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

David Johnson

David Johnson

Attorney in Global Sourcing and Technology Transactions

Lizzie Heyboer

Lizzie Heyboer

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Fellowship

Amanda Miralrio

Amanda Miralrio

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

Annie Hakim

Annie Hakim

Selected as one of 33 participants in the "Challenge Detroit" fellowship program

Claudia Hasbun

Claudia Hasbun

International Program Coordinator in DC

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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

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.

Research Student Position at GVSU's Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Research Student Position at GVSU's Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

October 07, 2014

The Johnson Center for Philanthropy is seeking an undergraduate or graduate student to assist in its community-based research and evaluation projects.

IR Alumni Speak About Their Experiences in the Peace Corps

IR Alumni Speak About Their Experiences in the Peace Corps

October 03, 2014

Anel Guel, Lyndia McMullen, and Jillian Zirnhelt came to GVSU to talk to students about their Peace Corps Experiences

Phelan ('11) Awarded Fulbright Teaching Scholarship

Phelan ('11) Awarded Fulbright Teaching Scholarship

June 24, 2014

Kathryn Phelan will be teaching English in Brazil.

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Events

Outstanding Paper Award

Outstanding Paper Award

February 9, 2015 All Day

The Department of Political Science and International Relations program are holding the second annual Outstanding Paper Award competition. We invite all students who major or minor (including...

Frozen Time Screening

Frozen Time Screening

February 12, 2015 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Grand Valley is proud to present the screening of:Frozen Time, Liquid Memories: 1942-2012 a film by Dragan Kujundzic. Kujundzic is a Professor of Film and Media Studies, Jewish, Germanic and Slavic...

Student Scholars Day (SSD)

Student Scholars Day (SSD)

February 13, 2015 All Day

Student Scholars Day will take place this year on April 8. This is a great opportunity to present your research! Contact a sponsoring professor and apply between January 26 and February 13, 2015.

International Relations Scholarships

International Relations Scholarships

February 22, 2015 All Day

THREE SCHOLARSHIPS OF $500  EACH WILL BE AWARDED MAY BE USED FOR ANY GVSU OR EXTERNAL PROGRAM SPRING/SUMMER 2015 FALL 2015 ACADEMIC YEAR 2015-2016 Please click the link below for more...

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