Monday, September 30, 2013

Hello New York, Baltimore, and DC!

If you want to learn more about SAIS, this might be the week for you - we have events all along the East Coast this week, of all different sorts.
On Monday, September 30, a SAIS Admissions rep will be at the Baltimore Idealist Fair, and on Tuesday, October 1, we’ll be at the Washington, DC Idealist fair along with alums and current students.  These events are great if you’re just starting to explore your options for graduate school.
If you definitely know that you want to apply to IR grad school, and you’re already seriously considering SAIS, you might want to attend an on-campus information session - and we just happen to have one scheduled for this Friday!
Also, all week long, we have a SAIS Admissions rep traveling throughout upstate NY, visiting various colleges and participating in graduate school fairs.  To see where SAIS will be in New York this week, check out our recruiting calendar.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



 

Hello from Bogota, Columbia!
Sidney Jackson, Director of Admissions at SAIS, is currently recruiting in South America, and he sent these pics to us from his first visit at Universidad Externado.
You can see where else Sidney will be recruiting this week by visiting our recruiting calendar.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Student Spotlight: Sara O’Rourke

For our spotlight this week, we’ve interviewed Sara O'Rourke, a second-year M.A. student concentrating in Conflict Management.  She received her A.B. in Social Studies and French from Harvard in 2009.  Prior to enrolling in SAIS, Sara worked as a teacher and as a travel researcher/writer.
What made you decide to pursue a career in international relations?
As a junior in college, I became fascinated with international affairs while studying abroad in Paris and researching my thesis on the political representation of Muslims in France. I also had the chance to travel in both Morocco and Egypt, where I became interested in the challenges facing women in Muslim countries. After graduation, I decided to move to the U.A.E., where I taught social studies and history at an international school, and coached the Varsity boys’ and girls’ soccer teams. While I was living in Dubai, Arab Spring erupted, and I saw the impact it had on my students and their families. I became passionate about the role of women in post-conflict societies, as well as within broader economic and political development. While at SAIS, I have been drawn in particular to the power of the private sector to empower women—and societies—economically. 
Can you tell us about your concentration and why you chose it?
Conflict Management focuses on the functions and tools to necessary to address conflict, from successful negotiation techniques to effective approaches to reconstruction. I chose the concentration because I believed it would equip me with the skills and knowledge I needed to contribute to post-conflict economic and political development, particularly in the Middle East. I was lucky enough to be selected as a first-year to participate in the Conflict Management Field Trip to Tunisia, where we spent 10 days on the ground interviewing influential politicians, diplomats, professors, activists, and students about the Tunisian Revolution and its aftermath. I was responsible for reporting on the role of discussions about women’s rights, as well as the role of women, in post-revolution Tunisia. In our capstone course, Professor Zartman’s Negotiation Practicum, we have weekly guest lectures from some of the most talented negotiators in the field, and then participate in negotiation simulations of our own. We will all then produce a term paper exploring the purpose and effectiveness of a particular negotiation tool.
What are some of the courses you’ve taken and specific skills you’ve learned that will help you in your career?
I have designed my curriculum mostly around those economics courses that will best prepare me for a career in international business and finance, with a focus on private sector development and post-conflict reconstruction.
The foundational economics and finance courses I have taken—Micro, Macro, Trade, Monetary, and International Financial Markets—have given me a strong base from which to evaluate general macroeconomic trends and with which to analyze evolving financial institutions. The business-focused courses I have taken—Private Equity in Emerging Markets; Corporate Finance; Multinational Corporate Finance; Enterprise, Regulation and Development; and Business and Human Rights—have not only equipped me with the tools (e.g., financial modeling) necessary to quantitatively evaluate new business projects, but also the exposure needed to analyze the social, political and economic impact of private sector initiatives in developing countries. Finally, I believe the negotiation techniques I have learned in the Practicum will serve me well as I embark on a career in consulting.
Can you tell us about SAIS Global Women in Leadership and how it was started?
I started SAIS Global Women in Leadership in the fall of 2012 because I believed that SAIS was uniquely positioned to contribute to the growing conversation on the increasingly important role of women in leadership, both at home and abroad. As an institution, SAIS–as a global thought leader–has been at the forefront of the next big issue, whether it be economic development or food security, and its strategic partnerships with all institutions in sectors–private, public, and social–have allowed SAIS to adapt to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of international relations.  I thought it only natural that SAIS should take the lead on discussions regarding the role of women in leadership in both developing countries as well as developed societies.
To that end, SAIS Global Women in Leadership will host the first annual Global Women in Leadership Conference, titled “A New Economic Landscape: Promoting Women in Emerging Markets,” on Friday, April 12th. The conference will explore the role of women in emerging markets, facilitate a better understanding of the key issues that women face around the world, and expand the personal and professional networks of our next generation of leaders. It will be the first SAIS conference on women and leadership developed and managed by current SAIS students. It is also the first event to welcome over 150 students from schools in the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) network, which includes 30 graduate schools nationwide, as well as business and law programs on the East Coast.
Further, SWGL hosts a bi-monthly Luncheon Series, which are organized around substantive themes such as women and health, women and entrepreneurship, and women in international security, and invite experienced speakers from all sectors to comment on new solutions to challenges facing women globally, as well as new strategies for professional and personal success. Our hope is that by interacting with accomplished and engaging speakers, attendees will not only come away from events more informed, but also more inspired to take action in their careers and their communities.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation, I will be joining McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, as an Associate in their Chicago office. I was a Summer Associate with them this past summer, and absolutely loved my time working on corporate strategy for a major health care player. I will be returning as a generalist, so will get the chance to work on diverse function areas in a variety of industries. I look forward to developing the private sector skills and exposure necessary to one day contribute to private sector development and women’s empowerment in developing countries.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions
To read previous entries in our Student Spotlight series, please click here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Taster Lecture Featuring Professor Terrence Hopmann.

Thanks to everyone who came out for our taster lecture this past Thursday with SAIS Professor P. Terrence Hopmann.

 

If you missed Professor Hopmann’s lecture, we’ll be having two more taster lectures this fall. For more info and to RSVP, please click here.

Thanks for reading!

– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Friday, September 20, 2013

Something new is just around the corner…

What am I talking about?  For as long as I’ve been at SAIS, applicants have been asking me about the possibility of an interview.  In the past, we haven’t been able to accommodate such requests at the DC Admissions Office (even though the SAIS Europe campus has been conducting interviews for international applicants for quite some time now).
But that’s about to change very soon – keep on the lookout for an announcement soon about optional MA interviews at the DC campus!  Applicants will be able to sign up for interviews in the near future, and we hope you’ll take advantage of that opportunity.  More info to come.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Monday, September 16, 2013

Get a Taste of SAIS this Thursday!

This week, the SAIS Admissions Office will be hosting the first lecture in our regular fall Taster Lecture Series, which gives potential students a chance to experience what a SAIS class lecture is like.
Our first lecturer of Fall 2014 is none other than P. Terrence Hopmann, Director of the SAIS Conflict Management program.  On Thursday, September 19, Professor Hopmann will be giving a lecture titled, “Regional International Organizations and Conflict Management: The Case of the Organization for Security in Europe since the end of the Cold War.”
For more information and to RSVP (and to see other lectures in our fall series), click here.
Want more opportunities to see what it’s like to be a SAIS student?  We also offer class visits, or you can speak with a current student during our walk-in hours, Monday-Friday, 2-5 pm.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Get a Taste of SAIS this Thursday!

This week, the SAIS Admissions Office will be hosting the first lecture in our regular fall Taster Lecture Series, which gives potential students a chance to experience what a SAIS class lecture is like.
Our first lecturer of Fall 2014 is none other than P. Terrence Hopmann, Director of the SAIS Conflict Management program.  On Thursday, September 19, Professor Hopmann will be giving a lecture titled, “Regional International Organizations and Conflict Management: The Case of the Organization for Security in Europe since the end of the Cold War.”
For more information and to RSVP (and to see other lectures in our fall series), click here.
Want more opportunities to see what it’s like to be a SAIS student?  We also offer class visits, or you can speak with a current student during our walk-in hours, Monday-Friday, 2-5 pm.
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Coming to a city near you!

We’re coming to the end of the second week of the semester, which means two things: 1) add/drop period is over, and our students are locking in their final registration for the semester, and 2) SAIS Admissions is taking our show on the road!
We’ve already had two on-campus M.I.P.P. info sessions, and we’ll be having our first on-campus M.A. session tomorrow (Friday, September 13) evening (for more info or to RSVP, go here).  But starting next week, we’ll doing recruiting trips around the country (no, the globe!), and we might be coming to somewhere near you soon.
Next week, we’re going to be in both the Big Apple and the Mini Apple, among other places.
That’s right, we’ll be in New York City for the annual Idealist Graduate School Fair onMonday, September 16.  Several alums will be representing SAIS at this graduate fair, so stop by and learn more about SAIS.  Click here for more information and a link to RSVP.
Also on Monday, September 16, we’ll be in the “Mini Apple” - in Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN - to kick off a week-long tour of recruiting events at colleges throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  Even though these events are hosted at college campuses, they are open to the public. 
To see our full list of recruiting events next week, please visit our recruiting calendar.  We hope to see you at an event soon!
Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Visiting SAIS? Maybe you should attend a class!



If you’re planning on visiting the SAIS campus soon, why not make the most of it and attend a class? Attending a class is a great way to see what it’s really like to be a SAIS student and to sample the intellectual offerings at SAIS.

It’s easy to set it up - just visit our online class calendar to view the available classes on the day of your visit, choose one, and sign up! If you don’t already have a MySAIS VIP username and password, you’ll be prompted to create one when you register.

A word to the wise – we recommend that you sign up well in advance of your visit, if possible. Each class has limited space for visitors, and if you wait too long, your preferred class might be full. (But also, be considerate of others and only sign up for the class(es) you will actually attend.)

Looking forward to seeing you on campus sometime soon.

Thanks for reading!

– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Thursday, September 5, 2013

SAIS on Syria

Syria is all over the news these days, and SAIS faculty have published some great articles recently on the Syria crisis.
The New York Times Online
Forcing Obama’s Hand in Syria” by Vali Nasr, dean of SAIS

The Wall Street Journal
The Stakes on the Syria Vote” by Eliot Cohen, director of the Strategic Studies Program 
(online subscription required)

The Washington Post
Syria Will Require More Than Cruise Missiles” by Eliot Cohen, director of the Strategic Studies Program

Foreign Policy
Advice From Clausewitz: Get a Strategy for Syria” by Tom Mahnken, senior research professor of Strategic Studies 

Thanks for reading!
– Erin Skelly Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Italian Student Visas

Right around this time of year, there are always LOTS of questions about the process of getting Italian Student Visas.  Some students are traveling over the summer, so they have very specific time frames to work with; some students have had bad experiences trying to get student visas before; and some students just like to have their ducks all in a row.  So what more appropriate than a post about getting Italian Student Visas?
We recently hosted an online webinar about obtaining Italian visas.  If you missed the live version, we have a recorded version right here, complete with a question-and-answer session at the end.
Much of the information covered in our webinar can also be found on our Visa Information page.
I strongly recommend using the SAIS visa service (NOTE: the deadline to submit your materials is May 20).  If you’ll be traveling over the summer and need your passport, you may still be able to use the visa service (depending on your departure date).  If you use the visa service, just follow the instructions on the website.  We suggest that you get your materials to us before the deadline so we can review your visa application and materials before going to the consulate.
If you’re not using the visa service, here are a few notes to keep in mind:
  • All consulates are not created equal.  There are “rules” that each consulates follow, and they aren’t consistent from consulate to consulate, despite the fact that they all fall under the Italian government.  So make sure that you contact the consulate well in advance to verify what materials you’ll need and how long the process will take, and get the name of the person you speak with.  Some consulates require appointments and book up weeks in advance, so call early; some consulates may take weeks to process your application, so plan in advance. 

    My experience (anecdotal from students in years past) is that most of the Italian consulates are easy to work with, and they process visas quickly.  But if the person on the phone is difficult (or they don’t return your calls), it’s likely that working with them will be difficult as well.  (A word to the wise: the NYC is notoriously difficult and is to be avoided at all costs.)  In such a case, you’re welcome to go to the Italian consulate in Washington, DC.
  • Make sure all your financial docs are notarized.  This doesn’t apply to your financial aid award notice, but it DOES apply to the Affidavit of Support, if you have one.  All banks have a notary, and services are usually free if you won an account at the bank - just ask them to notarize the paperwork when they give it to you.

    If you need a copy of the Affidavit of Support, click here.
  • Getting your Italian visa while working/interning/studying abroad: it is possible.  You don’t necessarily have to come back to the States to get your visa.  If you’re in another country, contact your local Italian consulate and inquire.  If you’re currently on a visa for whatever country you’re in, the consulate there is obligated to handle your paperwork.  If you don’t have a visa, it’s up to the discretion of the consulate, so be courteous and respectful.  They’ll probably help you out.
  • Letters of Support: they provide almost all the documentation that you’ll need.  Many consulates ask for proof of health insurance, copies of plane tickets, admission letters, proof of accommodation, etc.  It’s a LOT of paperwork to gather up.  To make it easier for you, we can provide letters of support that basically addresses all of this in one or two documents.  To request letters of support, clickhere.
Do you still have questions?  Feel free to email erin.cameron@jhu.edu or call 202-663-5700 with specific questions.
Thanks for reading!
— Erin Cameron, Associate Director of Admissions