Welcome to the GradCafe

Hello!  Welcome to The GradCafe Forums.You're welcome to look around the forums and view posts.  However, like most online communities you must register before you can create your own posts.  This is a simple, free process that requires minimal information. Benefits of membership:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Search forums
  • Removes some advertisements (including this one!)

went_away

Members
  • Content count

    170
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    1

went_away last won the day on April 16

went_away had the most liked content!

About went_away

  • Rank
    Latte

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    DC
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Graduated from Fletcher
  1. There is one place and one place only that you belong: Georgetown School of Security Studies. Go there, and things will work out fine, presuming you don't mind paying the outrageous tuition prices. To get in, you'll need to get on the internship/research assistant band wagon ASAP. The more professional writing and analysis you can do before applying, the better. You say your work experience doesn't apply to IR, but it might if you know how to frame it (especially if you can contextualize it with your love for security studies, keeping people safe, our great country's opportunities, blah, blah, blah). You aren't super young, so this is the time to be going to grad school. I am guessing your status as a McNair scholar + strong GPA will be your ticket in. On the negative side, your undergraduate major is rather unfortunate, as are your language skills. You may need to do a stint in the peace corps or military to be taken more seriously both before and after grad school, but you may be a little beyond that at this point in your life.
  2. I could see a 1-year program at a top institution doing you quite a lot of good as you sound like the sort of person who knows how to extract the maximum value possible out of an experience. If you're currently pulling down in the mid six to seven figures in income, the type of person you'll be able to network with at a good grad school will be quite high level and probably able to help you advance in your goals. You'll just have to be extremely focused and know what you want to get out of the experience. I had someone similar to you in my cohort and he's since used the experience to great effect (recruited a high-level connection to serve on his board of directors and leveraged another personal connection to get a CEO position and other resume enhancers).
  3. If you want to work specifically in security I would recommend St Andrews. Regardless, you will struggle in this field if you lack a clearance, military background, or cyber skills.
  4. St Andrews is definitely better if my LinkedIn contacts are a good indicator. They dominate at Control Risk and the like. Georgetown is *by far* the best worldwide (for security studies!), though probably too expensive.
  5. Thank you. I believe this point of view will increasingly become conventional wisdom as public knowledge catches up with reality and the very difficult and weak job market for most IR grads. I work with, socialize with, supervise, and hire master's IR grads (hundreds in total) and believe me - it's tough out there. I was just at an extremely large event in DC and more than half of the grads with whom I spoke (they graduated 2-3 years ago for the most part) were precariously employed, under employed, on temporary contracts, or unemployed. I love this field and have devoted the last 12 years of my life to it, but barring lots of family money, get a big scholarship or don't go.
  6. I generally agree with this post. The main difference between the Kennedy and Wilson Schools that I was alluding to above is that their funding situation is completely different. Kennedy provides little or no tuition support for the majority of their students and VERY few receive full funding. In contrast, Wilson provides full funding as a matter of course. This difference is so large that I would place them in completely separate categories. It speaks to the size of each school's endowment, which is one of the strongest statements of its strength on the job market and other measures of effectiveness. A top school official from Kennedy has posted extensively here on this topic and on how Kennedy would love to provide funding for its students but simply does not have anywhere near the resources the business or law school does. Having said that, sure - if Kennedy had the institutional resources to provide full funding to its students then I would agree you'd be splitting hairs in comparing them. Speaking personally, if money weren't an issue, I also would probably rather be at Harvard/Cambridge than at Princeton because of the city and the wider university opportunities.
  7. Now you're just flaming.
  8. If you disagree with something I wrote, make a point. Maybe I'll agree with you! Please don't attack me personally.
  9. I wouldn't recommend you go to any of those schools for that level of debt. There's no doubt Fletcher is a whole lot better than Korbel - which is a very weak program - but not even Fletcher will do all that much for you if you don't have that much going for you already. 'IR' isn't really a field, so you're going to have to be much more specific in articulating what it is you would like to do. A 4-week coding boot camp will do more for your career prospects than a two year grad degree from a SAIS or Fletcher.
  10. The Wilson School is ranked MUCH higher than the Kennedy school. They're not even really in the same league.
  11. The Bush School is far better than SIS and focuses on security vs development at American. The fact that you're a veteran with a clearance makes this even easier: Texas wins hands down.
  12. Sure that's more or less accurate, but you can't really compare all these programs to each other. They have different constituencies and students have different career interests. Usually I would separate international affairs from public policy.
  13. The above posters are right: with decent essays, GRE and recommendations you're right in line for a no-scholarship or low-scholarship offer at a Fletcher or SAIS sort of place. You're probably borderline at SIPA. A couple of points: I wouldn't characterize your work experience as 'great,' but as 'standard' or 'decent.' Don't expect it to power you into a top program. Also, recommendations from members of Congress are not necessarily a good idea, unless they know you personally and are committed to writing a good letter. A detailed, positive letter from a chief of staff would be far, far more powerful than a generic letter from a powerful person.
  14. If you're already working in the field and somewhat happy with your current employer and opportunities, this looks like a good move.
  15. Both should serve you about the same. I would highly, highly, highly recommend you join the national guard or military in some form and pair that with the MA if these are really the jobs you want. You'll struggle to break into any of those fields without military experience; it's kind of a mafia.