 208-230)
        Jeff Bernstein

        Risk is what we in the investment community measure every day, and it is what the international affairs graduate is especially qualified to assess. As you contemplate how to apply your academic training and passion toward a career that will stimulate you, provide you financial security, and improve the lives of others, it is important to recognize that you have spent the greater part of your graduate study understanding and measuring the risk associated with critical decisions and recommending courses of action based on your conclusions. This is exactly what financial institutions are looking for in their new hires, and...

      • Getting Started in Banking
        (pp. 231-233)
        Jae Lee

        Joining an investment bank from a university (undergraduate or graduate) can be both one of the easiest and hardest routes for a student. It is one industry that comes to the leading schools almost every year—usually with recruiting efforts led by friendly alumni. School career centers will have the timeline for the recruiting process all set by the last week of September, with successful candidates getting offers before packing for their winter breaks. Plenty of books and websites provide insight into the firms and their process. You can even find most of the typical interview questions—and the corresponding...

    • 9 BUSINESS

      • Careers in Business
        (pp. 234-266)
        Karla Sullivan Bousquet

        As a student of international business diplomacy, I vividly remember discussing the role of multinational corporations (MNCs) not only in shaping local economies but also in influencing societal trends and policies at both macro and micro levels. In one class we debated which had more influence on society: governments or MNCs? The class was evenly split as we discussed the balance of power between public institutions and the private sector. We studied the rise of MNCs and examined business strategies for gaining access to new markets while taking into account variables such as political risk and the dynamics of trade...


      • Careers in Business-Related Organizations
        (pp. 267-286)
        Jonathan Huneke

        Voluntary networks have been a hallmark of American culture since well before the 1830s, when Alexis de Tocqueville wrote of Americans’ penchant for forming “associations” in their professional, social, civic, and political lives. Of course, nowadays such groups are not at all unique to the United States; virtually every imaginable type of organization has some sort of representation in Washington and other major world capitals. Among the most visible and active are business and industry associations.

        Why do such organizations exist? First and foremost, they advocate laws, regulations, and policies that benefit their members’ interests—in other words, they exist...

      • Getting Started in Business–Government Relations
        (pp. 287-288)
        Stephen Ziehm

        Although i only began to interview for full-time jobs in my second year of the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, my job search began before I even started graduate work at Georgetown. Having narrowed my focus to international relations during my undergraduate studies, I decided to pursue several Washington internships in different settings to see what might be a good fit. I did not realize it at the time, but my choice of internships greatly affected the outcome of my career search. Not only did the internships help to supplement my academic studies by providing a real-world context...


      • Careers in Consulting
        (pp. 289-319)
        Lindsey Tyler Argalas

        Consulting has become increasingly popular over time, yet it remains one of the most ambiguously defined professions. Consulting has been described as the most “improbable business on earth” because of the paradox that the world’s most successful companies and organizations hire people fresh out of school. What makes this possible? What is consulting, and why have consulting firms been so successful?

        Broadly defined, consultants are outside advisers to organizations. A consultant can be a specialist and advise on specific areas such as finance, information technology, or negotiation strategy; alternatively, a consultant may be a generalist and advise on issues as...


      • Careers in International Development
        (pp. 320-331)
        Kristi Ragan

        Today, 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day, 1.3 billion have no access to clean water, 3 billion lack basic sanitation, and 2 billion live without access to electricity. These figures, which will double by 2050, provide concrete evidence of the continued need for international development professionals. However, international development, like everything else, is being dramatically changed by the forces of globalization, and it is not the same industry that it was for the past forty years. When rock stars like Bono are writing the foreword to major development tomes like Jeffrey Sachs’s The End of Poverty,...

      • Careers in Relief
        (pp. 332-337)
        Patricia L. Delaney

        Although there are major differences between the effects of natural disasters and those of complex humanitarian emergencies, the six major sectors of assistance are largely the same. The first is search and rescue. This activity takes place during the first hours or days after a disaster event. Typically, highly trained professionals such as firefighters and emergency medical technicians are involved in this phase. As in any emergency situation, logisticians must also ensure the rapid arrival of staff, equipment, and supplies.

        The second sector of assistance is health care. The provision of emergency health care can take the form of triage,...


      • Careers in Nonprofits
        (pp. 338-381)
        Denis Dragovic

        The not-for-profit world has undergone a transformation over the past decade and in particular over the last few years. The sector has seen a tremendous growth spurt, combined with a much-needed infusion of professionalism, while at the same time being confronted by a number of ethical challenges that will forge the face of the industry in the coming decades. Entering the field now, upon graduation, is a far more daunting challenge then five or fifteen years ago. Employers’ expectations and competition from other applicants are far more rigorous. Whereas a bachelor’s degree was all that was required “back in the...


      • Careers in University Research Institutes
        (pp. 382-407)
        Elizabeth Gardner

        If you asked a group of young university employees to name the best parts of their jobs, what answer would surprise you the most? It would not be a surprise to hear that an invigorating intellectual environment is a big draw at a university research institute (in this case, Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, or CISAC). Faculty, students, and staff are all attracted to a place where world-class, rigorous scholarship is the basic stock in trade.

        University international affairs research centers are a special breed; they are not think tanks but they are not purely academic institutes,...

      • Getting Started in Research Institutes
        (pp. 408-410)
        Emile El-Hokayem

        Working at a think tank can be both intellectually satisfying and professionally fulfilling when done under the right conditions and with a strategic objective in mind. Think tanks provide original ideas and analysis, act as a bridge between different audiences (academia, the media, government, foreign governments, and the public), and play a key role in informing the public debate. Being part of this idea industry can boost one’s career and help establish research and policy credentials on which to build future employment in government, the private sector, and the nonprofit world.

        Major think tanks hire master’s-level associates and analysts, but...

  6. Index
    (pp. 411-420)