Friday, August 9, 2019

Career Spotlight: Michael Matosich MA'19 Energy, Resources & Environment

Where are you currently working? 

I work at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). I am the Corporate Strategy Associate on the Global Water Security team.

What was your background before coming to Johns Hopkins SAIS? 

Before coming to SAIS, I studied International Relations and Political Science at the University of California, Davis. While there, I spent one summer studying sustainable development and indigenous communities in the Ecuadorean Amazon, and another summer interning for a California Congressman in Washington, DC. After graduating, I was a Field Team Leader for AmeriCorps NCCC, serving the Atlantic Region which encompassed Washington, DC through Maine. I then worked for The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation here in DC. I began in grants administration, then moved to the Marine and Coastal Conservation team.

How do you think SAIS prepared you for the role you accepted? 

Besides advancing my writing and critical thinking skills, SAIS gave me international exposure and concrete, practical knowledge through various courses that were directly applicable to what I am doing now. Specifically, I think Nina Gardner's Corporate Sustainability, Business, and Human Rights course, as well as Winston Yu's International Water class gave me a competitive advantage throughout the hiring process at TNC. I used class assignments as writing samples, and was able to talk extensively throughout five rounds of interviews about corporate engagement and the current dialogue surrounding water economics, scarcity, and conservation.

What advice would you give prospective students considering SAIS? 

Make the most out of your time at SAIS by getting involved in what interests you and with what you think will help you advance professionally. For me, that meant helping plan environmental and energy career treks, participating in study trips to Pakistan, China, and Vietnam around the themes of climate change, sustainability, and energy, taking extra skills courses, interning at the Regional Environmental Hub at the US Embassy in Costa Rica, and partaking in the Energy, Resources, and Environment's Practicum program. As soon as you commit to SAIS, start thinking about what you want to get out of your two years and plan ahead. It helps to have a rough idea of what courses you may want to take and what internships you may want to pursue (many have early deadlines!). From there, reach out to current students or recent alums – especially those who share similar interests– to get their advice on teachers, classes, internships, campus activities etc. Most importantly, go to Bologna for your first year!