Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

Columbia University and SIPA held a combination of in-person and virtual commencements this week, and you can watch SIPA’s livestream telecast of the graduation program here. The telecast featured guests Madeleine Albright and Eric Holder, student speakers, and SIPA faculty. I also recommend checking out the @columbia.SIPA on Instagram for some great photos of our graduating Class of 2021.

After interacting with our SIPA students for a few years, I learned that the most nerve-wracking question you can often ask a graduating student is: “So what are you going to do after graduation?”

For those who are at this time deciding where they want to attend, that decision may feel far away. SIPA’s Office of Career Services provides data on employment statistics of each class, as well as a sample list of organizations that SIPA alumni end up at. Every year we are asked “what exact list of companies could a SIPA graduate work at?” And it’s impossible to answer because it is such a long list, and we cannot answer you without knowing where you want to end up.

If you are trying to figure out if SIPA is in your future, immediate or later — along with exploring SIPA’s student and alumni features here and on social media, as well as the Office of Career Services, I encourage you to do some LinkedIn exploration, by searching for people who graduated Columbia SIPA in fields or industries that you are interested in. This way you can get a macro and micro level idea of where SIPA students end up after graduation.

Congratulations again to the SIPA Class of 2021 — this is the first class that I saw from start (application) to finish (graduation), and they finished a rigorous program amid a very difficult period for the world. I promise not to hold them to what they vowed to accomplish in their Personal Statements so many years ago, and I am extremely excited to see how they will contribute to the world of policy and global affairs.