Archive for washington d.c.

Watch: The 43rd Annual SIPA D.C. Career Conference

Ana Guerrero MIA ’19 gave a micro view of the SIPA D.C. Career Conference; check out the video below for a macro view. More than 220 SIPA students took part this year, joined by over 200 SIPA alumni throughout the Conference’s panels, site visits, and networking events from January 16-18, 2019.

Read the full recap here.

A recap of the 2019 SIPA D.C. Career Conference

SIPA’s 43rd Annual D.C. Career Conference & Alumni/Student Networking Reception was held on January 16 – 18, 2019.

My name is Ana Guerrero, and I am a second-year MIA student, concentrating in International Security Policy and specializing in International Conflict Resolution. I am originally from the Dominican Republic but I grew up in Brooklyn. I had a myriad of jobs before SIPA, and I am hoping to use my degree to pivot into the Security sector.

For that reason, I was really looking forward to the 43rd annual SIPA D.C. Career Conference, so much so that I successfully applied to be the panel coordinator for the Security & Political Risk session. (I couldn’t attend last year because a group of classmates and I organized a relief trip to Puerto Rico to help clean up after Hurricane Maria.) Needless to say, for someone who doesn’t have direct work experience in the field, I felt that I couldn’t miss the D.C. Career Conference *Don Corleone voice* on this the year of my graduation.

I am very glad I made the most of my time at the conference. I had two coffee chats with SIPA alumnae in D.C., and I managed to make a connection with each of my panelists. My favorite panel – aside from my own – was the Foreign and Civil Service session, where we heard from people from the State Department, the FBI, and a former CIA employee. Their insights into government work and the fellowships to apply for were invaluable.

Panels aside, the site visits are another excellent resource because I got to see the workplace and talk to people I otherwise would not have met if I just attended the conference day’s events. I went to the National Counterterrorism Center, Elizabeth Warren’s Senate office, Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), and led the site visit and panel of State Department employees. At the ASG session, a human resources representative talked about internship and employment opportunities to look out for in the coming months. Additionally, the networking reception on the last night allowed me to follow up on connections I had made throughout the week. THIS is why you attend a conference like this!

My one piece of advice to prospective students is to absolutely attend the SIPA D.C. Career Conference if they are open to working in Washington D.C. And if you want to work in D.C. and can attend both years as a SIPA student, do it!

Summer Recruiting Events

The blog has been focused mainly on incoming students recently but I did want to take a moment to highlight some opportunities for prospective students to gather more information about SIPA.

Next month SIPA will be participating in five different recruitment events.  If you are a prospective student and are available it would be great to meet you at one of these events.  Details on each event are below.

First, SIPA is participating in the Aid & International Development Forum taking place in Washington D.C. on June 8th and 9th.  The forum is free to attend and you can view the schedule and register by clicking here.

Second, on Monday, June 13th in Washington, D.C. SIPA will join four other policy schools for an evening reception featuring admissions representatives, alumni, and current students enrolled in our programs. The event will be held at the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.

The doors will open at 5:30 P.M. for registration. The main event, featuring alumni and representatives from the schools, will take place from 6:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. The event will start with some brief presentations followed by mingling with drinks and light hors d’oeuvres and should conclude around 8:00 P.M.

There is no charge to attend the event, but you must register to attend. You can register for the event by clicking here or by pasting the following address into your Web browser:

Third, SIPA will have a table at three graduate school fairs in San Francisco, New York, and Washington D.C.  Full details are available via the following links:

San Francisco Graduate School Fair – June 16th from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. at the San Francisco County Fair Building

New York City Graduate School Fair – June 22nd from 5:00 to 8:00 PM
at Fordham University

Washington, D.C. Graduate School Fair – June 23rd from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. at American University

Please note that we also host information sessions at SIPA each Monday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at Noon, with some exceptions for holidays.  Registration is required and you can contact our office anytime to reserve a space.

Representatives from SIPA travel extensively in the fall and as our travel schedule firms up we will post updates to this blog so stay tuned.

A Few Reminders

I am happy to say that we are down to the 1% mark in terms of applications that we need to finalize decisions on.  If you are in this last group that has yet to receive an email from us welcoming you to view your decision, this is the week.

I also wanted to provide a few reminders for recently admitted candidates.  First, we hope you will make use of an internet based message board to interact with one another and with admitted candidates.  The log in information for the message board is on the Welcome Page referenced in your admission letter.

Next, there is an event admitted students are welcome to attend in Washington, D.C. this weekend.  The original deadline to RSVP was March 25th but we have been offered an extension.  If you have been admitted and wish to attend this event, please visit the Welcome Page as soon as possible for details on how to RSVP.

Finally, Admitted Student Day April 12th and registration information is also on the Welcome Page.  If you can make it we would love to see you.  For those unable to make it resources are provided on the Welcome Page.

Washington D.C. Career Conference

One topic that sometimes will come up when prospective students are considering where to do go to school are the pluses and minues of geographical location.  Geographical location of a school is a logical topic to consider and I thought I would provide a bit of input to complement the entry below, submitted by current student Lacey Ramirez.

There are certain tangible benefits of going to school in a particular place.  If you go to school in New York you will be close to the United Nations for example.  However, if you were to go to the United Nations today and stop ten people that work there, it would be highly unlikely that all ten graduated from a school in New York.

I would say the same for Washington D.C.  I have several friends that work in D.C., however none of them went to school in the greater D.C. area.   In short, and I am not providing earth shattering insight here, you do not need to go to school where you wish to work.  I went to school in Portland, Oregon and have worked in Pusan, South Korea, Santa Clara, California, and New York City.

Another fact that you might be interested in is that the second largest network of SIPA alumni in the world is located in Washington D.C.  We do understand the desire of our students to have exposure to what Washington D.C. has to offer and one part of this is our annual Washington D.C. Career Conference.

In addition to the article below on the 2011 Conference, I think you will find the following former blog entries to be useful as well:

Without further delay, here is the entry composed by Lacey that she wrote after attending this year’s conference.


A very important question one has in choosing a graduate school is what kinds of employment opportunities will come from a particular school.  This was a central question when I was looking at programs, and I was especially interested in those that offered some kind of professional development.  At SIPA professional development is a core component of the curriculum.

Each year we are required to take a day-long professional development course.  The courses are tailored to meet different interests of students in the program, and include the following topic areas: private sector, international students, career changers, media and communications, and international/nonprofit sectors.  Courses are taught by successful SIPA alumni and professional recruiters.  I have often used the resources and materials that I gained from these courses in my internship and job searches.

Another really interesting professional development experience offered at SIPA is the Washington DC Conference, which is a 3-day event offered during winter break.  I participated in the conference this year, and it truly was a great experience and central to the job search I am initiating as I enter my last semester.  The conference provided a great opportunity for me to gain exposure to my different fields of interest and practitioners.  Also, the conference is only open to SIPA students making it really easy to maneuver and feel comfortable.

The first day of the conference included panels on different sectors and covered topics such as corporate social responsibility, urban and social policy, international development consulting, security policy, energy policy, multilaterals, and the list goes on and on.  It was challenging for me to narrow the ones I wanted to participate in!!  Admittedly, I am not typically a huge fan of panels, but I was incredibly impressed with the practitioners who led them.  The panels were also mediated by a staff member from the SIPA Career Center, and the audiences were just the right size for questions.  The best part was being able to approach the practitioners after the panel and exchange contact information!!!

The second day of the conference was a series of site visits.  The visits included many different offices in the federal government, consulting firms, development banks, think tanks, and private practitioners.  It was a whirlwind of visits and also provided an opportunity to connect with specific offices of interest.  I also realized in a site visit that I am extremely interested in a particular organization that I will be applying to this spring.  The best part is that I have a series of contacts that I now know, and I can email them for guidance through my application process.

The evening of the second day of the conference the Career Center organized an event at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown that was a little more informal event with hors d’oeuvres and drinks.  SIPA alumni in the DC area were all invited to the event, and it gave us another venue to get advice from seasoned professionals and recent grads.  I also appreciated that it was a little more of a relaxed environment in which to network.

The final day is reserved for one-on-one informational interviews.  The SIPA Career Center sends out a list of SIPA alumni available to participate in the interviews. I then sent out a number of emails to alumni working in offices of particular interest to me.  I was able to set up about five interviews, and it was a fantastic process.  The ones I chose were different from the ones I visited on the 2nd day, and it really helped me to narrow down organizations that I am specifically interested in and the potential job opportunities that fit my interests.

The best part of the conference is it provided current students exposure to a number of varying fields ranging from security policy, humanitarian affairs, development, and even included private sector opportunities in finance and economics.  I was able to cover my range of professional interests, and I know several other people who also felt satisfied with the experience.  I have made some amazing contacts through the whole process, and I have a new sense of confidence about applying for jobs.  I am very pleased that I chose to participate in the conference, and it truly was a great benefit to me.

"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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