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MA IR Global Programs at the Maxwell School

Photo courtesy of Taylor Hamilton, a current Public Diplomacy student from her semester away in Singapore. Read Taylor’s Blog about her internship

A big thank you to today’s guest blog author: Ian Gottesfeld, new MA IR student, and Graduate Assistant with Isaac Olson, Director of Maxwell’s Global Programs.

The Maxwell School’s Global Programs are a mix of academic and internship opportunities around the world. Almost all MA in International Relations students will participate in two Global Programs over the summer and fall terms of their second year of study. 

Career advancement in the field of International Affairs is competitive.   Today the field requires well-rounded international affairs specialists with not only an academic depth of understanding, but also, a well-developed professional profile of experiences in an international context.  Our MA IR program is designed to provide just that:  the ability to develop and round-out a student’s professional international affairs profile.  And while these semesters might occur away from campus, they are fully integrated into the students full program of study, bringing together academic learning, professional skill development and broad international understanding.      

One of the cornerstones of Maxwell’s MA IR program is a required global internship. Completed for academic credit, the internship is experiential coursework that supplements what students learn in the classroom. It also provides valuable professional and networking experience that can aid in securing work after graduation.

The Maxwell School has resources in place that help students find internships that best achieve these goals. While students have the flexibility to intern wherever they like, there are also many well-established programs where students can complete internships through one of SU’s global programs around the world. Depending on your career interests, you can complete internships focused on areas like public diplomacy in Brussels, international trade and finance in Singapore; or international security in Istanbul.  SU’s Global Programs have connections on the ground that are designed to accommodate the full breadth of interest areas that are inherent in our MA IR degree.

Study Abroad
Though not required, students also have the option of studying abroad. Syracuse manages centers in several different countries, which offer SU courses taught by Syracuse faculty. At the same time, SU and the Maxwell School have relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions (e.g. Sciences Po, the Hertie School of Governance, Yonsei University, etc) that offer highly-transferable, IR related coursework that can easily count toward the MA IR degree.

In many ways, these graduate level study abroad options offer the same international, network-building experience as a professional internship, though in the academic sphere. It is arguably ideal to experience another country through both academic and professional lenses and in most cases students do just that. For example, as part of the summer internship program in Strasbourg, France, students take human rights courses at a the SU Strasbourg center in addition to completing an internship. Additionally, while primarily an academic program, the Syracuse University Center in Santiago, Chile has a great track record of helping students find concurrent internships in an array of sectors, from development consulting to civil society.

Career Outcomes
Though international relations organizations rarely conduct direct hiring from internships, the networking and connections made through an internship or study abroad opportunity often lead to jobs – sometimes within the same organization. This was true for Emily Fredenberg (MA IR/MPA ’16). Emily interned at the World Food Programme as part of Maxwell’s Geneva, Switzerland Internship Program. She utilized the connections she made there to join the WFP as a consultant before securing her current position as a full time employee with WFP in Beirut, Lebanon.  She provides just one example of many, where students utilize these Global Program connections for their own professional advancement.

International DC
Finally, not all “Global” Programs are abroad. Because of its plethora of globally-focused organizations, the Maxwell-in-Washington program in DC is extremely popular among students. Our Maxwell School headquarters in Washington, DC operates programming year-round.  We have a dedicated staff of professionals and faculty offering Syracuse University courses every semester.  Additionally, our nation’s capitol boasts countless networking and internship opportunities, bolstered by the large number of Maxwell alumni in the area.

Maxwell’s Global Programs are highly customizable and specifically geared to meet the needs and interests of our MA IR students. To read more about student experiences with our Global Programs, visit the Maxwell global programs blog.

One Comment

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February 2024
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