Career Guide

Career Benefits of International Relations Major

 

  • IR students gain critical thinking, analytic, and research skills that can be applied to understanding significant concepts, institutions, actors and debates in international affairs. 
  • IR majors develop their communication skills. The IR curriculum emphasizes writing, and students also develop verbal communication skills through class discussions, simulations, and debates.
  • IR majors have a variety of career paths that they may pursue, and the flexibility to apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of careers in a rapidly changing job market.

Spotlights

Courtney Johnston

Courtney Johnston

Entrepreneur Founds Copywriting Business

Sam Stephenson

Sam Stephenson

Serving in the Air Force and Learning Farsi and Dari

Amanda Miralrio

Amanda Miralrio

Compliance Office for U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control

Haley Gerlofs

Haley Gerlofs

Studying in Jordan

Anne Marie Carson

Anne Marie Carson

Graduate of the Georgetown Law Class of 2014 and member of the Georgetown Global Law Scholars

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Career Options

With a strong foundation in the liberal arts, International Relations majors are well suited for a variety of careers. Occupational opportunities include government administration, politics and campaigns, public policy, non-profit organizations, international relations, business, law, and journalism. 

  • Foreign Service and other government agencies including
    • Department of Defense
    • Agency for International Development
    • Central Intelligence Agency
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Homeland Security 
  • Education as a Teacher or Professor
  • International Organization Program Officer
  • Legal profession as Lawyer or Judge
  • Lobbyist or Political Analyst
  • Public Policy Researcher
  • International Sales and Marketing
  • Social Service Worker
  • Non-Profit or Public Administrator
  • Journalist
  • International Education Specialist

Careers of GVSU IR Graduates

  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • NATO
  • University International and Study Abroad Offices
  • Congressional Research Service
  • U.S. Naval Intelligence
  • The Carter Center for Human Rights
  • Steelcase Corporation
  • Motorola Corporation
  • USF Holland
  • Landmine Survivors Network
  • World Learning International Training
  • U.S. Customs
  • Catholic Charities
  • Peace Corps
  • Social Security Administration
  • Lutheran World Services
  • United Way
  • Ovation Travel Agency
  • Detroit Free Press

Building Your Career Prospects

  • Get good grades and foster strong relationships with your professors
  • Study abroad and develop language skills
  • Pursue internships
  • Engage in extracurricular groups on campus
  • Network with GVSU alumni and professionals
  • Keep abreast of global news and issues
 

Career Resources

GVSU Career Services

There are so many career resources available to undergraduates that it can be a bit overwhelming. To get you started, we recommend that you take advantage of GVSU's Career Services office, and read two books. GVSU's Career Services site can be found at http://www.gvsu.edu/careers/

The Career Services office has a very helpful Career Guide available at this site that is mandatory reading for anyone at GVSU contemplating a career. The office offers practice interviews and assistance with building and refining your résumé. They also sponsor periodic career fairs, which are chances to meet directly with potential employers.

 

 

Helpful Career Books

  • Careers in International Affairs. Maria Pinto Carland and Candace Faber. 2008. Georgetown University Press.
  • Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development.  2008. Sherry Mueller and Mark Overmann. Georgetown University Press.
  • International Jobs:  Where They Are and How to Get Them.  Nina Segal and Eric Kocher.  2003.  Basic Books.
  • Alternatives to the Peace Corps: A Guide to Global Volunteer Opportunities.  Caitlin Hachmyer.  2008.  Food First Books.
  • Go Global! Launching an International Career Here or Abroad.  Stacie Nevadoski Berdan.  2011.  Amazon Kindle Edition.

 

Websites

 

Graduate School & Law School

Graduate School
These three sites can link you to all the professional master’s degree programs offered in the public administration, international affairs, and public policy fields:

National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)
http://www.naspaa.org/

Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA)
http://www.apsia.org/apsia/index.php

Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM)
http://www.appam.org/education/gradschools.asp

Law School
If you are contemplating law school, check out our helpful pre-law FAQ.

 

News

The Washington Center in the Lanthorn

The Washington Center in the Lanthorn

February 19, 2015

The Lanthorn recently published an article about internship opportunities at the Washington Center

Human Rights Minor Being Developed

Human Rights Minor Being Developed

February 18, 2015

GVSU Student Senate supports developing a Human Rights minor.

Outstanding Community Service Award

Outstanding Community Service Award

February 12, 2015

Yi Zhao, Associate Professor of Political Science, was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award at the Faculty Awards Convocation.

Prof. Schlewitz on US-Cuba Relations

Prof. Schlewitz on US-Cuba Relations

January 05, 2015

Prof. Schlewitz discusses normalization of US-Cuba ties.

Gov. Appoints PLS and IR Alumni to Board of Trustees

Gov. Appoints PLS and IR Alumni to Board of Trustees

December 14, 2014

Megan Sall and Victor Cardenas named to GVSU Board by Gov. Rick Snyder.

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Events

Great Decisions Discussion Series

Great Decisions Discussion Series

March 9, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Organized by the West Michigan World Affairs Council. All Discussions will be held at: Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1607 Robinson Road SE Grand Rapids, MI  49506 Check out...

Great Decisions Discussion Series

Great Decisions Discussion Series

March 16, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Organized by the West Michigan World Affairs Council. All Discussions will be held at: Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1607 Robinson Road SE Grand Rapids, MI  49506 Check out...

Great Decisions Discussion Series

Great Decisions Discussion Series

March 23, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Organized by the West Michigan World Affairs Council. All Discussions will be held at: Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1607 Robinson Road SE Grand Rapids, MI  49506 Check out...

Great Decisions Discussion Series

Great Decisions Discussion Series

March 30, 2015 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Organized by the West Michigan World Affairs Council. All Discussions will be held at: Aquinas College Performing Arts Center 1607 Robinson Road SE Grand Rapids, MI  49506 Check out...

2015 LSAT Preparation Course Scholarship Program

2015 LSAT Preparation Course Scholarship Program

April 30, 2015 All Day

As part of our ongoing commitment to promote diversity within the legal profession, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP announces the eighth year of our LSAT Preparation Course Scholarship program. The...

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