Okay, I know as an admissions blogger it was my job to convince YOU how great SIPA is, but I have to admit yesterday it was kind of the other way around. I started off Admitted Students Day excited to meet future Seeple (that’s our shorthand for SIPA people) obviously, but also pretty groggy. I have had a cold for the past week, on top which I’ve spent most of my free time lately writing my final papers or job searching. Such is the life of a last semester grad student. So it was a truly needed breath of fresh air to spend my day extolling SIPA’s virtues and reminding myself to take advantage of all we have to offer over my last six weeks on campus.
I struck up a conversation first thing in the morning with a prospective student who was interested in energy solutions in the Middle East. Within minutes I was connecting him via email with a classmate who had worked for an oil company in Jordan. Another student at my lunch table asked me about networking opportunities in the Energy and Environment field, I looked across the room and called over a classmate who had just organized the Columbia University Earth Summit. No matter the policy field, I knew an expert.
The thing is these are not just my contacts during my time at Columbia. For the rest of my professional career, when faced with a policy question, I can pick up the phone or send an email to an expert on virtually any policy area in any country in a matter of minutes. Other schools, which are smaller, offer fewer programs or are strictly domestic don’t offer students that kind of network. THAT’S the SIPA advantage. Now combine that with access to a University- wide alumni network of thousands and SIPA connections are simply beyond compare.
Look for more updates on what I learned at Admitted Students Day coming soon!