| After Rutgers, I attended the Whitehead School at Seton Hall University for an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations. During these 2 years I travel extensively, conducting research on the European Union and the Cyprus civil war, as well as working on several domestic political campaigns. Upon graduation in 2006, I began working for the United Nations Department of Public Information at UN headquarters in New York where I worked to promote several human rights, genocide prevention and peace building initiatives of the Secretary-General. Over the 2 ½ years my responsibilities grew to include speech writing, program development in 65 countries and various budgetary and communications work. In October 2008, I joined a private global media company in New York and lead the business intelligence and enterprise 2.0 practices. I am also the editor-in-chief and founder of diplomacyandpower.com, an online foreign affairs analysis and podcast website, with a growing audience in over 40 countries|
My advice is rather simple, “keep it short”. Decision makers in business, politics or a bureaucracy do not have the time or patience to read a long position paper, or sit and hear a lengthy, wordy argument trying to present a particular case. Learn how to condense your argument, business case or persuasive points into a short, but effective pitch. I know school teaches us how to write 5, 10, 20 even 50 page papers – and those skills are important for deductive reasoning and research based arguments – but if you can learn how to deliver the punch line in a 30 second bang, your ideas will often win out over others and you will be leading the way.
The political science offerings at Rutgers gave me the foundation to turn my career in any direction I wanted. On the domestic side, I took classes in political campaigning, democracy, American institutions and governance. Foreign policy was my strongest interest and the courses I took prepared me for my experiences with the United Nations, examining international conflicts and pursuing a global career. Theoretical research classes also prepared me to entertain a PhD pursuit and an academic career as well, which I have not yet ruled out!
The best way to capitalize on your classroom education is to incorporate them into real life career development. Internships, research trips abroad, writing for the newspaper or online sources, volunteering for political campaigns are all excellent ways to put these lessons intro practice and make invaluable contacts for the future. Don’t just go to class and go home, do more.
Learn how to be an effective public speaker, in small settings and large. Do not worry that the room may not like what you have to say or want to hear it, your persuasive skills will be your most valuable later in life.
Also, lastly – learn more languages! Fluency in one additional foreign language or two is one of the very best job skills.