Archive for Career Services – Page 2

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.


Career Services – Recruiters’ Guide

When describing SIPA to prospective applicants I will often say that SIPA is not an employment agency, however it is our job as a school to produce graduates that are prized in the policy marketplace.  Our curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the tools and skills that are desired by organizations in all sectors – public, private, and nonprofit.

The Office of Career Services (OCS) plays an important part in the development of our students.  OCS is responsible for running our professional development classes and assists students with resume and cover letter writing along with interview training.

The OCS mission extends beyond student development and includes extensive outreach to employers.  This includes site visits to employers, setting up recruitment opportunities at SIPA, hosting an annual career conference in Washington DC, and posting internships and jobs available to SIPA students and alumni.

Newly admitted students will have the opportunity to begin working with OCS during orientation.  As a short preview of the outreach that OCS performs, click here to view the OCS Recruiters’ Guide (PDF document).

Microfinance Working Group 9th Annual Career Conference

By Deepika Sharma and Beatriz Guillen

On April 1st I attended the 9th Annual Career Conference organized by the SIPA Microfinance Working Group. As you might know, microfinance has been in the news a lot recently- for both good and bad reasons. There have been questions raised on the efficacy and sustainability of microfinance especially due to recent events in South Asia. These issues, as well as career opportunities in the field, were discussed in the Microfinance conference, that was held at the Office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP, a 38th floor with spectacular views of the city.

This year’s Panel was comprised of the following people:

  • Olympia de Castro, IFC Advisory Services – Access To Finance, International FinanceCorporation
  • Erica Dorn, Partnerships and Volunteer Program Manager, ACCION International
  • Molly McGrath, Vice President of Development, Grameen America
  • Shamsudeen Mustafa, Program Director, SeedCo Financial Services and Co-President, Microfinance Club of New York
  • Carolina Murphy, Founder and Managing Partner of
  • Ben Shell, Senior Associate, New Product Development, Women’s World Banking
  • Adriana Valenzuela, Associate, Capital Markets Group, Grameen Foundation

The 1.5 hour long panel and Q&A session was followed by reception and networking between the audience and the panelists while they enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres. Unlike the last few years, the audience this year not only comprised of SIPA students but also students from Columbia College, NYU-Wagner and NYU-Stern as well as alumni and industry professionals. The speakers from the different organizations were extremely helpful and receptive to the students and greatly appreciated the event for facilitating their recruitment processes.

Career Networking is an important part and parcel at SIPA. There are numerous events that facilitate and encourage students to connect with alumni and professionals. In the words of one of the panelists: “staying connected with professionals in the field and building your network is not just important for the next internship or job search but is a lifelong source for advancing your career or just meeting more interesting people”. In fact, the Microfinance Working Group organizes the Annual Spring Career Conference at a prime location downtown because of continued relations Tony Gooch, the Co-founder of the MFWG.

Alumni Notes #2: February 2011

Last week we featured a post highlighting some of our alumni.  This is the promised follow up post covering some other sectors.  Below are sector titles, names, program, graduation year, organizations, and titles.  Feel free to follow the links for related pages on those referenced.

NGOs and United Nations

Frederick Abrahams – MIA 1995:  Senior Advisor, Human Rights Watch

Diana Bruce – MPA 1997:  Director of Health and Wellness, District of Columbia Public Schools

Judy Cheng-Hopkins – MIA 1978:  Assistant Secretary-General, UN Capital Development Fund

Kimberley George – MIA 2006:  Executive Director, Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition

Joshua Lockwood – MIA 1997:  Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity, New York

Anselme Sadiki – MIA 2003:  Programme Specialist – Governance/Rule of Law, UNDP

David Saltzman – MPA 1985:  Executive Director, Robin Hood Foundation

Hawthorne Smith – MIA 1992:  Clinical Co-Director, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture

Cihan Sultanoglu – MIA 1981:  Director of the Office of Human Resources, Bureau of Management, UNDP


Patricia Cloherty – MIA 1968:  Director, NYSE Euronext Inc

Kirsten Frivold – EMPA 2003:  Vice President, Goldman Sachs & Co

Lloyd Kass – MPA 1998:  Vice President Energy Solutions, Willdan

Kedin Kilore – MPA 1995:  Head of US Emissions Trading, Barclays Capital

Amy Miller – MIA 1982:  Managing Director and Head of Global Loan Syndications, Scotia Capital

Bart Oosterveld – MPA 1997:  Chief Credit Officer, Moody’s Government and Infrastructure Finance

Brian Wynter – MIA 1985:  Governor, Bank of Jamaica

Academia and Think Tanks

Richard Greenwald – MPA 1993:  Senior Fellow, Center of Civic Innovation, Manhattan Institute

Francesco Mancini – MIA 2003:  Senior Fellow and Director of Research, International Peace Institute

Kara McGuire Minar – MIA 1992:  Director of Career Services, Harvard University Institute of Politics

Luis Carlos Ugalde – MPA 1992:  Faculty of the Department of Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México

Career Services Newsletter Highlights

Our Office of Career Services (OCS) is very active in the lives of our students.  The job of OCS is to help our current students prepare for immediate engagement in the policy world upon graduation and to assist alumni with continued career development.  The following are some of the highlights of the most recent OCS Newsletter that was sent to our students.  This list should give you a peek into the wonderful service afforded to our students and alumni.


Economic and Political Development, Human Rights and Urban and Social Policy Alumni/Student Networking Reception

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, from 6:00-8:00pm, the New York City Career Series will host the Economic and Political Development, Human Rights and Urban and Social Policy Alumni/Student Networking Reception at the Scandinavia House, 58 Park Avenue (near East 38th Street). Hundreds of alumni from the New York City area and series panelists are invited to attend. The reception will provide an exciting opportunity to network with alumni in your field of interest.

Japan Travel Program for U.S. Future Leaders – Application Deadline: Friday, February 18, 2011

The Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP), in collaboration with the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), will implement the Japan Travel Program for U.S. Future Leaders for the third time. The goal of the program is to foster a new generation of future leaders in the United States who are interested in achieving a greater understanding of Japan and its roles in global affairs, and in engaging in dialogue and interchange with their counterparts in Japan.

The Program will invite approximately twelve (12) first-year graduate students – no more than two from each U.S.-based APSIA school with full membership – to Japan as a group for a period of approximately ten (10) days in August, 2011. The group will consist of students who currently are or previously have been engaged in Japan studies as well as those who successfully demonstrate a serious interest in Japan but may not have previous exposure to the country.

To see a sample itinerary, visit SIPAlink’s Career Resource Library section and click on “Japan Travel Program 2010 Itinerary Reference Only.”

This itinerary is for illustrative purposes only.

CGP will organize all aspects of official programs and bear all program-related costs of the group, including travel and per diem (accommodations and meals). Costs not covered by CGP include but are not limited to the following: passport application fees, U.S. domestic travel to and from the nearest airport, personal incidentals during the program such as gift purchases, personal time excursions, etc.

F-1 Student Optional Practical Training (OPT) Information Session

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) staff will outline your employment options for off-campus work following completion of an academic program. We will discuss eligibility requirements, time limitations, and application deadlines and procedures for off-campus employment (Practical Training) after your program of study.

The New York City Career Series

The New York City Career Series was established in 2005 by the Office of Career Services and is designed to provide a forum for students to discuss career trends with professionals in their fields of interest. It is comprised of approximately 20 career panels that take place throughout the school year, including topics such as Human Rights, Urban Policy, Gender Policy, the United Nations, Public and Private Consulting, Finance and Media.

Panelists include a mixture of SIPA alumni and other professionals working in New York City. The Career Series allows SIPA students to make important connections for jobs, internships and informational interviews.  Many of the private sector career panels were held during the fall semester, while those with a more public sector focus will be held in the spring.

Here is a list of the upcoming career panels for the Spring semester:

Monday, February 28, 2011: Gender Policy Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB

Monday, February 28, 2011: Urban Policy and New York City Government Career Panel

6:15-7:45pm, Room 1501 IAB

Tuesday, March 1, 2011: Foundations Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB
Wednesday, March 2, 2011: Security and Political Risk Analysis Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB

Monday, March 7, 2011: Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1510 IAB
Tuesday, March 8, 2011: Social Enterprise Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB

Wednesday, March 9, 2011: Non Profits/NGOs Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1501 IAB

Monday, March 28, 2011: Public Sector Consulting Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB

Tuesday, March 29, 2011: Environmental Policy Career Panel

6:00-7:30pm, Room 1512 IAB

India Employer Outreach Trip: Report by Irene Coffman, Director of Employer Outreach

In my new role as Director of Employer Outreach, I took my first overseas trip to India in November 2010, along with representatives from three other Association of Professional Schools in International Affairs (APSIA) schools.  During the course of the trip we met with 28 organizations located in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as alumni.

We met with a spectrum of organizations that included private sector firms, think tanks, NGOs and multilaterals that included: Monitor Inclusive Markets, Yes Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Infrastructure Development Finance Company, Azure Power, TERI (The Energy Research Institute), Oxfam India, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Centre for Social Research, UN Development Programme, Aga Kahn Foundation, and American India Foundation.

Several of the organizations we met with have already posted internships for the summer and we are in the process of following up with the rest.

Peer Perspectives Series

Would you enjoy the opportunity to share with your classmates your professional experiences prior to or during SIPA? Give back to the current student body by sharing your expertise in a structured setting. If you have full-time professional work experience in a specific field, sign up to be a speaker as part of the OCS Peer Perspective Series that will showcase one of SIPA’s greatest resources, its student body!

Alumni Career Advisory Program (ACAP)

Attention students! Please note that you have access to the Alumni Career Advisory Program (ACAP), which is part of the SIPA Global Connection alumni website. ACAP is an online directory of SIPA alumni who have volunteered to serve as career mentors to current SIPA students and fellow alumni. ACAP is an excellent source for networking.

Online Job Search Resources

Current students have access to Vault Online Career Library. Vault is the world’s leading source of career information.  It will make your efforts at researching employers, industries, and career subjects infinitely easier and more efficient. In addition, students have access to Wet Feet Library. Since 1994, WetFeet has been a trusted third party for job seekers, helping students and young professionals make smarter career decisions. The Wetfeet Career Resource Site gives you access to the complete Insider Guide library and the inside scoop on more than 1,000 companies, careers, and industries, along with videos and tips to help find and score your ideal job.

Also, please check out our new subscription to the Going Global database! Packed with country-specific career information, this research tool provides expert advice and insider tips for finding employment opportunities domestically and abroad. Explore career and employment opportunities in countries around the world.  Listings are updated daily.  Resources include: business and networking groups, job search resources, cost of living data and more. H-1B employer listings are included in each City Guide, as well as a state-by-state roster.  Access more than 400,000+ country-specific company profiles.  (Available to students and alumni, UNI authentication required.)

"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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