Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in International Relations
The Humanitarian Side of International Relations
The key to a humanitarian career in international relations isn’t hard to turn, since international relations is all about how countries relate to each other. Of course, it’s easy to go down the path of domination and trickery, too. All that depends on you, and who you choose to work for.
Qian Ji Cheng states that over the last three decades, more and more scholars suggest the important role of non-state actors in international relations. The nonprofit sector is booming (see more about that here: http://bit.ly/1AghtbH), with growth rates at an all-time high. In a study of nonprofit employment growth globally, 16 of the countries provided data which confirmed that nonprofits employ more workers than either the transportation or the construction industry within those countries, and accounts for 4.5% of the GDP of those countries (See more here: http://bit.ly/1AghtbH).
According to top universities.com, careers in international affairs generally exist across three sectors only: public, private and nonprofit/NGO. Governments, international organizations, multinational companies, development consulting firms, NGOs and think tanks employ international relations graduates.
What are the secrets to a successful career in international relations? Here are some tips:
- Get a master’s in international relations. According to topuniversities.com, a graduate degree is a prerequisite in the field of international relations. Recruiters expect you to have cross-cultural experience, and cross-disciplinary skills, and this and a graduate degree will open a lot of doors. Joint degrees in business or law can also serve you well.
- Do some international relations career research ASAP. There are different focuses and specializations offered by universities, and choosing something that suits you career goals and interests is the best way to go, accelerating professional development. The public sector is bureaucratic, but is the key to getting involved in international projects. There is greater flexibility in the nonprofit sector and a more casual professional environment, but the salaries are generally lower. A great resource for more information is the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs, or APSIA.org.
- Do an internship. Volunteer work and internships offer several advantages, including getting insights into the field, forming a professional network that could be useful in the future, and raising your visibility and access to unadvertised job opportunities.
- Get some international experience and learn a new language. Cross-cultural awareness and language skills make you more employable.
What sort of jobs are available? Let’s look at a few.
The UNDP, or United Nations Development Program, is seeking a Communications and Advocacy Specialist to work in Bishkek city, Kyrgyzstan for a period of 6 months. UN Women was established in 2010. Key duties for this role include developing strategic communications and media initiatives, managing media/press coverage; producing timely, accurate and high-quality informational materials; organizing, leading and reporting on the UNiTE Campaign, contributing to the design of strategies aimed at facilitating behavior change towards gender equality.
Required skills and experience for this post include a bachelor’s degree in international relations or a related field, a minimum of 3 years’ post-degree work experience in development cooperation including exposure to communications and advocacy, strong oral and written communication skills. English and Russian are required for this position.
The ICC – International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, is looking for an Associate International Cooperation Adviser. The net annual salary is €57,026.00, and the duties and responsibilities include providing advice and performing tasks required by the Division, including undertaking research and analysis of information/documents relevant to cooperation issues and provide assistance to secure cooperation from states and organizations for OTP investigations and prosecutions.
This post requires an advanced university degree preferably in law or other relevant field, a minimum of 2 years relevant professional experience in international relations or negotiations, international or domestic criminal law strongly desired. English or French required and knowledge of Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish considered an asset.
As discussed above, a master’s degree is highly recommended if you’re shooting high in your career. So what are the options available? Here are some to think about.
The M.A. in Business & Law at the University of Bern, Switzerland is an 18-month course that costs EUR770 per semester. It prepares you for work in multinational companies, accountancy, nonprofit organizations and the public sector. The 30 ECTS credits in Business Administration are earnt through the study of financial management and accounting, management, marketing and information systems. The law credits pertain to courses in economic law and optional subjects. A master’s thesis is also required for course completion.
Alternatively, you could study international relations, of course! The M.A. in International Relations at the University of Warsaw, Poland is a 24-month course costing EUR 4300 per year. This program involves the completion of courses, such as world politics, international law, international trade, international finance, developmental economics, strategy of multinational enterprises and human rights.
The Master’s in Global Affairs program offered by the University of Toronto, Canada, is also a 24-month program which costs USD 27,629 per year. There is an option to study for a joint degree and study law or business alongside global affairs. For example, the Juris Doctor/Master of Global Affairs (JD/MGA) program is designed for students interested in studying the intersections of law and global affairs, and takes 4 years to complete. The MGA/MBA program brings a business perspective to the study of global affairs. Core courses on the MGA program include international economics, global civil society, global policy analysis, global security and public international law.
Ready to start your career in international relations, humanitarian style? If so, good for you! We salute you. Let us know if you’d like a hand with your personal statement of purpose. Get that difficult part out the way, and the rest is pretty simple.
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