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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

Joey Courtade

Joey Courtade

GlobaLinks Learning Abroad Alumni of the Year

Haley Gerlofs

Haley Gerlofs

Refugee Assistance at Bethany Christian with Americorps

Kaylin Klein

Kaylin Klein

2015 IR Graduate is Teaching English in Japan

Steven Richardson

Steven Richardson

Travel Assistance Coordinator for Youth For Understanding

Claudia Hasbun

Claudia Hasbun

Global Law Scholar at Georgetown University Law School

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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 339 Fall 2017

PLS 339 Fall 2017

March 15, 2017

PLS 339 Democracy and the Authoritarian Challenge: Mondays/Wednesdays 4:30-5:45 p.m.

PLS 103 Summer 2017

PLS 103 Summer 2017

March 13, 2017

PLS 103 ISSUES IN WORLD POLITICS Tuesday/Thursday, 12-3:20 PM

PLS 312 Summer 2017

PLS 312 Summer 2017

March 13, 2017

PLS 312 01 - U.S. FOREIGN POLICY Tuesday/Thursday, 8:30 - 11:45 a.m.

Alum Modena Shows Laker Effect

Alum Modena Shows Laker Effect

March 03, 2017

IR alumnus Autumn Modena was featured in GVSU's Laker Effect campaign.

Paul B. Henry Congressional Internship

Paul B. Henry Congressional Internship

January 18, 2017

The Henry Internship places a GVSU student in the Washington, D.C. offices of one of Michigans U.S. Representatives or Senators during the spring/summer 2017 session.

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Events

The World Affairs Council - The EU: An Uncertain Future

The World Affairs Council - The EU: An Uncertain Future

March 27, 2017 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM

Concerned About “Fake News”? Here’s what we’re doing about it. The World Affairs Council brings in experts who have the real scoop: diplomats; policy makers and...

Adam M. Malson Memorial Scholarship

Adam M. Malson Memorial Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

ADAM M. MALSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP Timothy R. Zeeb, who graduated from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in 2002 with a major in International Relations and minors in Political Science and German,...

Miller Johnson Michigan Diversity Scholarship

Miller Johnson Michigan Diversity Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

Miller Johnson West Michigan Diversity Law School Scholarship Students of color (African American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander) accepted to or presently attending an accredited...

Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP Minority Scholarship

Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP Minority Scholarship

April 1, 2017 All Day

Warner Norcross & Judd Law School Scholarship Students of color accepted to or presently attending an accredited law school within the US with a permanent residence in Michigan or attending...

Baum Artist Recital: Boris Slutsky

Baum Artist Recital: Boris Slutsky

April 2, 2017 3:00 PM

William Baum Recital Series is generously funded by William Baum Endowment Fund. Please visit http://www.gvsu.edu/polisci/william-baum-endowment-fund-48.htm.   Consistently acclaimed...

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