Name: Ashley Robinson
Concentration: Human Rights & Humanitarian Policy
Specializations: I figured out how to complete 3 specializations during my time at SIPA: International Conflict Resolution, Gender Policy and International Organizations.
A brief background: Contributing to a world better than the one with which I have been partially entrusted, is always my focus. My professional path has been neither liner, nor narrow. I tend to pursue what is most interesting and challenging to me at the time. It usually involves at least three simultaneous projects. I have primarily worked in research in litigation, behavioral economics, social science and clinical drug trials. I have served on boards and volunteered with organizations focused on microfinance (Grameen America), end of life care (Hospice), equal rights for people with disabilities (The ARC) and many others.
What attracted you to SIPA?
Of all the International Affairs programs I researched, SIPA was always my first choice. I was most looking forward to the discourse I would have with the student body, comprised of 50% international students. I felt the instructors would provide practical wisdom and genuine insight and I have not been disappointed. The curriculum is a perfect balance of theory and practice.
What advice would you give a first-year student?
During your first year at SIPA, 35% behind on everything is the new par. Work as hard as you can, be as forgiving of yourself as possible and don’t forget to enjoy it because it goes by so quickly.
What kind of work do you hope to do when you graduate?
After graduation, I would love to work in International Conflict Resolution. After my summer research project for UNOCI and UNDP, I applied to the United Nations. While I am most interested in Africa, I will go anywhere I can be useful.
What most surprised you about SIPA after you arrived?
After I began at SIPA, I was most surprised at how quickly the time goes by. Every time I looked up, a week had passed. Graduate school is nothing like undergrad. While I don’t want to say taking 17.5-18 credits, including learning a new language and working full-time was a bad idea, it is one that should be well considered.