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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

Brendan Sawyer

Brendan Sawyer

Studying at Wayne State Law School

Lizzie Heyboer

Lizzie Heyboer

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Fellowship

Kimberly McKenzie

Kimberly McKenzie

Assistant to U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Ellyanne Rosenthal

Ellyanne Rosenthal

Working for Lidl UK Global Mobility Team

Jessica Soto Smith

Jessica Soto Smith

Global Engagement Team, Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University

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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/

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

 

News

PLS 325 Winter 2018

PLS 325 Winter 2018

October 16, 2017

PLS 325 Human Rights and Democracy in Russia and the Post-Communist World

"Connecting Local to Global"

"Connecting Local to Global"

September 21, 2017

"Connecting Local to Global"

IR Study Abroad Scholarship Winners

IR Study Abroad Scholarship Winners

May 12, 2017

Gomez, Amatangelo and Sims win scholarships to study abroad.

IR Excellence in a Discipline Award

IR Excellence in a Discipline Award

May 12, 2017

Kristen Childs received the Excellence in a Discipline Award.

Alum Eri Veliaj Delivers Commencement Address

Alum Eri Veliaj Delivers Commencement Address

May 08, 2017

GVSU Political Science alumnus Eri Veliaj delivered the April Commencement address.

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Events

PPIA on November 1, 2017

PPIA Program

November 1, 2017 1:00 AM - 1:00 AM

PPIA (Public Policy and International affairs) Junior Summer Institute (JSI) is a rigorous, intensive seven-week summer program of classes and co-curricular activities promoting the professional and...

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