Being a Bolognesi
"What are you studying? "
Me: "International Relations."
"But what will your degree be in?"
This is undoubtedly one of the most frequent questions that I get from family and friends. It's a very reasonable question, but like any question that you have to answer multiple times, it can be tiresome to answer. While it behooves Roger Sterling to be mysterious, it just leads to more questions for me.
I will try to make this a clear answer.
I will attend the Johns Hopkins Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies where I will pursue an MA degree in international relations with functional focus in strategic studies and a regional focus on Europe and Eurasia.
What kind of job do you get with that degree?
Another great question, but one that is even harder to answer. Unlike medicine, engineering, law, or pretty much any other profession that my parents probably wanted me to pursue (just kidding, kind of) there isn't an A+B=C answer to this question. In fact, a few confidants of mine who have had lengthy careers inside the DC beltway have advised me not to have a laser focus on a specific job or title, as they have seen people ruin their personal lives over that goal. Instead, a degree in this field will set me up for any number of professions, as the degree is intentionally interdisciplinary. Many SAIS graduates go on to work in the State Department, Department of Defense, Consulting firms (Booz Allen Hamilton is a big one), Defense Industry (think Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, et al), congressional committees, journalism (TV and print -- Wolf Blitzer is a SAIS alum), the energy industry, or the non profit industry.
I wont get into my specific aspirations here as they are evolving. Also, I think it would be premature to say that I know exactly what I want to do when I haven't even been exposed to the career options in Europe yet, but I will soon: SAIS takes career trips to London, Paris and Geneva where SAISers interact with professionals in each city and network. So hopefully that will lead to a job, right mom and dad?
For the school's take on what I just said, check out these links:
If you like what I write, or want to discuss anything, please email me or comment above! Also, if you'd like to receive email updates each time I post, please enter your email address above.
Please do not post any links from this blog on Facebook, Twitter or any other public forum. This blog is intended to be private -- invitees only. This will ensure writing free of inhibition, a better vessel of open communication between me and you.
"Nobody knows what I'm doing. It's good for mystique."