Jump to content
CGchick

Need advice regarding International Affairs and/or Intelligence Studies

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

This is my first post on this forum, so hopefully I'm posting this in the correct location. If not, please let me know if I need to move this thread. I've come to you all today to ask for some advice. Right now I'm a Visual Effects artist for feature film in her late 20s and I'm starting to get frustrated with how my industry is turning out. It's sad because I actually really love what I do for a living, but the way the VFX studios are treating their employees is becoming more and more abhorrent. As a result I've begun to contemplate changing careers.

I did go to graduate school once before (for an M.S in Digital Media), but I left the first semester in because I was offered a job out in Hollywood. I have no regrets about doing that. Having gone through the admissions process as well as a full semester with a research assistantship, I figured at some point if I ever got frustrated with my line of work I would know how to go back and get a degree. The problem is, I am no longer interested in studying digital media. I want to completely change fields altogether and try something new.

At first I didn't know what I wanted to do, but the more soul-searching I did the more I realized I really enjoyed intelligence, strategy, and diplomacy. I went to the Churchill War Rooms in London recently and I felt like I had an epiphany that it would be something I would really enjoy doing (the top British intelligence commanders huddled in those bunkers during WWII and their work was discussed heavily). As a result I've been looking into programs dealing with international intelligence, diplomacy, and international affairs. I've done a bit of research and here are some promising programs I've found so far:

http://dss.missouristate.edu/

http://sipa.columbia.../mia/index.html

http://www.gspia.pit...95/Default.aspx

http://www.gradschoo...ffairs-187879_1

http://www.gradschoo...ffairs-193729_1

http://www.gradschoo...tudies-248505_1

Does anyone have any advice regarding programs in these fields? Are any of those programs listed above worth noting or should I scrap my current research and start over? I prefer going to larger schoos in the United States if I can help it. Will it be a bad mark against me that I come from a digital media background instead of, say, a military or law or communications background? I am currently working internationally so I at least have practical work experience as a freelancer in a foreign country. Any advice at all would be monumentally helpful. Thank you!

Edited by CGchick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello everyone,

At first I didn't know what I wanted to do, but the more soul-searching I did the more I realized I really enjoyed intelligence, strategy, and diplomacy. I went to the Churchill War Rooms in London recently and I felt like I had an epiphany that it would be something I would really enjoy doing (the top British intelligence commanders huddled in those bunkers during WWII and their work was discussed heavily). As a result I've been looking into programs dealing with international intelligence, diplomacy, and international affairs. I've done a bit of research and here are some promising programs I've found so far:

http://dss.missouristate.edu/

http://sipa.columbia.../mia/index.html

http://www.gspia.pit...95/Default.aspx

http://www.gradschoo...ffairs-187879_1

http://www.gradschoo...ffairs-193729_1

http://www.gradschoo...tudies-248505_1

Does anyone have any advice regarding programs in these fields? Are any of those programs listed above worth noting or should I scrap my current research and start over? I prefer going to larger schoos in the United States if I can help it. Will it be a bad mark against me that I come from a digital media background instead of, say, a military or law or communications background? I am currently working internationally so I at least have practical work experience as a freelancer in a foreign country. Any advice at all would be monumentally helpful. Thank you!

Wow, that is a really interesting story & career shift. Good for you.

What exactly is the career trajectory you're looking for here? Do you want to be a "Diplomat", intelligence officer, policy analyst, etc?

Also, given your lack of academic background in the Social Sciences (Pol. Sci, Int. Relations, Sociology, Economics) or even Humanities (History, Philosophy) you may want to try take some courses related to political/military history & affairs, international relations theory, policy studies, or any number of interesting disciplines. The field is incredibly broad, so there are numerous courses that can fit your intellectual interests for this area of study. These types of grad-programs do accept students without backgrounds in the aforementioned fields, but it certainly helps to have some recently taken, relevant classes prior to applying to these types of programs.

Also, as an undergrad, did you happen to do well in the courses you presumably took in Politics/econ./etc.?

Edited by Learn619

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With no academic or professional background in anything international affairs related, and being a relatively advanced age, trying to start the sort of IR career you mentioned is very unlikely to be successful.

I don't think you would be competitive for most decent IR grad schools. Even if you did get into one, you might be in an even worse employment situation upon graduation. Organizations generally don't hire people in their 30s with a masters degree for entry level positions, which is the level you would need to go in on (given the aforementioned lack of academic or professional experience).

There also is far more supply of people wanting to work in international relations than there are jobs (as it is a relatively attractive profession). Even for people who majored in such things in college, I would say it is the norm to have to work some unpaid internships and some pretty low level jobs for a few years, get a masters from a good school, and only then start to work on things that are actually the sort of cool stuff people envision as being IR (the stuff I assume you thought about sitting in the WW2 bunkers). So the overall timeline to get a career actually established is about 6-8 years. I don't think that's desirable or doable for your situation.

If we're talking intelligence and strategy, then there are even higher barriers to entry, since the majority of the jobs in the field are with the federal government. Security clearance requirements, cumbersome hiring process, and government budget cuts = take everything I just said and multiply it.

Lastly, this is a bad idea ESPECIALLY since you are talking about going to grad school to try to make this career switch. Paying off big student loans will fuck with your life in so many ways, and could make working jobs below a certain salary threshold financially impossible (which rules out the sort of jobs you have to initially take to get established in IR).

Apologies for splashing cold water in your face, but I think it's needed.

Edited by MYRNIST

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd just like to say that I disagree with essentially everything the above poster said, with some caveats.

As a current student, I can without hesitation that the most interesting students that I've come to know are the ones who come from different disciplines simply because they are able to provide a perspective that is otherwise lacking. They are able to glean from the lectures and the readings information that pass by me because my experiences and my training have been so different. The benefit of grad school is the breadth and the diversity of students -- is your learning experience honestly enhanced by sitting in a classroom where half the students just graduated from the Ivy League and can recite Thucydides and Waltz?

That being said, you need to be able to show a demonstrated interest in intelligence/strategic studies and that this isn't just a pipe dream caused by a midlife crisis. Regardless of what people tell you, there is nothing wrong with having an "epiphany" moment -- but now you have to work towards that goal. Take a political economy or intro to IR class at a local college (or even online) to show the Adcoms that you are able to translate your natural skill/intelligence to a new field. There are plenty of applicants every year who come from a background of computer science / information technology, and they are just as competitive as the rest.

Also, being in your late 20s is not a "relatively advanced age."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe try to use your technical expertise to wiggle my way into the field to explore it before plunging headfirst into an MA in a field you've never worked in before.

There are lots of places where digital arts/film/production could intersect with international relations. The easiest that comes to mind is lending your expertise to NGOs like WITNESS, ENOUGH project, the UN, which use film for advocacy, human rights protection, etc. Almost all organizations link up with producers/digital arts folks at some point or another to create 25th anniversary videos, advocacy projects, and the like. Just go to idealist.org for some initial ideas.

Alternatively, there are lots of initiatives overseas that work with emerging filmmakers in developing countries. Maybe take a year and go work with them? Many filmmakers are socially engaged, using their skills to address social justice or policy issues in their country. Collaborating with them could help you build an understanding and experience between your technical background and your possible future career.

Once you have a bit of experience working on international relations issues you may be able to work your way into the program/IR side of things. I know people with computer programming or other hard technical backgrounds who have done this in the human rights world- start out as an organization's IT person and then manage their way onto the human rights program side of things.

A few years of experience in this capacity- working with international actors on international issues- and you could be a great candidate to apply to the Foreign Service (who has people from an incredibly diverse range of backgrounds) as a public affairs officer.... or doing media work for the UN or some similar multilateral organization. I think you have a great hard skill set that could be welcomed in the international development, and possibly international relations, world.

Regarding intelligence work, I'm not so sure how easy a career change would be. My friends who landed intelligence/security/defense jobs right out of undergrad (Analyst jobs at the Agency, security consulting companies, security/defense think tanks, certain positions at State) did so with related bachelors degrees and internships. I do have friends with very unrelated backgrounds who broke into defense work through a few years of unglamorous defense contracting work. You could possibly, maybe, potentially do the latter with a lot of networking, and a few years doing pretty boring, unglamorous work for Raytheon or some other big contractor before working your way in. But is that really want you want to do?

It sounds like you want to do what most people *think* a diplomat does :). I think you could work your way into the Foreign Service, though I'll admit, as the fiancee of an FSO, it's not as glamorous as most people think, except at the really high levels. Still, it's a really interesting, fulfilling line of work that you could feasibly break into. Lots of FSOs are on their second or third career.

Anyway, all this to say I think you could definitely make a career change, but I would make the career change and then SEE if you NEED an MA... not go for the MA and see what jobs you could get (likely very few, if you had no relevant experience). Use your technical expertise in film production/digital arts to your advantage- your comparative advantage. I imagine NGOs, public affairs branches of institutions would love it.

Good luck!

Edited by charlotte_asia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd just like to say that I disagree with essentially everything the above poster said, with some caveats.

As a current student, I can without hesitation that the most interesting students that I've come to know are the ones who come from different disciplines simply because they are able to provide a perspective that is otherwise lacking. They are able to glean from the lectures and the readings information that pass by me because my experiences and my training have been so different. The benefit of grad school is the breadth and the diversity of students -- is your learning experience honestly enhanced by sitting in a classroom where half the students just graduated from the Ivy League and can recite Thucydides and Waltz?

That being said, you need to be able to show a demonstrated interest in intelligence/strategic studies and that this isn't just a pipe dream caused by a midlife crisis. Regardless of what people tell you, there is nothing wrong with having an "epiphany" moment -- but now you have to work towards that goal. Take a political economy or intro to IR class at a local college (or even online) to show the Adcoms that you are able to translate your natural skill/intelligence to a new field. There are plenty of applicants every year who come from a background of computer science / information technology, and they are just as competitive as the rest.

Also, being in your late 20s is not a "relatively advanced age."

That's great that you find them the most interesting, but MYRINST is spot on. Simply put the OP would not be competitive for a position she seems to want in the IC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, CGchick, I see some discouraging comments on this thread, and BOO ON THE NAYSAYERS. I'm sorry, but there are a lot of people in IR that didn't play with Heads of State action figures as a child and still have distinguished and successful careers. We are a generation of career-changers. Thanks to the economy and the changing face of the job market, people don't stay in the same stable job with the same company for their whole career anymore.

People come into IR programs from all backgrounds. I don't think it's a disadvantage at all to come from digital media, and like charlotte said, could be a comparative advantage because you have a skill set to offer. That said, I do think charlotte is right in that it would be a MUCH smoother and more successful transition if you first tried to apply your current skill set within the field you're trying to enter, even if you would eventually like to get out of visual effects. Right now, visual effects are what you have to offer. Besides, you say you love your job, just not the industry. Maybe you'd be happy putting your skills to use for a different industry or a cause you believe in. Getting any experience in IR would help you figure out what you'd like to do (the field is broad, and you were somewhat in vague in what your role would be) and would help you network.

A lot of people use grad school to change careers, so I don't think it's a horrible idea to apply right away (if you're sure it's what you want), but I definitely wouldn't use the line about having an epiphany sitting in a WWII bunker in your statement of purpose. I agree that you're simply going to have to explain your motivations much better to admissions committees than you did here and you're going to have to try to tie in the work that you've done in the past with what you'd like to do in the future. For instance, I would focus on the work you're doing internationally and how it has broadened your view of the world, etc.

If you do decide a Masters is for you, I might strongly consider choosing a school in DC where you will have more exposure to the things you're interested in and you can gain some experience through internships while you're in school so you will have some relevant things to put on your resume.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my discussion with an admissions officer, I found that they highly value international work experience (or military experience) in this field. Many of the schools I applied to for security programs said that their average student has 3-6 years of work experience (so you definitely are not at a relatively advanced age as stated earlier...).

Because your academic background is different, I would recommend taking some pre-requisite courses of statistics and economics if you didn't take those in your other studies. (Many of the programs list online certain academic classes they recommend taking before beginning the program.)

For example, this is from Georgetown's Security Studies Program website:

The SSP strives to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, a wide range of personal, professional, and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to a career in the security field. The SSP seeks students who, by virtue of their background and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship of security studies.

Successful applicants to the SSP have proven English proficiency and come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including international relations and other social sciences, the humanities, business, and physical sciences and engineering. It is suggested that students take microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment.

Work experience is not required, but strongly recommended. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each applicant's personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at the SSP. Voluntary positions, internships, and part- and full-time experience play a role in preparing students for study. Students with out work experience are not at a disadvantage, however. In the absence of professional experience, a related academic background (such as a major in international relations, political science, etc.) becomes more important.

International experience is not required but is recommended. International experience includes time spent living, studying, working, volunteering, or traveling outside of the applicant's home country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From my discussion with an admissions officer, I found that they highly value international work experience (or military experience) in this field. Many of the schools I applied to for security programs said that their average student has 3-6 years of work experience (so you definitely are not at a relatively advanced age as stated earlier...).

Because your academic background is different, I would recommend taking some pre-requisite courses of statistics and economics if you didn't take those in your other studies. (Many of the programs list online certain academic classes they recommend taking before beginning the program.)

For example, this is from Georgetown's Security Studies Program website:

The SSP strives to enroll a diverse class of students who have demonstrated academic excellence, a wide range of personal, professional, and academic experience, and have a strong commitment to a career in the security field. The SSP seeks students who, by virtue of their background and experience, can contribute to the education of their peers and to the scholarship of security studies.

Successful applicants to the SSP have proven English proficiency and come from a wide range of undergraduate majors, including international relations and other social sciences, the humanities, business, and physical sciences and engineering. It is suggested that students take microeconomics and macroeconomics prior to enrollment.

Work experience is not required, but strongly recommended. The Admissions Committee carefully reviews each applicant's personal and professional experience to assess readiness for graduate study at the SSP. Voluntary positions, internships, and part- and full-time experience play a role in preparing students for study. Students with out work experience are not at a disadvantage, however. In the absence of professional experience, a related academic background (such as a major in international relations, political science, etc.) becomes more important.

International experience is not required but is recommended. International experience includes time spent living, studying, working, volunteering, or traveling outside of the applicant's home country.

SSP is fairly competitive, and with the cap on GTown students now for all programs, it has gotten even more competitive and regularly reject people with military leadership and defense experience.

While it is admirable to want to switch careers and pursue a passion no matter how new found, it is simply unrealistic given the OPs background, to tell her to pursue a career in the IC / defense. With the budget restrictions now, people with extensive international exposure, work experience, and related degrees are being rejected left and right. Without the relevant work experience, the given age, and lack of related or even semi-related degree it would be a definite error to take loans with the idea one will be able to secure one of these positions when people even with them will struggle presently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SSP is fairly competitive, and with the cap on GTown students now for all programs, it has gotten even more competitive and regularly reject people with military leadership and defense experience.

SSP is also the number one most prestigious program in the country. It was cited by Waiting13 to give the OP an idea of what schools are looking for in a student. I don't think the OP is trying to be competitive at Georgetown. She listed schools like Texas A&M and the University of Pittsburgh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SSP is also the number one most prestigious program in the country. It was cited by Waiting13 to give the OP an idea of what schools are looking for in a student. I don't think the OP is trying to be competitive at Georgetown. She listed schools like Texas A&M and the University of Pittsburgh.

My point was more directed at the idea that the OP would be competitive for a position in the IC / defense field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wasn't saying she should think she would automatically get into Georgetown. I was just giving it as an example to show what programs are looking for, I didn't click on CGChick's links. For the Bush School, they recommend having taken courses in American government, economics, and/or statistics/research methods.

JAubrey, are you an admissions officer for a security program? If not, I don't think you can say its unrealistic if the candidate is smart, has international experience, maybe has the right personality, and is willing to work hard and learn. The money is up to her and many of these programs offer scholarships, the Bush School pricing can be very reasonable with a small scholarship. And seriously, late 20s is not old, its only a 2 year program. With programs averaging students with 3-6 years of prior work experience, that would put the average student at 25-28.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I wasn't saying she should think she would automatically get into Georgetown. I was just giving it as an example to show what programs are looking for, I didn't click on CGChick's links. For the Bush School, they recommend having taken courses in American government, economics, and/or statistics/research methods.

JAubrey, are you an admissions officer for a security program? If not, I don't think you can say its unrealistic if the candidate is smart, has international experience, maybe has the right personality, and is willing to work hard and learn. The money is up to her and many of these programs offer scholarships, the Bush School pricing can be very reasonable with a small scholarship. And seriously, late 20s is not old, its only a 2 year program. With programs averaging students with 3-6 years of prior work experience, that would put the average student at 25-28.

Again please reread my last post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admission to a program is only half the battle. Getting out with no experience in the field and competing with other MA in Int'l Affairs/PP degree holders would be quite difficult. (JAubrey, I think this is what you are referring to when you're talking about being competitive in the field of IC/defense?)

Which is why I think the OP would need to work her way in laterally (and slowly), and using her technical production/film/digital arts background to get a foothold in the field. I absolutely think it's doable, especially by connecting in with ngos/international orgs who use film for advocacy purposes. This could build expertise in IR work, and be a stepping stone to a diplomatic career. (Not so sure about moving into defense/intelligence work and how that could be done).

I guess I still stand by the work first-pursue degree path that I suggested in my first post. Career change is completely possible, but I don't know why folks are always so eager to do so through schooling, not work experience.

ETA: See my above post for a more fulsome explanation of how I think the transition could work. I have seen it done by people in the computer programming field.

Edited by charlotte_asia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admission to a program is only half the battle. Getting out with no experience in the field and competing with other MA in Int'l Affairs/PP degree holders would be quite difficult. (JAubrey, I think this is what you are referring to when you're talking about being competitive in the field of IC/defense?)

Which is why I think the OP would need to work her way in laterally (and slowly), and using her technical production/film/digital arts background to get a foothold in the field. I absolutely think it's doable, especially by connecting in with ngos/international orgs who use film for advocacy purposes. This could build expertise in IR work, and be a stepping stone to a diplomatic career. (Not so sure about moving into defense/intelligence work and how that could be done).

I guess I still stand by the work first-pursue degree path that I suggested in my first post. Career change is completely possible, but I don't know why folks are always so eager to do so through schooling, not work experience.

Nicely put. Though lateral moves into defense/IC work is not overly feasible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Charlotte's idea is excellent. A lateral transition using OPs skills in the IR arena is very cool and very possible.

To the people protesting against JAubrey and I: I think you are confusing getting into a security studies graduate program, and actually having a shot at a career in the field.

I have no doubt the OP is passionate, intelligent, etc. and could probably get into a second or third tier SS program based on those attributes, despite the lack of experience.

The issue is getting a job after that degree. And it simply isn't going to happen for someone with zero work experience in the field, coming from a not very good program. Even for aforementioned SSP and peer-school grads, it probably won't happen without relevant work experience. Which is where the age thing comes in; while late 20s isn't old in the grand scheme of things, is old to be working full-time unpaid internships or shuffling papers at a think tank's front desk, which are quasi-mandatory steps most people take to break into defense studies. I mean, if OP is truly dedicated I guess she could try... but I don't know that would financially swing either with grad school loans or with the bills (car? spouse? kids?) many people accumulate in their 30s.

No matter how supportive people want to be, it is a disservice to OP to pretend that a MA (low-ranking to boot) can somehow overcome the otherwise total lack of academic or professional experience, and walk into a DoD or IC job. That is completely ludicrous, and suggesting otherwise indicates an unfamiliarity with the situation.

Honestly, if OP is honestly and truly 100% committed to working in defense/intelligence analysis, joining the military would be the best option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Charlotte's idea is excellent. A lateral transition using OPs skills in the IR arena is very cool and very possible.

To the people protesting against JAubrey and I: I think you are confusing getting into a security studies graduate program, and actually having a shot at a career in the field.

I have no doubt the OP is passionate, intelligent, etc. and could probably get into a second or third tier SS program based on those attributes, despite the lack of experience.

The issue is getting a job after that degree. And it simply isn't going to happen for someone with zero work experience in the field, coming from a not very good program. Even for aforementioned SSP and peer-school grads, it probably won't happen without relevant work experience. Which is where the age thing comes in; while late 20s isn't old in the grand scheme of things, is old to be working full-time unpaid internships or shuffling papers at a think tank's front desk, which are quasi-mandatory steps most people take to break into defense studies. I mean, if OP is truly dedicated I guess she could try... but I don't know that would financially swing either with grad school loans or with the bills (car? spouse? kids?) many people accumulate in their 30s.

No matter how supportive people want to be, it is a disservice to OP to pretend that a MA (low-ranking to boot) can somehow overcome the otherwise total lack of academic or professional experience, and walk into a DoD or IC job. That is completely ludicrous, and suggesting otherwise indicates an unfamiliarity with the situation.

Honestly, if OP is honestly and truly 100% committed to working in defense/intelligence analysis, joining the military would be the best option.

Spot on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your comments. I really appreciate you all taking the time to write with straightforward analysis, fantastic insight, and wonderful advice. It's a lot to digest but seeing this all written down from a community of thinkers who understand the field way more than I do has really helped to put a lot of things into perspective for me, and has helped me to better understand what kind of experience and work these areas entail. This is the exact kind of advice I was looking for! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it's entirely possible to make the transition from film to IR. It might not be easy, and depending on your current salary you might have to take a pay cut. However, it's doable. Despite what a couple of other posters have said, late 20s is certainly not too old to be starting an MA in IR or similar degree. A lot of those programs have average ages of 25-27 for new students, so a few years older is certainly not a problem and depending on how you define late 20s, you might even be in the average range.

Certainly, you are not out of the range for most entry level jobs with an MA. The average age for new FSOs, for example, is somewhere around 32-34, and there was a guy in my A-100 training class that was 57 and just starting as an entry level FSO after teaching English, working for an airline, and then working for state government. The FSO hiring process is different than a lot of federal, private sector, and NGO hiring processes, but I've met people working in a lot of different jobs that have changed direction at some point in their lives.

I completed an MPP before becoming a FSO and I had classmates in their late 20s and early 30s who were hired by DOD and IC agencies. For example, one person from my degree program hired by DOD in her early 30s was a teacher before getting her MPP, so did not have a ton of prior IR/IC/military/etc experience. Again, there might be more of a tradeoff salary-wise and your film experience might not help you get a better paid or more senior position, but it's certainly not impossible.

There are tons of freshly minted MA IR (and similar degrees) running around and many of them have relatively interchangeable skills. However, not every MA IR grad will have a film background. That won't help for all jobs, but there are probably some employers who will see that as an advantage and it could open some extra doors.

I've known FSOs who have been teachers, publicists, firefighters, lawyers, insurance salespeople, investment bankers and journalists before becoming FSOs, and some who were hired right after undergrad. I've also worked with people from other USG agencies both in DC and overseas and while I don't conduct a full background check on everyone I work with, I've been impressed by the variety of backgrounds they have when the topic does come up.

One thing that I've observed both in the Foreign Service and in life in general is that there are many paths from point A to point B. Some might be more difficult, but there are many paths, nonetheless. So, best of luck with whichever path you choose.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to offer my two cents, and you can take what you will from it. While I'm still young (I'm 24), I had a similar epiphany a few years back. At the time I had held down several internships in Hollywood all with the intention of breaking into the film industry (I wanted to work in international distribution). But sooner or later I realized it was the "international" rather than "distribution" that interested me most, and I needed to switch career paths. And since I was two quarters away from graduating from college---I needed to do it fast.

At first I felt hopeless and stuck in a sort of professional rut. But I figured my happiness was at stake and said to hell with it and resolved to make a gradual, but ultimately, decisive, transition. I started out doing thankless PR/admin/business-y stuff for a local foreign affairs-related non-profit with very little gratification but it was still closer to what I wanted than what I was doing before. I then contributed an article to my school's foreign affairs journal about film industry trends around the world. With time, I had accumulated enough indirectly relevant experience to land a State Dept language scholarship (which led to two years working and studying overseas), internships with two of the largest international security organizations in the world, and ultimately, my acceptance to all four graduate schools I applied to.

I know there's a bit of an age discrepancy between us, but I guess what I'm saying is the route offered up by charlotte_asia and a few others on this thread is sound and totally feasible. I would know---I'm speaking from experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was posted a while back, but look into programs specifically focused on strategic intelligence or national/homeland security - less so if you're planning to take the FSOT and become an FSO rather than go the Intel Analyst route with your future career. Some training in foreign language or computer science could be helpful as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
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

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.