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On the verge of extracurricular and work experience? (M-IR/M-ID)


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Hey all - I've got two questions as pertain to my graduate school aspirations. But first, a little background information:


Sex: Male

Ethnicity: White

Age: 18

University: Monolithic-sized state school (STEM-oriented), USA

Classification/Major: Rising junior, Economics

GPA: 4.0 institution (31hr), 4.0 xfer (39hr)

GRE: To be taken in Fall for first time. 

Coursework: A/A+ all Economics coursework up to/including calculus-based intermediate micro theory (so far). Intent to take Calc II/III, Linear Algebra, Econometrics I&II before graduation

Goal: Be competitive for top-tier IR (JFK/SIS/SFS/Korbel)/International Development (Yale/UPenn/SIS/Berkley?) programs


So, I'm aware that it seems it may be a little early to ask questions pertaining to graduate school, but my University offers a joint-degree M-ID program that, if I chose, would need to be applied for in the fall. 


Question 1: Given my age and relatively short time in college (entry class '18), I haven't had time to garner significant internship experience prior to a hopeful grad-out-of-undergrad application with the exception of a six-week stint at a Singaporean development consulting firm (upcoming this summer). 


This is why I'm wondering if my ECs might be able to come in clutch and serve as psuedo-work experience for grad school apps, given the fact that, although I absolutely love my engagements on campus, they definitely feel like a job at times. Since last Fall, I've rotated through six organizations/roles, but two stand out: 


Role A (Dec 2014-Apr 2016): Chair of endowed student organization which controls and manages all aspects of school-sponsored international and internationally-themed programming

The student organization, which is a staff-student partnership with a full time advisor, office worker, and multiple paid student workers:

  • Entirely manages a multi-continental internship program with past placements in various national/global level and highly reputable private, public, and nonprofit firms
  • Entirely manages a multi-national service program for medical school, public health, and geoscience graduate students. 
  • Offers significant research grants and other zero-interest financial aid
  • Has a significant on-campus presence in terms of internationally-themed programs and lectures
  • Has an operating budget above 500,000 USD
My role within the organization has been as such (20-30+++hrs/wk school year, 5-10/wk summer)
  • Creator of organization's budget, final internal authority of all individual program budgets
  • In charge of student development, programming optimization in conjunction with external consulting firms and internal staff workers, risk management for international programming, marketing, financial development, and community outreach
  • Lead a team of student executives and members to complete all programming initiatives listed above
  • Hosting high-profile academics, businessmen, and military figures during their time at my university
  • Serving on a university-level staff search committee for a full-time, paid position
  • (former) Voting member of a University panel in charge of determining viability of large-scale student programming initiatives 
  • Directly created high-attendance programs on matters of social issues and diversity
This role, by inherency, makes me an officer of the University's student union - the youngest in quite a while.


Role B (Dec. 2014-May 2015): Teaching Assistant ("Undergraduate Advisor") for junior/senior level International Economic Development Class

My role has been as such

  • Host review sessions, office hours, grade papers, teach in professor's absence, be available for help, y'know - TA stuff. 

Will these two roles prove of any significance on a grad school application (if I were to apply in the Fall to joint-degree program), and if so, would they prove within the same range of value as work experience (if yes: dare I actually put them under Professional Experience within my resume)? What could I do/emphasize to legitimize them further? 


Question 2: Let's say I don't apply to the Joint Degree Program. On a general basis, what should I be doing from here if I want to be a strong Fall 2017 app?

I intend to... 


a. GRE prep/learn French to a reasonable extent before graduation (French for M-ID emphasis)

b. Scrounge up an internship for next summer

c. Research OR study abroad senior year?


Any help or advice is highly appreciated, and I would be more than happy to provide any clarification that may prove of assistance.

Edited by glasscube
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