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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

Courtney Johnston

Courtney Johnston

Entrepreneur Founds Copywriting Business

Jenny Ventimiglia

Jenny Ventimiglia

Peace Corps Volunteer and Fulbright Scholar Now Studying Education at U.C. Berkeley

Amanda Miralrio

Amanda Miralrio

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

Kristina Wallace

Kristina Wallace

Program Manager at Pardee RAND Graduate School in Los Angeles

Christopher Hoff

Christopher Hoff

Policy Advisor with U.S. Department of Commerce

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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

GVSU Interns in Washington DC, Fall 2016

GVSU Interns in Washington DC, Fall 2016

October 25, 2016

Washington Center Interns Fall 2016

GVSU IR Grad Working on Clinton Campaign

GVSU IR Grad Working on Clinton Campaign

October 10, 2016

GVSU 2011 IR graduate Kelly McCurdy is working on the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania.

European Conference of Political Research

European Conference of Political Research

October 10, 2016

Professors Diven and Constantelos attend the European Conference of Political Research conference in Prague.

PLS 325 Winter 2017

PLS 325 Winter 2017

September 19, 2016

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

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

July 18, 2016

As part of her winter 2016 sabbatical project, Professor Polly Diven spent the month of February teaching and researching in Sri Lanka.

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Events

GVSU Dinner in Albania

GVSU Dinner in Albania

May 13, 2017 All Day

Join current GVSU President Tom Haas, his wife Marcia, and other GVSU alumni in Tirana, Albania on 13 May, 2017. Fellow GVSU alumni are eager to welcome you to the lovely capital...

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