Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Career Trek To California

An integral part of the graduate school experience is participating in professional development opportunities. Across our three campuses, Johns Hopkins SAIS students participate in professional development courses, lunch discussions, and informational interviews, and career treks offered by the Office of Global Careers.

Just this week, during spring break group of 18 students made their way to California to participate in a series of company visits and alumni networking receptions. Day one of the trip comprised of visits to NextEra Energy, Sustainable Power Group, and SunRun. On day two, the students visited Bloomberg New Energy Finance, California Public Utilities Commission, and Google. On both days, the group was hosted by alumni who currently work in the field.

The Energy & Environment Career Club and Global Career Services organizes this career trek to San Francisco each year, focusing specifically on the renewables sector with an emphasis on solar.

March 20, 2017: 18 Students visited Google in San Francisco 

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Office of Global Careers organizes 14 sector-focused career treks to Asia, Europe, and North America every year. For more information on the career services offered at Johns Hopkins SAIS, please click here.

Friday, March 17, 2017

I Remember The Feeling...

In today's student blog post, second-year MA student Ileana Valle reflects on her experience being admitted into Johns Hopkins SAIS.

As I look back two years ago, I remember the feeling of anxiety, excitement, and fear all wrapped up into one. For me it was March 13, 2015. I spent much of that day checking my email to see if I had received anything. For me, as I am sure is the case for most in this selection cycle, everything depended on that email. I think back now and feel extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Now that two years have transpired, so has my outlook on my academic and professional career. For one, I have learned to be more open-minded. When I first got accepted into SAIS I was steadfast on doing the International Development concentration, but I had been waitlisted for it and ultimately had to opt for my second option: Latin American Studies (LASP). This has undoubtedly been one of the best decisions I have made. This is mainly due to the LASP internship I did last summer in Medellín, Colombia that afforded me the experience of a lifetime. Not to mention the cohesiveness of the department that trickles down to its cohort.

Furthermore, studying at SAIS has also given me such a broad perspective, particularly, at the intersection of policy and economics. Not coming from an economics background, the compulsory economics component has not been free of challenges; however, the new set of skills that I have acquired has allowed me to see policy-making from a different angle and I feel properly equipped and a well-rounded professional that can make tangible contributions from the public to private sector.

Congratulations to the incoming 2017/2018 cohort! Whether you’re starting in Nanjing, Bologna, or Washington, DC; this is the beginning of an incredible journey.

Welcome to the SAIS community!

Ileana Valle (MA'17)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Celebrating Diversity, Celebrating Nowruz

In our increasingly globalized world, diversity and inclusion are integral to excellence. This is especially true for global academic institutions like Johns Hopkins SAIS, whose raison d'etre is to prepare the next generation of leaders to tackle critical global issues. Because members of the at SAIS community hail from all corners of the world, it is not unusual for students, faculty, and staff to celebrate diversity through participation in on-campus events and student-run organizations.

On March 10, the Johns Hopkins SAIS Diversity Committee and SAIS Middle East and North Africa Club hosted a Nowruz celebration -- an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature. Several countries that share this holiday include Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

This event included remarks from Dean Vali Nasr, poetry readings, a performance from the Silk Road Dance Company, musical performances, and food.



Speaking of the Johns SAIS community and diversity, we had a very diverse applicant pool this year. For applicants who received and offer of admission from us, remember: the reply deadline for accepted MA applicants is is April 20 for SAIS Fellowship Recipients and May 1 for Non-Fellowship Recipients.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

From New York to DC

Hi everyone! My name is Daphne and I’m a first-year MA student here at SAIS. Originally from the suburbs of New York City, I came to DC for the first time for my undergraduate studies. At Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, I majored in International Politics and completed a certificate in International Development. After graduation, I returned to New York and spent five years working at the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organization founded by George Soros to promote human rights, good governance, and development around the world. That experience was invaluable and helped me concretize my career goals: I hope to work for a non-governmental advocacy organization, helping to shape policy at the intersection of human rights and development on behalf of those directly affected by it.

With that in mind, I came to SAIS and chose to concentrate in International Law & Organizations and minor in International Development. This gives me a better understanding of both the legal framework that will guide my future advocacy work and the organizations that will be key advocacy targets and partners. While I may resume working immediately after graduation, I do ultimately intend to pursue a PhD in the hopes of further exploring my field and boosting my credibility as a policy expert.

Outside of SAIS, I keep (extra!) busy by volunteering for two organizations, marathon training, and, now, working here in the Admissions Office! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you as I navigate this exciting program in this city that I love!

Thanks for reading!
Daphne, Student Blogger


Monday, March 13, 2017

A Year Ago, I Was In Your Shoes

CONGRATULATIONS! By now you should have received word that you’ve been admitted to SAIS. This is such an exciting time for you and I’m honored to be able to personally congratulate you on your acceptance. A year ago, I was in your shoes and logged into my applicant portal to find a “Congratulations! The Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is pleased to offer you admission….” letter waiting for me. Although I was incredible excited to find out that I had been admitted, I was also very nervous since I realized that I had a very daunting task ahead of me.

Choosing the right school to go to is an extremely big decision since graduate school is a huge financial and time commitment and your next couple weeks will undoubtedly be filled with open houses, campus tours, and overall research on all of the different things each school you’ve been admitted to has to offer. During this time period, I implore you to list all of the things that you value in a graduate school and to explore the services that each school has to offer to ensure that your values line up with those services. If possible, arrange to spend a day on campus! Sit down in a class that you’re interested in and arrange to talk to current students! While doing online research on a school is great, you’ll often quickly be able to tell if a school is right for you just by stepping foot on its campus.

Congratulations once again and take time to let it soak in that you’ve been accepted into an amazing institution that has a lot to offer you both academically and professionally. I’m so excited for all of you and hope to be able to welcome you to SAIS in the fall!

Thanks for Reading,
Denise (MA'18), Student Blogger

Friday, March 10, 2017

Congratulations to the 2017 Incoming Class!

Congratulations to the entering Master’s students admitted to the SAIS D.C., SAIS Europe and Hopkins-Nanjing campuses! To access your admissions decision, log into your Apply Yourself account, or check your email for a direct link. Be sure to review your admitted student websites for next steps and opportunities to learn more.

Also, be on the look out for an invitation to our private Facebook group for newly admitted students. This group, which is exclusive to applicants who received an offer of admission, serves as a space for you to connect with current SAISers, admissions staff, and other admitted students. Within the next couple business days, we will send you an invitation. If you do not receive the invitation, please check your your spam/junk email and your additional email inboxes before emailing us to request an invitation.

Upcoming Decision notification dates
PhD - Wednesday, March 15
MIPP – Friday, March 17
GPP – Rolling out 8 weeks from the date of application completion

Monday, March 6, 2017

10 students, 19 meetings, 5 days

This is the first student guest post about winter break activities. Our guest blogger this week is Lisa Jenkins, who is a first year Master of Arts student concentrating in Energy, Resources, and Environment

SAIS in Myanmar: 10 students, 19 meetings, 5 days
When I and nine other ERE students arrived in Yangon, Myanmar on a Sunday in January, the first thing we noticed was the heat. Coming from our respective winters in Washington D.C., Bologna, and Nanjing, the shock of the sun almost overshadowed the culture shock.

However, when the sun set in the evening, we noticed something else about the city: the lack of lights. While most large cities glow at night with artificially-lit streets and apartment windows, Yangon was noticeably darker. And, when we attended our first meeting on Monday morning, this image of a not-quite-electrified city set the tone for our conversation.

You see, we were in Yangon to research Myanmar’s electrification process: its successes, its challenges, its (slow) progression. Myanmar currently has only about 30 percent of the country electrified, with far fewer connections in the rural communities. However, the country’s new administration hopes to change this, with the goal of 100 percent electrification by 2030.

So, we examined the plans that various organizations had given to Aung San Suu Kyi’s young government, and met with various stakeholders about their thoughts. It was gratifying that so many people were eager to hear our thoughts in turn, from the IFC to JICA, from Myanmar’s Ministry of Rural Development to the United States embassy.

The week was spent primarily in Yangon, with 19 meetings spread out over 5 days. Some days we would stick together on a school bus in business-casual-adapted-for-90-degree-weather clothing, and some days we would divide into smaller groups and take taxis to different corners of the city.

On one of these days, a group of us woke up early and took a small commuter plane for the hour-long flight to Nay Pyi Daw, the country’s very new capital city. We were told in advance of the city’s strangeness, of its lack of real city enter, its virtually empty 10-lane highways, and its enormous hotels with more employees than guests. However, we still gaped out the window as we drove to our meeting with the government; I had never seen such an empty place, seemingly poised for the arrival of millions who did not seem to be coming. After our meeting we explored the city’s pagoda (apparently 30 centimeters shorter than the Shwedagon pagoda, as a gesture of respect for the country’s most sacred stupa), and were practically the only people in the vast space, lit up with gilt.

The rest of our meeting days in Yangon were interspersed with other tourist activities: a walk through downtown, a sunset by the docks, a Burmese massage, and even a sampling of street-side noodles (during which we successfully avoided dripping sauce on our meeting clothes).

Our last night in Yangon was a good one. We invited a combination of Yangon’s SAIS alumni and other people we had met over the course of the week to a rooftop bar downtown, and discussed our work, and Myanmar more generally, over drinks. It was remarkable to see so many current and former SAIS students in the same place, on the other side of the world from our campuses.

The goal of our trip was to conduct research on the implementation of Myanmar’s electrification plan, which we will ultimately compile into a report to present to the country’s government and its other stakeholders later this spring. However, as we made our way through the country, another goal of the trip became clear to us; Myanmar is a country in transition, a country where development and investment and brand-new policy-making is happening at a rare speed. For me, the opportunity to see the policy-making process in action was the most interesting part of the trip.

As policy students, we usually only read about decisions and regulation in the aftermath of their implementation. In Myanmar this January, we had the chance to be a part of those conversations. I think each of the 10 of us felt this to be the most valuable part of our SAIS education so far (though learning how many ways Myanmar cuisine utilizes eggplant was a close second).


The opportunity to see the policy-making process in action was the most interesting part of the trip.