M.A. Student in International Relations at the University of Chicago
Why did you choose the M.A. in Global Thought and how did it prepare you for your current position?
The Committee on Global Thought (CGT) functions as an internal think tank housed within Columbia. It unifies many different types of scholars under one banner, on the premise that the fact of globalization fundamentally challenges canonical disciplinary distinctions. Before the program, I had an academic background in political science and work experience in the visual and literary arts in New York. As someone making a partial career transition into international affairs-oriented journalism and think tank research, the CGT program provided an ideally flexible opportunity to pursue a selection of coursework that fit my career goals but also appealed to my prior experience.
Describe your favorite MA in Global Thought course or project, and how it helped your academic, professional, and/or personal growth.
The MA Thesis component was crucial. It allowed me to explore international security theory, the politics of Silicon Valley, and contemporary geopolitics. The thesis was grounded in theory, but it was also complemented by journalistic approaches to storytelling. In this way, the thesis offered the chance to blend academic writing with traditional reportage, which has had a direct impact on my ability to publish interdisciplinary writing.
How did you come to work in your current career field and what inspires you about your work?
I remain in graduate school at the University of Chicago, where I am pursuing a subsequent M.A. in International Relations. This program has provided the chance to further refine my familiarity with the political science literature. The combination of these two programs has put me in a position to apply my academic training in a professional setting. Simply put, I’m inspired by scholars who synthesize social science research for a generalist audience. Specifically, I’m inspired by scholars of international relations who bridge the gap for a generalist audience, usually with great style, between diplomatic history and international political theory.
What advice would you offer current Global Thought students as they prepare for their next steps?
Try to get published, as working with an editor will decisively improve your writing. Maintain the relationships that seem to matter to you most. Never be afraid to ask for guidance. Keep your communications short and sweet. As long as you are grateful and considerate of other peoples’ time, potential advisors, professors, and professional counselors will typically be eager to help you however they can.