Author Archive for Kaitlyn Wells

Join us for Summerfest 2017 in Boston, DC or NYC

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about graduate school, then now’s your chance. Join SIPA for a free evening reception and mini graduate-school fair this summer in Boston, Washington, D.C. or New York City. You’ll get to pick the brains of alumni, students, and staff from five top graduate programs in public policy and international affairs.

Representatives from the following graduate programs will be available to discuss their admissions requirements, the application process, financial aid, and more:

  • Columbia University – School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)
  • Georgetown University – Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
  • Johns Hopkins University – The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
  • Princeton University – The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
  • Tufts University – The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy

Just click on each event below to register.

Summerfest Boston June 2017
Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 05:30 PM until 08:00 PM
Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
160 Packard Ave
Medford, MA 02155-5815
SIPA Rep: Grace Han, Executive Director of Admissions & Financial Aid

Summerfest NYC 2017
Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 05:30 PM until 08:00 PM
Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St., Fl 15
New York, NY 10027-7235
SIPA Rep: It’s all hands on deck! Come and meet our entire office at this event!

Summerfest DC July 2017
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 at 05:30 PM until 08:00 PM
Georgetown Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001-2022
SIPA Rep: Kaitlyn Wells, Assistant Director of Admissions (yup, that’s me!)


Can’t attend? Then follow each event on Twitter at , , , and .

Fall 2017 New Students Series: Karl Hendler

This week I shared we’re gearing up for our annual introduction series featuring the incoming Fall 2017 class. To get us started, please welcome Karl Hendler from Richfield, Ohio. Karl was a philosophy major from the University of Southern California, and joined the US Marine Corps upon graduation. (Thank you for your service, Karl!) He’s joining SIPA to change gears and focus more on designing policy rather than executing it. 

Full Name: Karl Hendler
Age: 31
Degree Program: Master of Public Administration
Concentration: International Security Policy
Hometown: Richfield, OH

Undergraduate University: Univ Southern California
Undergraduate Major: Philosophy
Undergraduate Graduation Year: 2008

What’s your professional background?
Immediately upon graduating college, I was commissioned into the US Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant. I spent my first year in training in Quantico, VA, first in The Basic School (infantry training for all newly commissioned Marine officers) and then at Basic Communications Officer Course. I spent the next eight years as a communications officer, a specialty in which I planned and supervised the installation and operation of voice, video, and data communications networks at various levels throughout the Marine Corps. In this time, I’ve lived in Okinawa, Japan, Camp Lejeune, NC, and another stint in Quantico. I’ve also deployed on the USS Essex, taking part in exercises and port visits throughout Asia (Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and the Philippines). In 2013, I deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, for a year as a future operations officer, taking part in the planning of the year’s operations. Lastly, in Quantico I am currently serving as a capabilities development officer, planning the implementation of future technologies throughout the Marine Corps. I will resign my commission at the end of June, with a final rank of Captain.

Did you apply to SIPA to change careers or to gain experience in a career path you already have experience in?
I see myself as changing careers into a related field. As a Marine I’ve served more of an instrument of foreign and public policy, and SIPA will give me the opportunity of transitioning into influencing the formulation of policy.

Karl Hendler and family standing under a tree in the park

What was your reaction when you found out you were accepted to SIPA?
My first reaction was a giant sigh of relief. SIPA was by far my first choice school, and I had no idea what to expect when I applied after being out of school for so long. Without any reference point as to how competitive I was as an applicant, I was extremely nervous during the entire application period.

Why did you say “yes” to SIPA?
SIPA was my first choice for two main reasons. First, academically, SIPA appears to strike the right balance for me in terms of focus. Programs like those offered at the Harvard Kennedy School seemed very broad in addressing public policy; whereas others like the Security Studies Program at Georgetown seemed too narrow in focusing on security exclusively. SIPA, I think, takes the best parts of those schools and molds them together into a very well-rounded program. Secondly, I love the location, quite frankly. My wife and I have always wanted to live in New York.

What do you most look forward to as a graduate student at SIPA?
I look forward most to getting exposed to the wide range of diverse people and perspectives. I’ve thus far spent my entire (albeit relatively short) adult life in the Marine Corps, living and working among other Marines almost exclusively. I think I see the world through a lens provided by the military, and I am keen to gain a more comprehensive view of the world around me.

Do you have any apprehensions about starting graduate school?
I graduated college in 2008, and with the exception of GRE prep and taking economics and statistics online to reinforce my transcript, I’ve been removed from academics for seemingly a lifetime. I’d like to think I’ll do well, but I won’t know for sure until we start in the fall.

What are your goals after SIPA?
Broadly, I want to continue serving my country, though this time around I’d like to have a say (however small) in forming national security policy, using my experience in the military to hopefully inform plans and ideas concerning military interventions. I’ll be looking at government agencies for those opportunities, but I also look forward to exploring private options as well.

If you could change one small thing about your community, country or the world, what would it be?
I’d like to tweak how leaders think about military interventions: often we see debates about intervening in a country with leaders speaking in terms of numbers of troops, bombs dropped, or missiles launched. Whenever a government considers any kind of military operation in another country, however, I’d like to consider those in the country being impacted and focus on potential long-term ramifications on how, as a society, they will view us and cooperate (or not) with us in the future.

Tell us something interesting about yourself:
I spent the first three days of my life without a name: My parents had planned to name me Peter Hendler III, but when I was born my mom thought I “didn’t look like a Peter.” My parents spent the next three days in vain attempting to decide upon another name, until my grandmother suggested the name of her brother, Karl.

Share your story by completing the New Student Self-Interview Form today!

[Photos courtesy of Karl Hendler | At Fredericksburg, VA, Oktoberfest, Sep 2016 | With Stacy and my son William at the DC Cherry Blossom Festival, Mar 2017]
*Note: This series is published in its original form with no editing.

Incoming students, join our New Students Series

Every summer, I introduce our readers to the incoming class of Seeples. We learn about the experiences that led them to SIPA, their ambitions for the future, and a few quirky details about their personalities. So today I’m excited to share that I’m now accepting submissions for this year’s questionnaire! If you’re an incoming Fall 2017 MIA/MPA/MPA-DP student and want to e-introduce yourself to the masses, make sure you submit the New Student Self-Interview Form.

I look forward to reviewing your submissions!

Career Coaches: another perk for our Seeples

If you did any research before applying to graduate school, you’re probably aware that SIPA has its own career office dedicated to SIPA students. That means that SIPA’s Office of Career Services (OCS) has only one job: to help current SIPA students enhance their networking skills and job/internship hunt. For me, the key takeaway is that OCS is just here to assist SIPA students. Not Law School students, not Teachers College students, and not Columbia College (undergraduate) students. And that’s a big deal.

You may recall yesterday years from undergrad when you were fighting for face time with your Office of Career Services. (I know I did!) You had to schedule appointments weeks in advance and they were impossible to reach via phone. That’s not an issue at SIPA. OCS is just here for its Seeples and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The offer a variety of services to help current students and alumni find their career paths, such as networking events, on-campus recruitment sessions, career advising, and internship grants.

One service that I believe is often overlooked, is SIPA Career Coaching (SIPACC) by experts in the field. SIPACCs are full-time professionals who volunteer throughout the year to offer industry-specific knowledge to current students who just don’t know which direction to go. Sessions run 30 minutes and current students can sign up for them in SIPAlink, our job and internship database. Typically, you can expect to pay $100 or more for a one-on-one career coaching session, but the wonderful volunteers with SIPACC offer this service for free!

In the sessions they’ll:

  • Dispense industry-specific job advice in their field(s).
  • Share their knowledge about various career opportunities related to the advisee’s SIPA concentration or specialization.
  • Establish steps that should be undertaken by the advisee in order to advance in a particular industry.
  • Offer other career advice at their discretion.

On another note: this isn’t a one-time thing. SIPA students and alumni can sign up for three coaching sessions per semester! So add this to the “win” column for why SIPA is the place for you. We hope to see you in the fall.

Social empowerment through pizza

In a video interview with Al Jazeera, pizzeria owner Alejandro Souza, MPA-DP 2013, shares how he’s “teaching people to fish” instead of giving handouts to Mexico City’s homeless population.

Watch the video on Al Jazeera’s website here.

[Photo courtesy of Al Jazeera]

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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