fenderpete Posted December 20, 2010 Share Posted December 20, 2010 Slightly weird topic I guess, but having taken two years out since graduating and gaining some solid experience (observed the presidential elections in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea as a long term observer with the Carter Center) I'm still not 100% sure what area of development I want to commit my life to. I've got 10 months of field experience, around two years of NGO HQ experience and a 3.8-3.9 undergrad GPA in Politics from a top-ten UK university (got a First class honours, so no real GPA equivalent). I sat the GRE three years ago and got 610Q, 690V 5.5AWA and I'm about to retake it to hopefully push my quant and verbal over 700. I'm also currently studying for a diploma for graduates in Economics with the University of London international program. I know what I don't want to work in, and the type of work that interests me (conflict resolution/peacebuilding) but as yet I'm not certain what area I want to focus on. I guess my problem has always been that I find all of the conflict-resolution jobs somewhat interdependent and so it's a bit hard to disaggregate the one area that I specifically want to work in. My field work has focused on elections, and while I enjoyed that a lot I'd like to shift more into the DDR and humanitarian/refugee management sphere with grad school. I'm also still interested in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, and broader security/conflict issues. One thing I do know is the type of work I want to do - definitely project management and the more concrete side of development. While policy interests me, I'm definitely more of a 'boots on the ground' guy and want to be able to say what I've achieved at the end of any given week - be that troops disarmed or refugees resettled. I want to be competitive for the top programs, and more importantly for full funding everywhere I apply, but does that mean that I have to totally narrow down my interests in my LOR to sound authoritative? I want to apply to WWS, American, SAIS and SIPA and be competitive for their scholarships. What do you guys think? Is it alright to kind of admit I'm not certain where I'm going yet, but flag the areas I am interested in? Thanks for any advice! Hopefully I'll get it right for Fall 2012! Pete Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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