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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

Sam Stephenson

Sam Stephenson

Serving in the Air Force and Learning Farsi and Dari

Christopher Hoff

Christopher Hoff

Policy Advisor with U.S. Department of Commerce

Courtney Johnston

Courtney Johnston

Entrepreneur Founds Copywriting Business

Emily Brown

Emily Brown

Master's Student Working for State Department

Ellyanne Rosenthal

Ellyanne Rosenthal

Member of the UK Head Office Training and Development Department

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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

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

Zac Thiel Wins PLS/IR Outstanding Paper Award

April 14, 2016

Zac Thiel's paper, "Exploring the Causes of Inequality in Developed Countries" has been selected as the Outstanding Paper written in 2015.

Spring/Summer Courses 2016

Spring/Summer Courses 2016

March 16, 2016

Check out the courses offered for this Spring and Summer!

Celebrating 40 years of International Collaboration and Friendships

Celebrating 40 years of International Collaboration and Friendships

November 06, 2015

STAIR (Studies in Trans-Atlantic International Relations) is one example of the many collaborative programs and exchanges between Grand Valley and Cracow University of Economics. The two institutions are celebrating a 40-year partnership this year!

PLS 302 Winter 2016

PLS 302 Winter 2016

October 13, 2015

Interested in the politics of Planned Parenthood? The War on Women? The gender wage gap? Or women in campaign and elections? Then check out this course offering!

New U.S. citizens take oath at DeVos Center

New U.S. citizens take oath at DeVos Center

October 05, 2015

New U.S. citizens take the oath of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony at the DeVos Center September 28

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Events

There are no upcoming Events at this time

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