Katherine McGehee, MIA 2015Concentration: EPD Specialization: Management Hometown: New York, NY College/ University attended: University of Virginia Undergraduate Major: International Affairs/French
Traveled to: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Monaco, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, St. Barts, Virgin Islands, Mexico, South Africa
Hobbies: The Arts (ballet, theater, museums, exhibitions, art shows), avid follower of current events, academic interest in francophone countries, travel, cooking, languages
Languages: French (fluent), English (fluent), Mandarin (basic), Italian (learning)
After SIPA, I hope to remain in New York City working for a foundation and specializing in public-private partnerships. I would also be happy working in the private sector with a focus on public sector engagement. Either way, I am very interested in public-private partnerships, particularly in regards to corporate social responsibility. Since SIPA is such a global school, I am very open to moving abroad after graduation. However, I do hope to start out a company in New York. “Though I am American, I have always grown up in a very diverse and global environment. From age six and on, I attended the United Nations International School where I was among 17% of Americans in a 1,200 person school. SIPA’s commitment to enrolling an international student body really drew me to the school and that quality is one reason why I am so happy at SIPA. Most of my friends at SIPA are from abroad and I love hearing about their backgrounds and their goals after school. It has really given me a whole new perspective.
After the University of Virginia, I worked for a year at Doctors With Out Borders in New York. I was part of the advocacy department team. My responsibilities mainly involved following political contexts in regions and specific countries (Doctors Without Borders has programs in over 80 countries) for organization-wide reports on current activities, tracking US policy changes in countries of interest, monitoring broader trends on aid, food security, global healthcare, and patent laws, translating media and documents from French to English, and responding to program inquiries.
At SIPA, I am concentrating in Economic and Political Development and specializing in management. Both disciplines provide a lot of opportunity to learn more about corporate social responsibility and effective development programs, which relates to what I would like to do after finishing school. Currently, I am part of several SIPA student groups, including UNSP, the Journal of International Affairs, and the consulting club. I participated in a public policy case competition in the fall, which was a wonderful opportunity to network with leaders in consulting and to develop real-world solutions to social, political, and economic challenges. Outside of SIPA, I am serving as a youth representative to the United Nations through a small NGO called the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN).”
For me, what makes SIPA is its students. My classmates are so inspirational, have such diverse backgrounds, and a very driven and enthusiastic attitude. I have felt discouraged by setbacks, like difficulty understanding course material, not getting into a class or program, or not hearing back from an internship. My classmates at SIPA have been my greatest supporters. They have offered suggestions for internships, help in classes, and just general encouragement. Sometimes SIPA can be overwhelming because it is so rigorous academically and has so many things to be involved in. Fellow students support your interest and help keep you focused on your goals. I chose SIPA because I wanted a place that could open doors in New York and internationally. Its name is respected on a global scale but it is still a much respected school here in the city. Since I plan to stay in New York after graduation, I wanted a place that would position me well for the short term (NYC) and long term (abroad). I also wanted a school with a practitioner focus. SIPA’s capstone component really separates it from the pack of policy schools. I am so excited to participate in a capstone project next year and gain tangible skills that are really marketable when applying to jobs.