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MSFS Open House - thoughts?


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MSFS absolutely blew me away. Of course the faculty and staff really sold the program well and were fun and enthusiastic about their school's mission.


However, what really landed the deal for me were the current students who backed up everything they said, and then some. They really went out of their way to answer any and all questions, and they would even run around and find people who had similar interests who could answer our questions if they happened to not know about a subject.


The community is fantastic. Everyone knows everyone, but without any "competition" - they all support each other and are really proud of their whole service mission. As cheesy as that sounds, they really seem to embody and apply that mentality.


Now for the program itself, they really, really emphasized the professional focus. The faculty have tremendous experience in the types of places you'd want to work for, and they really hone the classes to train you for those jobs. One thing that really impressed me was when Professor Nicole Bibbins Sedaca said, "No one will read more than a one-page memo" and gave different examples of having only 30 seconds to brief an Assistant Secretary, a senator, a CEO, etc. on a very complex issue. They really want to hone your skills in communicating efficiently for the real world.


I was also impressed by the alternative concentrations. We had to attend one session outside of our intended concentration and without outing myself, I did not at all expect to be blown away; I'm actually considering switching or at least taking tons of classes in another concentration now. Every single track they have available is full of hard interdisciplinary skills that will easily apply to any career path.


The most mind-blowing story was how a graduating student was nervous about negotiating with his HR director for a higher salary offer, and he actually took the call in the career center so they could coach him through it. It sounded like a ridiculous story, but then the student who happened to be there fessed up and said it was him to confirm just how supportive the program is. I'm definitely sold.

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All good points in the previous post, but I would say I left feeling conflicted. It was a very effective open house, no doubt, and I would agree that the students were both highly impressive and helpful. The admins seemed very satisfied with their pedagogy and with the program's professional focus, and I'm sure with good reason. That said, they seem to offer a relatively fixed program of study that will certainly prepare one for a career on capitol hill, for example, and would quite possibly make the initial job search within DC significantly smoother, but I'm a little bit wary of any claim that the longer term career benefits substantially outweigh those of other top tier institutions such as Fletcher or SAIS, both of which have great brands and loyal alumni communities (especially Fletcher on the latter point). For me this longer term angle is a crucial factor because my expected debt burden is so much greater at MSFS (and I suspect I'm not the only one), and speaking to past professors and others in my network has driven this home. Clearly a very, very strong program, and all things being equal I probably would be sold. I guess I came looking to be absolutely blown away if I was really going to shell out so much more for this program, and I would say I left not quite sold--impressed to be sure, but conflicted. Just my two cents.

Edited by maplesyrup88
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