Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Four MA Students on Why They Chose SAIS

As part of our Student Profile series, we ask students why they chose Johns Hopkins SAIS. Below are answers from four graduates from MA Class of 2016.

Joshua Ahyong (MA’16)
"I chose SAIS over other graduate schools in international relations because of its strength in economics and languages. As future leaders in global affairs, we need to learn about the economic issues and problems every county faces. SAIS allows its students to dig deeper into important economic matters such as monetary policy and international trade. Apart from this, SAIS has an intensive language program which allows its students to develop pertinent language skills. After graduation, SAIS students move into the workforce with global and economic perspective that is often used to face today’s most important challenges."

Lorena Valente (MA’16)
"I chose SAIS due to many different reasons. First, SAIS has a high rank and incredible reputation among academics and employers in the field of international affairs and business. Second, SAIS has an extensive alumni network that is always willing to help. Third, its employment outcomes were outstanding, and when talking to current students, they all emphasized the quality of career services staff and resources. Fourth, its economic focus was very important to me. I wanted to not only learn economics, but also gain advanced expertise that would be recognized in any field. Fifth, SAIS has a wide range of skills courses that focuses on professional skills, such as, policy memo writing, consulting skills, excel, stata, and public speaking, among others. Sixth, its location in the heart of Washington DC was very attractive to me. At SAIS you are just a few minutes from the White House, the World Bank, the IMF, and many consultancy firms, which makes interning and working while at SAIS much easier. Finally, due to its location and reputation, SAIS is able to get a variety of high-level speakers to talk about current events to its students and alumni."

Patrick Molloy (MA’16)
"The international nature of SAIS and the diversity of students backgrounds was a very big positive. It’s wonderful to have people in your classroom who have a personal understanding or a professional experience relating to the coursework you’re studying. You deal with some great professors with great experience. Overall there are fantastic opportunities to get tangible insights into what is really happening in the your areas of interest."

Maria-Alexandra Martin (MA'16)
"The decision to return to academia and pursue a graduate program was tough, I admit, considering that I was already working for several years. I considered SAIS for three reasons. Firstly, it offers a concentration in Conflict Management, which is very much aligned with my career goals and my professional background. Secondly, the program has a strong economic component. For a person without an econ background, working on post-conflict recovery and state building, it gave me the chance to better understand why and how certain policies work or do not work in fragile environments. Last, but not least, the program is well-known and highly appreciated by practitioners in the IR field. The alumni network is incredible and scattered all over the world, creating a strong sense of SAIS identity. When I took the final call and chose the program I will enroll in, these criteria were decisive."