Rasmus Foss

Journalist at Weekendavisen, Denmark

Why did you choose the M.A. in Global Thought and how did it prepare you for your current position?

I chose it for the adventure above all. Studying with the Committee on Global Thought seemed like an opportunity beyond compare. I was working as a journalist in Denmark at the time I applied, and more than anything I wanted to unfold the world of global politics to the general public. I imagined the M.A. in Global Thought would teach me how to think about this world with more insight and nuance. It exceeded my expectations. I was fascinated by how the program couples an appreciation of history with studies of political economy and culture. I learned how to approach the most pertinent and difficult questions of our time – from climate change to new world orders – in a practical way that is deeply rooted in specific places and points in time. Not only have I become a more qualified journalist – the program was also deeply inspiring as a human being who wants to understand how the world works.

Describe your favorite MA in Global Thought course or project, and how it helped your academic, professional, and/or personal growth.

The weekly MA seminars and the three core courses all deserve to be mentioned, but one course stood out to me: Anthropocene and History with CGT member Adam Tooze. This class changed how I think about the world today. We discussed some of the most interesting books on the history of climate change and capitalism and approached this topic from every thinkable angle to understand the predicament of humanity in the 21st century, or in the Anthropocene era as some would call it. It inspired most of my work for other classes and the MA thesis in the second semester. Since then I have actively used the knowledge and perspectives I got from this class many times in my work as a journalist, for example when writing about the environmental movement or climate politics. I expect that my newfound interest in this field will help guide me where to go in my work life.

What advice would you offer current Global Thought students as they prepare for their next steps?

Be patient. Pursue your interests. And try to find a job in which you like to perform the concrete, practical, day-to-day tasks. Think about what you like to do in school and beyond, at the smallest level: Presenting? Writing? Crunching numbers? Having good discussions? Collaborating with other people or working on your own? Teaching? In my view it’s not the abstract ideas that define our jobs, even if that’s what we are often fascinated by when thinking about it – it’s the actual things you do every day when you meet at the office. It might not always be possible to find that joy in the first job after graduation, but in that case, seek to become part of an organization you want to work for in the long term and find your path within it.

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Rasmus Foss, Class of 2021