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Profile Evaluation - Masters Programs in IR and Security Studies


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Hey everyone, just joined and would greatly appreciate your feedback and advice on my profile! I've applied to, or have applied to a number of programs for Fall 2022, mostly in the security studies field. My primary career goal is working the DoD Office of Net Assessment or somewhere similar in the US security field.

Schools Applying To: Georgetown Walsh Security Studies Program (Top Choice); JHU SAIS MAIR (Security, Strategy, Statecraft Concentration); GWU ESIA Security Policy Studies; AU SIS MA Int Affairs (US FP and Nat Sec Concentration); U Chicago MAIR; Tufts Fletcher MGA; Columbia SIPA MIA; UT Austin GPS

Undergraduate Institution:  Indiana University

Undergraduate GPA: 3.77, planning on graduating with academic honors, as well as honors undergraduate thesis. Dean's list last 5 semesters of current institution. 
My only concern here is I am a nontraditional student (27 and about to graduate) and have a very poor semester and a half back in 2012-2013 dragging me down (think bad, really bad, I stopped showing up to classes and didn't withdraw) although I think I've overcome this through recent coursework and my personal statement.

Undergraduate Major: International Studies, Political Science Minor

GRE/GMAT: Did not take

Languages: English, Chinese (fluent), German (fluent), French (some)

Years out of Undergrad: 0, planning on graduating in May 22
Quant Background: Research Design course (A); Political Quant Analysis (A-); Microeconomics (Currently in, expected B+); Macroeconomics (Planned Spring 22)

Years of Work Experience: 7-8 counting time between first go at undergrad in 2012 and now including my internship experiences

Relevant Work/Internship Experience: 

- 2 Years in the mid 2010s living and working in Hong Kong as a corporate sales rep for a major Australian-based hospitality firm

-Political Internship during 2020 presidential campaign cycle

-Campaign organizing position for congressional candidate during 2018 campaign cycle

-Internship for local political party (approx 1 year)
-Political Internship during 2016 presidential campaign  cycle


-Leadership role in university's model UN team, have received distinction awards at last 6 conferences over past 2 years and highest distinction award at 1.

-Leadership role in my department's honor society

Letter of Recs:


-One extremely strong from my undergrad thesis advisor, tenured professor and dept chair, and have taken 3 coures with them previously.

-One strong from tenured professor I have taken 2 courses with  and is a non-resident fellow at Brookings

-One strong but probably less personalized lor from professor and former representative of Iraq at the UN.

I'm not sure about the strength of it as I'm having second doubts but it's been reviewed by my thesis advisor professor as well as several colleagues who have expressed enthusiasm with it. I write about my experiences living in NYC during 9/11 as a child as well as my experiences overseas coming together to influence my interest and personal commitment to service to the US and why I'm pursuing security studies particularly. Also briefly discussed my first attempt at udnergrad in 2012 and how it has shaped my career and academic goals to be much more particular and specific.

600 word policy papers for GWU, SAIS, and Gtown are broadly the same covering strategic realignment in the Indo-Pacific and arguing that the US must further entrench itself via deep engagement to project US power against a rising China and prevent a Thucydides Trap.

Overall I guess I'd just like some feedback on the strength of my application. I have pretty severe anxiety and self-doubt over how my horrid performance at my first try at undergrad will be seen by application committee and am worried about my lack of quant although my transcript does reflect I'm trying to reflect that.

Thanks for your time all.

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