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'18 International Affairs Decisions


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Hi y'all. First time poster, but think it's time we have a 2018 international affairs decision thread.

Me first- I work at the World Bank, and am leaning toward Fletcher's MIB or SAIS' MA. Want to work in economic development, though not necessarily for a large development organization again right after graduation. I'm trying to play the funding game- I know I'm fortunate to get anything from Fletcher or SAIS (and I'm getting ~$20K a year from both), but hope to increase that as I was fortunate enough to be accepted to every program I applied for. I would seriously consider other institutions like Yale Jackson or Georgetown if they're willing to provide a similar level of funding.

I recognize I'm probably biased towards Fletcher and SAIS, but several colleagues rave about Fletcher, and at the World Bank I'm surrounded by SAIS alums. Please let me know if you think I'm overrating them, but I believe Georgetown is struggling with placement now, SIPA has a worryingly high acceptance rate (and NYC is insanely expensive), and I'm not sure Yale has the kind of ability to place that SAIS has.

 

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Of all the programs in IR, I have never heard a single negative thing about Yale Jackson. Sure it's fairly new and out of the way of the "traditional" IR hubs like DC and NYC, but it's got distinguished faculty, a huge and prominent network and funding is allegedly abundant. I am very tempted to decline all the offers I have in hand and apply there next year. 

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My main worries are the strength of its connection to undergrad alumni network, and the freedom to choose almost every course is a double edged sword- I have to be sure I know exactly what I want to do post graduation (as opposed to MIB or SAIS IDEV, which are fairly controlling). But yes, they are generous with funding.

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On 3/21/2018 at 6:41 PM, ExponentialDecay said:

You may be surrounded by SAIS grads, but I hardly hear anyone raving about it....

And they kind of do, at least about Bologna. From where I sit it appears SAIS offers a big leg up into the World Bank, as in my global practice there are 2 practice managers from the same SAIS class. For context, I believe there aren't more than 3 american practice managers total (in my global practice).

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9 hours ago, indecision18 said:

And they kind of do, at least about Bologna. From where I sit it appears SAIS offers a big leg up into the World Bank, as in my global practice there are 2 practice managers from the same SAIS class. For context, I believe there aren't more than 3 american practice managers total (in my global practice).

That would be relevant if your next promotion were to practice manager. How many newly hired E+ level staff in your GP are from SAIS?

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19 hours ago, indecision18 said:

True, I only know of one. Do you hear bad things about SAIS/Fletcher?

I don't know how all GPs or areas of development work but have reason to suspect that they operate on discrete value systems, so ymmv. From my contacts I hear that SAIS graduates a highly differentiated cohort of students where the average is unimpressive (which I'm ready to believe, given the class size and the fact that you can pass the economics requirement by taking undergraduate-level courses). I never hear anything about Fletcher. In my understanding it's a diplomacy program, ergo not very relevant to what multilaterals do.

That said, it depends on what you want to do...

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