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Hello Everyone!


My name is Ashley and I am a recent graduate from Burbank. I am doing a huge leap and applying for Johns Hopkins SAIS. I am nervous though because I majored in communications and focused more on media and entertainment then on the gov't, though I believe its important to know since it has taken over so much of the world. I feel like I am a unusual candidate, but know that the MAIA program will best help with my goal of working as either a foreign service officer in public affairs or working within the United Nations in public affairs. I want to take my media background and somehow implement it with the ideas promoted at SAIS. I am just nervous that I may be too unusual of a candidate. Anyone else ever felt this way and actually got into the school of their choice? IDK I am soooooo nervous and want to make everything perfect, but can barely get my anxiety down to relax and do it. Any tips anyone can give for new freshly out of college graduates?





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Hello Ashley,

I'm in the same boat as you. I'm graduating from Virginia next fall with a degree in Sociology and although I have taken courses in government/ IR I was nervous that not having a bachelors in that field would hinder my chances. From what I've been told however by people in that field and by talking to admin associates, they care more about what you bring to the school than what your degree is. The admin official told me she got a bachelors in Music education before she decided to go to grad school to study International Public Policy at SAIS. Another person I talked to got a media & communications degree from South Carolina before applying and starting a degree in Middle Eastern Studies. What they want is well rounded students who will bring contribute something unique to the flavor of the program so don't let your background or degree deter you from applying! Knowing a language or two other than English can help your chances and having a few econ classes can help you too. If you can, try to get an internship or two under your belt as well.

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To echo Neco Corr, you can get into a good IR (or policy) program with a variety of undergraduate majors. People in my cohort majored in Music, English, Sociology, Psychology, History, Political Science, Spanish, Economics, Math -- a variety of things. There are other factors that speak to the strength of your application, but the undergraduate major won't temper the competitiveness of your application at all. People in IR and policy come from a ton of different academic, personal and professional backgrounds, no kidding.

Also communications (or sociology!) is certainly not unusual at all for going into policy, especially for public affairs. There are even a couple of schools (AU, Carnegie Mellon) that have Communications programs geared toward international affairs.

The coming directly from undergrad thing may be more of a concern for your application than your undergraduate major. Not saying it hasn't been done--people straight from undergrad get into some competitive programs sometimes--but professional experience certainly does help.

Best of luck!

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  • 1 year later...


I have been admitted to MAIA program at SAIA Bologna center.

As i have not receive a scholarship, I want to know whether it is worth spending so much for this program?

secondly what is level of exposure at the bologna center and what are the actual career prospects after this course for a student from India?

I look forward to your replies.

Thank You

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