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

Christopher Hoff

Christopher Hoff

Policy Advisor with U.S. Department of Commerce

Lizzie Heyboer

Lizzie Heyboer

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Fellowship

Courtney Johnston

Courtney Johnston

Entrepreneur Founds Copywriting Business

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/

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

 

News

Chelsea Kendziorski's Research Published In Pi Sigma Alpha: The Undergraduate Journal of Politics

Chelsea Kendziorski's Research Published In Pi Sigma Alpha: The Undergraduate Journal of Politics

July 16, 2015

Recent PLS graduate, Chelsea Kendziorski, has had an article published in Pi Sigma Alpha's Undergraduate Journal

Study Abroad Scholarship Winners

Study Abroad Scholarship Winners

May 01, 2015

This year's study abroad scholarship recipients are Santicouk Saycocie, David Leestma, and Chelsea Michalec

Model EU

Model EU

April 20, 2015

GVSU students travel to Indiana University for Model EU.

PLS 385 Russian and Post-Soviet Politics

PLS 385 Russian and Post-Soviet Politics

March 28, 2015

Offered winter semester 2016, Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:30-2:45 p.m.

PLS 382 Politics of Post-Communist Europe

PLS 382 Politics of Post-Communist Europe

March 28, 2015

Offered this fall semester, Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30-5:45 p.m.

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Events

Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair

Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair

September 9, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair is an opportunity for students to connect with various agencies in the greater Grand Rapids area. Up to 50 agencies offering volunteer and/or internship...

Peace Corps Information Session

Peace Corps Information Session

September 9, 2015 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

A panel of representatives from Peace Corps, Teach for America, AmeriCorps, Literacy Center from West Michigan, and Challenge Detroit will provide information about these volunteer opportunities.

Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair

Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair

September 10, 2015 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

The Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair is an opportunity for students to connect with various agencies in the greater Grand Rapids area. Up to 50 agencies offering volunteer and/or internship...

International Relations Open House

International Relations Open House

September 16, 2015 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Calling all Business Majors!! Consider adding an INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Major or Minor to your degree! For more information please click the link below: International Relations...

Political Science and International Relations Mixer

Political Science and International Relations Mixer

September 23, 2015 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Career and internship information will be provided. Prospective majors/minors welcome! Please click the link below for more information: Political Science and International Relations Mixer 2015

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