Archive for Program Assistants – Page 2

Interview with SIPA MIA Candidate, Dario Martinez


Dario Martinez

Brief Background: I am originally from Honduras and I have a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration, both from Loyola University New Orleans. Prior to enrolling at SIPA, I was a Senior Territory Manager for Loyola University and I was in charge of the recruitment and marketing efforts for the university in Latin America, the Caribbean, Mississippi and Florida. During my time at SIPA, I have been involved in the SIPA Consulting club and assisted them in organizing the Case Competition last fall. Also, as a member of the Columbia’s Impact Investing Initiative (CI3), I was part of a four person team that developed a strategy for Habvita Mexico’s entrance into the microfinance housing market in Mexico. Finally, this summer I was an intern in the Renewable Energy Research Department for ThinkGreen Global Advisors and I assisted my manager with client pitching, managing interns, due diligence and research on clean energy topics.

What attracted you to SIPA? What attracted me the most to SIPA, was its rigorous curriculum. I had a strong foundation in Finance and Business prior to coming to SIPA but I wanted to further my quantitative and analytical skills further. My professors are not only knowledgeable and highly regarded in their field but where accessible and invested in training tomorrow’s leaders. Moreover, undertaking classes such as Accounting for Public Affairs, Economic Analysis II or Capital Markets definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and prepared me to pursue a career in the private or public financial sector. All of this while attending a school that has a strong focus in policy, which I am very passionate about, and an unparalleled international focus.

What experience prepared you to attend SIPA? I think that the two experiences that have helped me the most are: work experience and multicultural awareness. As a Territory Manager, I had to learn to work in a fast pace environment, to develop strong multitasking and time management skills, and to interact in a professional setting with people from different backgrounds and cultures. My prior experience also allowed me to develop a better understanding of the concepts and tools discussed in my classes and their applications in the real world.

While at SIPA, I have also been surprised with the diversity of our student body and the wealth of knowledge the students bring to the classrooms. I have classmates come from all over the world, SIPA has 51 countries represented on campus, and from very interesting and unique backgrounds. My classmates are former marines, Peace-Corp participants, full-bright recipients and international development consultants. This opportunity has definitely allowed me to learn about my classmate’s countries, their customs and their personal and professional experiences.

What kind of work do you want to do when you graduate?

Upon graduation, I intend to work in the finance sector. My goal is to join a rating agency or a financial institution and use the knowledge and skills that I acquired at SIPA to provide world-class financial, strategic solutions and research to their sovereign and institutional clients.

Meet our newest Admissions Program Assistants (PA)

Each year we are blessed to have an enthusiastic core group of SIPA graduate students serve as Admission Program Assistants (PA).  For prospective students interested in hearing the SIPA student perspective, the PA is here to provide that insight.  Chances are you will meet one or two or all of them during the admissions process — either in the office, online or on the telephone.

We will post a few Q&A responses from each of them in the next few days so you get to know who is on the other end.  Our wonderful PAs come from different backgrounds and experiences and bring a diverse perspective.  They will also be a great resource on what to do (and not do) as you consider going back to school … since they’ve all been where you are now.

Eric Medina  fall 2014

Eric Medina, MPA 2015 is concentrating in International Security Policy with a focus on the United States (specialization)

What was your previous professional experience?
I spent 10 years in the United States Army. I was assigned to Fort Bragg, NC for the majority of my career. My first international assignment was a combat deployment to Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne). My last international assignment was as the Military Development Liaison Officer to the United States Embassy in the Philippines.

What kind of work do you want to do when you graduate?
I would like to work in the Intelligence Community as a policy advisor for senior government officials.

What has been the best part of your SIPA experience?
The best part has been the friends I’ve made. The diversity of the student body never ceases to amaze me. The opinions and perspectives they bring to conversations regarding domestic and international policy is by far something I have not experienced elsewhere.

Do you feel like you have gotten to know some of the faculty members?
Yes, the faculty at SIPA is exceptional. Not only are there brilliant scholars, but also many are still current practitioners in their field. The experience and insights they bring into the classroom is immeasurable.


who’s on deck?

As sad as we are to see our PA’s (program assistants) graduate and leave us, we are thrilled to have new second years join our team.  If you continue to follow the Admissions Blog, you’ll get to know them over the next few months through their posts and of course, if you contact the Admissions Office, you may also get a response from one or two of them.

We asked them to share a little something about themselves with you…

Maricarmen, MPA ISP:  From Mexico.  Worked in Washington, DC for 3 years and currently researching Illegal Logging in Kosovo. I love running and burgers! (I am obsessed.) Currently reading “The Sound of Things Falling” Juan Gabriel Vasquez (Spanish version)

Danielle, MPA USP: Really interested in political journalism, worked at the New York County District Attorney’s Office before SIPA, native New Yorker, news junkie, Japanese food connoisseur

Henry, MIA EE: From New York City and the Dominican Republic. Worked in development before joining SIPA.  Now focusing on domestic energy issues

Eder, MPA USP:  I’m in Ecuador for the summer – it’s great! I’ve worked on the undocumented student campaign aimed at immigration reform. Enjoy reading up on politics, social movements and love Korean food! Looking forward to working with you all!

Ashley, MIA HRHP:  I’ll try anything twice.

Giuliana, MPA EPD:  Just came back from Rio de Janeiro and completely loved it! I’m passionate about meeting new people and experiencing new cultures (and yes, sometimes I talk too much). I like to run, also practice yoga and I am a frustrated poet, it is one of my passions.

"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

Boiler Image