What was your background prior to Graduate Professional Studies?
I had received a BA in Media Communication and Design and certification in German from St. Norbert College. I as well received B2 level German certification from a language academy in Germany post-graduation (Summer 2014). After returning from Germany, I worked for 10 months full-time in marketing at a rising art museum in Wisconsin.
Why did you choose to participate in Graduate Professional Studies?
I chose the Graduate Professional Studies program as a way to acclimate myself into the sphere of international affairs and graduate school as it was a career shift coming from my media and marketing background.
Where did you intern? What were some daily tasks at your internship? Favorite part?
I interned at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, a top-30 ranked international think tank (2015). My work included research on economics, foreign policy, security, energy, and more. I translated documents between English and German as well as assisted with collaborative think tank events in DC.
Did you know what your career/academic path looked like before you joined the program?
I knew that I wanted to receive my MA in international affairs and was very interested in working in the think tank industry. GPS did solidify this for me by assuring me my career shift was in the right direction.
What was your #1 takeaway from the Program? WHat would you tell others considering GPS?
My #1 takeaway was the opportunity to partake in classes while working in the chosen field as well as attending think tank panels across D.C.. I loved applying IR theory or referring to learned class topics to unfolding events or issues that I worked on at my internship.
What did you do after completing your GPS semester?
After the program I stayed at AU to pursue my master's in international affairs.
Did your time with GPS directly affect your professional success?
My time in GPS directly affected my professional success because it allowed me to feel comfortable in my transition of career paths. I felt that AU was a great resource and helping hand during my entire semester. If anything, the program gives its students a toolbox and the confidence to continue on post-GPS.
Can you sum up your experience in Graduate Professional Studies in just a few sentences?
AU's Graduate Professional Studies was an invaluable opportunity which provided a helping hand in navigating a career shift in international affairs as well as acclimating into the expectations of graduate school-level work. By the end of the program I had an entire new group of international friends and colleagues and had solidified my next step post-GPS graduation. Even though I moved across the country for the program and had almost no contacts in Washington, D.C. I always felt that I had a home on campus and that the people involved in the program truly cared about their work and the students' well-being. My choice in sticking around AU to pursue my master's degree really says it all.