Friday, July 6, 2018

Tips for the Next MAGP Students

Welcome Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) Cohort IV! If you're reading this, it means you're one-part thirsty for a top quality education and one-part totally stretching yourself to study at Jons Hopkins SAIS while holding a full-time job. But as a current MAGP student and full-time professional myself, I'm here to tell you to fear not, it can be done! You'll come to find that as challenging as the MAGP curriculum is, it is equally rewarding. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your JHU SAIS and MAGP experience:

Tip # 1: Manage your time

  • One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn in the MAGP program is how to balance your professional and personal commitments with school. A model that worked well for me was putting together a daily schedule of readings or to-dos to help disperse the course load during your two-week breaks between classes. This means holding yourself accountable or creating reading groups (seriously, listen to Dr. Markey when he says to create reading groups) to help hold one another accountable. 

Tip #2: Have an open mind

  • There is no better time than during your studies at JHU SAIS to explore your intellectual curiosity. You may think that monetary policy or nuclear proliferation have absolutely nothing to do with your day job, but the beauty of the MAGP program is that you get exposure to a little bit of everything. Having an open mind and eagerness to learn not only makes you a more informed citizen but a more dynamic and thoughtful employee.

Tip #3: Get to know your classmates

  • The cohort-style set-up is an incredible asset to the MAGP program- don’t squander it! Get to know your classmates and explore careers and experiences foreign to your own. The truth is that you’ll learn just as much from your peers, as you will from your professors. Make a concerted effort to tap into both your similarities and differences and I promise that it will greatly enhance your learning experience at JHU SAIS.

Tip #4: Know you can’t do it all

  • You’ll find yourself in a predicament where there are hundreds of pages to read, but only so many hours in the day. You simply can’t do it all, and you simply can’t expect yourself to do it all. It’ll be up to you to find the right balance between work, life, and school. And on occasion, you’ll have to be comfortable saying “no”- whether it’s forgoing that extra glass of wine at the Argentinian embassy or staying in on a sunny day to write a paper.

About the Student Blogger:                                                                                           
Ashley Kennedy (MAGP '18)
Ashley M. Kennedy is a current student at JHU SAIS in the Master of Arts in Global Policy (MAGP) program. She is a trade policy wonk and currently works in international public policy at Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Prior to that, Ashley spearheaded international IPR policy advocacy in trade agreements and within international organizations at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is really looking forward to reading fiction again after graduation in December.