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)

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