Jump to content

Q about commitment to public service


Recommended Posts

Hey all,

New to this forum. I am applying to directly out of undergrad and understand that I am disadvantaged because of it. However, would involvement in NROTC be a mitigating factor? The only reason I ask is because I am going to be contractually obliged to ~10 years of naval service (I'm going pilot)...seems to me that this would be a boon and show a serious commitment to public service. Outside of the cockpit, I will have the opportunity to work on a host of policy stuff in DC and around the world. If I worked this into my SOP, would it work in my favor and make my lack of post-grad work experience seem more palatable? Here are my other stats for your info:

Program Applied To : Various flavors of IR - focus on how the rise of China/BRICS will affect long-term American foreign and national security policy.

Schools Applied To: G-town security studies, SAIS Theory and History, WWS, HKS, Fletcher, SIPA, Yale MA-IR, LSE, St. Andrews, Oxbridge, KCL, UChicago CIR, and Columbia/LSE World History.

Schools Admitted To: N/A

Schools Rejected From: N/A

Still Waiting: All

Long-term goals: National security...NSC, DOD, CIA...senior cabinet position would be neato. Also interested in political-risk consulting and teaching at the university-level (so, PhD).

Undergraduate institution: Rice University

Undergraduate GPA: 3.96

Undergraduate Major: Asian Studies & History

GRE Quantitative Score: ~610

GRE Verbal Score: ~700

GRE AW Score: ~5.5

Years Out of Undergrad (if applicable): 0

Years of Work Experience: All told, 1.5

Describe Relevant Work Experience: Worked at the public policy institute on campus (focused on Chinese civil society and Sino-US space cooperation...co-presented my research with a senior fellow). Worked at a non-profit in DC focused on Asia-US relations (organized two different exchange programs, one entirely my responsibility). Numerous NROTC positions of responsibility + leadership roles. Also, summer training in July took me out the South China Sea...got to see my area of interest up close and personal.

Languages: Mandarin Chinese (high advanced...10+ years)

Quant: Virtually non-existent; stats, basic calc. Planning to do summer school in Econ if I am accepted.

Strength of SOP: I'm going to work with the one I used for Rhodes/Marshall. Solid overall. Going to focus more on commitment to public service.

Strength of LOR: Senior history professors/thesis advisor, NROTC advisor, Senior Fellow at the public policy institute.

Other: I lived in Hong Kong from 2001-2008 (attended MS, and graduated from HS). I've hit just about every country in Asia, travelled throughout China independently during study abroad (at Peking University) last spring...thus my interest in Sino-US relations. Also studied abroad in Italy one summer.

If accepted, I will be attending grad school as a newly commissioned Ensign in the Navy. The navy program requires minimum 50% funding, so I will be applying to fellowships out the wazoo. FLAS will be for Russian, Hindi, Indonesian, or Swahili....haven't decided/depends on the university.

Nominated for Fulbright, Rhodes, and Marshall by my university.

My senior thesis is focused on traditional (19th century) Chinese foreign affairs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do think military experience is a mitigating factor for you and that schools generally look on it as both a strong commitment to public service as well as an important perspective to have in the classroom. I'm a current MPP student and we do have a couple of students straight from undergrad, so it's definitely possible to be admitted. You seem like you might the kind of circumstances where it is more possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use