Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Tips for the next Master of Arts (MA) students

A big welcome to the incoming class of students! Congratulations on your acceptance to Johns Hopkins SAIS! That's half the battle won. However, the next few years at Johns Hopkins SAIS are going to be some of the most testing, albeit wonderful years to come. As a parting gift from a recent Master of Arts (MA) graduate, here are a few tips to make the most of your time here.

Tip #1 Prioritize 

  • Learn to manage your time well. Grad school can be intense, and keeping up with classes, readings, problem sets, papers, networking events, speaker series, study/ career trips, club events, happy hours, and many many more things; is bound to be stressful. Organize and prioritize your time well. Know that you can't be in two, three or four places at once. I found making a schedule, allocating hours for readings/ homework and networking events was extremely helpful in keeping me focused. Also, make sure to carve out some time for yourself. You will need it! 

Tip #2 Get to know your classmates

  • My classmates have been some of the most wonderful people I've had the pleasure to meet. Get to know them. Johns Hopkins SAIS has diversity in its student body, not only due to the countries that students come from, but also diversity in thoughts, ideas, age, and experience. By keeping an open mind, I've come to learn so much from my cohort through classes, discussions in the cafe, social events, etc. Also be sure to make reading/ study/ problem set groups. I cannot express how important they are to survive particularly difficult classes. 

Tip #3 Make the most of your campus

  • No matter if you study in Washington, D.C., Bologna, Nanjing, or any other partnering institution, make the most of your time. Whether it be attending the wonderful speaker series or career events, alumni networking events, happy hours, travel opportunities through study/ career or club trips, I feel like I've gained some memorable experiences and opportunities during my time here. Each campus has its own share of wonderful. Be sure to find it!

Tip #4 Be open to new ideas and opportunities

  • During my time as an MA student, I realized a lot of things I didn't know about myself. Keep yourself open to new ideas, opportunities and experiences. Know that interests and passions change. You might find incredible opportunities in surprising ways. Be sure to embrace the new! 

Tip #5 Connect with alumni 

  • You are entering an incredible community of people that have done, and are still doing incredible work in the arena of international affairs. Johns Hopkins SAIS alumni hold a special place in their heart for the school and are always willing to speak with current and past students. Be sure to connect with those that are doing work you have a passion for, and aspire to do someday. The Career Services office does several alumni networking sessions and also connects students with alumni who do incredible work. 

Good luck on this incredible journey!

About the Alumni Blogger:                                                                                           
Poorti Sathe 
(MA '18, General International Relations)
Poorti recently graduated from Johns Hopkins SAIS Master of Arts (MA) program with a General International Relations concentration. She hopes to use her Johns Hopkins SAIS education and skills to work in the non-profit space. She is particularly passionate about work that aids forcibly displaced victims of conflict and disaster.