International Relations, Global Development, Human Rights

International Relations focuses on the relationships among governments, people, countries, and organizations. Opportunities can be found in foreign service, policy, consulting, economic development, diplomacy, trade, security, and various other areas. International or global development is a multi-disciplinary field that focuses on building capacity and implementing long-term solutions to the problems faced by individuals, communities, or governments. To learn more about global  priorities shared by UN member countries and get ideas for where you might contribute, refer to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. Another broad and multidisciplinary field, human rights, is often defined as rights and freedoms inherent to all human beings, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been established as a roadmap to guarantee these rights.

Finding Internships

Use your time at school and during the summers to learn more about your interest areas including sectors, populations, and roles as well as to  build key skills. Consider  gaining regional, language and/or technical competence. Learn about finding and applying to summer opportunities abroad. Identify  organizations whose mission you value, and check their website for opportunities, or be proactive and contact alumni or others to learn about their hiring practices and timelines, being mindful to not ask for an internship. Organizations that arrange international opportunities are plentiful. They typically charge a fee and provide a range of services that might include: placement with a host organization, orientation, housing, in-country support, housing assistance, and training. Evaluate these organizations carefully to determine whether there’s a good match with the opportunity—as well as with the organization—and speak with several past participants about their experiences.

Finding Jobs

Entry-level jobs can be found in many settings. Identify organizations whose mission you value, learn more about their work and opportunities by following them on LinkedIn. Check their website for entry-level opportunities. For these career areas,  a post-graduate internship or fellowship can also be a terrific option. Learn more about the recruiting structure of organizations to help you plan your approach. Identify your interest areas and seek opportunities that will help you get experience and build skills. Foreign language ability, interpersonal skills, and cross-cultural competence can be  very important.

Graduate and Professional Programs

While a master’s degree in international relations/affairs or global development could be helpful to advance your career, there are many more degrees that focus on specific interest areas.  A Ph.D. may also be an option, especially to  address the more technical aspects of this work, although it’s best to first get experience. Some schools also offer a human rights law degree. Finally, you might also consider a joint degree. With so many options, it is helpful to first fine-tune your interests before investing in additional education.  To learn more, refer to the MCS graduate and professional school section and  APSIA (The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs)..

Resource Spotlight: Vault

Vault is a valuable, comprehensive career planning tool – whether you have a career in mind, are not sure where to begin, or want some options to consider. Peruse this terrific resource to access numerous career guides, explore career fields, …

By Loredana George
Loredana George Assistant Director, Consulting, International Relations, Global Development, Education, Psychology, Global Health, Human Rights, & Alumni Engagement
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Who’s Hiring? 8 Organizations Addressing Food Insecurity

Food is an essential component of life; without it, we cannot survive. But in the U.S. alone, an estimated 14.3 million people are food insecure; globally, 345 million people are facing acute food insecurity.

According to the UN, food insecurity …

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…But How Do I Make The Right Choice?

It’s that time of year – you’re starting to hear back from volunteer sites, research opportunities, graduate schools, or internship/job applications. Now that you know what your possibilities are, how do you decide which one to pursue?

Making big decisions …

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Featured Resources

Below is a sample of the organizations that have structured leadership development programs. These entry-level programs often allow employees to …

Firsthand Vault Guides

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