MIA/MBA Dual Degree Interview

SIPA provides many opportunities for students to combine their SIPA degree with another Columbia University Degree.  One option is a dual MIA/MBA.  For a full list of our dual degree programs, click here.

S_Hartley1Scott Hartley, a joint-degree MIA/MBA student at SIPA and Columbia Business School concentrating in International Economic Policy and Entrepreneurship respectively, agreed to an interview for our office.

Scott holds a BA in Political Science from Stanford University. At Stanford, Scott was the co-recipient of the Dean of Student’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his role as Director of Stanford in Government’s international fellowship program.

Prior to graduate school, Scott interned at the White House in the National Economic Council, interned at the U.S. State Department in Geneva, Switzerland, worked at a shelter for street children in Quito, Ecuador on a fellowship from Stanford’s Haas Center for Public Service, and worked for Google, Inc in California, India, and East Africa.

What attracted you to SIPA?

“I was drawn to Columbia University, and to SIPA, because of its history, its reputation for academic excellence, and its centrality in both New York and international affairs.  On campus, SIPA avails students of rigorous academics and hands-on policy training, and outside the grounds is immediate and unparalleled engagement with the most cosmopolitan city in the world.

SIPA appealed to me because of its position within the broader context of Columbia University.  The International Economic Policy program at SIPA provided economic rigor equal to peer institutions, and did so within a world-class campus, adjoining top business and law schools.  By pursuing a joint-degree I hoped to bring together the macroeconomics of policy with the microeconomics of business.”

What experiences do you think prepared you at attend SIPA?

“SIPA is an incredibly international environment, and my global experiences prepared me to take advantage of conversations and debates with fascinating peers.  Prior to attending SIPA I had worked on five continents and traveled to 50 countries, but I had not had time to mull over books on international development, engage peers from remote corners of the globe, or listen daily to world-renowned professors.  I came to SIPA with an insatiable curiosity to learn, and I soon settled into the idyllic libraries lining the quad.  My advice to incoming students would be to come when you are most curious.”

SIPA features lots of events for students to attend. Is there any interesting presentation that you have attended that you could comment upon?

“Each fall, New York City begins to buzz with activity when the United Nations hosts the General Assembly.  During my first month at Columbia, the World Leaders Forum enabled me to hear half a dozen heads of state speak on campus.  Even more impressive, however, were some of the economics lectures.  Last year I listened to a panel consisting of Joseph Stiglitz, Kenneth Arrow, and Robert Solow, three Nobel Prize-winning economists, debate current events, the financial crisis, and fiscal and monetary response.”

Have you taken classes at other Columbia Schools?

“One of the strongest advantages of SIPA vis-à-vis its policy school peers is availability of cross-registration within Columbia University.  As a joint-degree student, it goes without saying that my educational experience is composite.  But I’ve also been able to take advantage of Columbia Law School.  Last year I took a writing seminar on the Legal Aspects of U.S. Foreign Economic Policy taught by former Ambassador and Presidential Advisor Richard Gardner.

The course was structured as a bi-partisan Presidential Panel, and at the end of the course many final papers were distributed in Washington.  My paper was forwarded to the U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics, and I was later invited to present on included topics at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).  This is but one example of the amazing opportunities that are a function of SIPA’s broader role within Columbia University.”

Can you please talk about your internship experience?

“Coming from a background in policy and technology, I wanted to use my SIPA summer to conjoin these two interests.  While many of my peers journeyed to far-flung corners of the globe, I moved to Cambridge and spent my summer at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, writing on Internet cooperation and the impact new media was having on democratic processes.

While my official project resulted in a 120-page study on Kiva.org that evaluated cooperative lending models and the impact of online solidarity, my unofficial musings became two editorials in Foreign Policy, the Jakarta Globe, and Policy Innovations, and over a dozen pieces for the Internet & Democracy webpage, each discussing the growing impact of technology on politics.  My summer internship, part of the SIPA requirement, provided me with one of the richest experiences of my life, and the chance to gain confidence and voice.”