Friday, December 19, 2014

My Advice to Applicants: Matt B.

Today, Matt B. shares his advice for applicants to SAIS.

This week I’m going to talk about the once piece of advice I have for MA applicants. Its simple really: plan to move to DC.

A friend of mine was talking with some prospective students about why they should choose SAIS over a similar top-tier IR/Econ school. His response? Well, when he asked students at other schools where they worked, especially for their summers, they all said the same thing: DC. His thought was why go anywhere else? I completely agree.

But what else comes with moving to DC, besides maybe higher rent and grocery bills? First, there’s the unique jobs—multilateral institutions, government agencies, all the things you can only get in DC. After all, even if you don’t get into SAIS this application cycle, there’s always next year. And a year of relevant work experience is certainly a way to strengthen your application!

But there’s something far more important about DC than just jobs: the network. 80% of getting a job is who you know, and the network here is bar none.

Of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention, you also have the intellectual fun of just being in DC. No where else do national and international scholars and policy practitioners come so frequently—and they usually make sure to stop at SAIS or at one of the institutions just right next door to us while they are here.

At the end of the day, whether you get into SAIS this time or not, my advice is the same. Move to DC. There’s just no better place to be.

–Matt B., SAIS Admissions Student Bloger

Don’t forget, the M.A. application deadline is January 7. To start (or finish!) your application, click here.

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