SIPA Has Game

A common question prospective students ask is, “What do SIPA students go on to do after graduating?”  I often respond by saying that the more appropriate question might be, “What don’t SIPA students go on to do after graduating?”

SIPA students have diverse goals and will often jump between sectors during their career lifetime.  All sectors, for-profit, not-for-profit, and public, are well represented in our employment statistics which you can find by clicking here.  I thought I would provide the following timely example of the variety of things SIPA graduates to go to do.

Last night was the National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft.  I know that soccer is the world’s sport, however the NBA is highly international.  The NBA is seeking to expand its presence and a SIPA graduate is on the forefront of that effort.  Vinod and I sat on a panel at The Clinton Foundation recently and I asked him if he would be up for a short interview.  He graciously agreed.  Enjoy.

Name: Vinod Raghavan

Degree Program: MIA

Concentration: International Economic Policy

Graduation Year: 2005

Current Position: Senior Manager, Global Marketing Partnerships

Organization Name: National Basketball Association

Organization Location (city, country):  New York, USA

What were you doing prior to attending SIPA?

Prior to attending SIPA, I was working at the Office of Former President Bill Clinton as Deputy Domestic Policy Advisor, where I focused on the creation, management, and execution of programs and initiatives in line with the Former President’s commitment  to fostering service and economic empowerment, paying specific attention to underserved communities domestically.

What are you doing now?

Currently, I work for the National Basketball Association in International Business Development, where our aim is to continue to grow and develop the game of basketball around the world. We have a strong global presence and continue to look for opportunities to expand our footprint in meaningful ways, including basketball development, strategic partnerships and international games and events. Specifically, I am tasked with liaising between our international offices and headquarters here in NY in an effort to align our goals and our and approach, both tactically and strategically.

Did you take classes at other Columbia Schools during your time at SIPA?

In addition to SIPA’s curriculum, I also took classes at the Business School, the Law School and even audited a course in the Philosophy department. If there’s something you’re interested in, it’s more than likely that you’ll find a way to get to it while at SIPA.

In your view, what type of person is “right” for SIPA?

Although it is difficult to identify the type of person who is exactly “right” for SIPA, it is clear that those that stand to benefit the most are those who are willing to share with and learn from their peers. The student body is one of SIPA’s strongest assets, owing to its broad diversity in nationality, ethnicity, experience, personality, and culture. There is a wealth of experience to be gained not only inside the classroom, but outside it as well.

What was it like to attend graduate school/work in New York City?

There is no city in the world quite like New York City. The city has so much to offer, it’s hard to decide where to begin. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re likely to find here. From a professional standpoint, New York is also a great place for new graduates. Almost all roads converge here, including finance, entertainment, the arts, non-profit/NGO, and politics. Opportunities are everywhere.