International Relations Career Guide

International Relations

Past Internship Sites:

  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
  • United States House of Representatives
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Michigan State Senate
  • Georgia Legal Team
  • Center for Disease Control
  • National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
  • Hispanic Center of Western Michigan
  • Bethany Christian Services
  • Amway
  • Abbey of Pontlevoy

Where Alumni Have Landed

  • Heartland Alliance Foundation – Program Director
  • Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County – IDA Program Coordinator
  • Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids – AmeriCorps Member
  • Peace Corps – Multiple Roles
  • Teach For America – Multiple Roles
  • Bethany Christian Services – Multiple Roles
  • US Air Force
  • Hispanic Center of Western Michigan – Youth Advocate
  • Sparta Community Foundation – ESL Instructor
  • Grand Valley State University – Admissions Counselor
  • Youth for Understanding USA – Travel Assistance Coordinator
  • Royal Thai Embassy – Assistant to Political Affairs
  • **U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control – Compliance Officer**
  • Medical Teams International – Program Coordinator


Sarah Tibbe '16 & '19 Spotlight

Sarah Tibbe '16 & '19

I'm a bit of a nerd so my favorite memories were always in the classrooms. Particularly in my capstone coursework where we would have great conversations and debate about big issues.

Ellyanne Rosenthal '11 Spotlight

Ellyanne Rosenthal '11

I have quite a few good memories at Grand Valley. My absolute favorite memory was studying abroad in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 2009 and 2010. I also loved being a Resident Assistant allowing me to meet lots of wonderful and interesting people.

View More International Relations

Student Organizations to Consider

  • International Club
  • Japanese Culture Association
  • Korean Intercultural Society
  • Latino Student Union (LSU)
  • Muslim Student Association
  • Native American Student Association (NASA)
  • Russian Circle
  • Vietnamese Interests, Education & Traditions
  • African Student Council
  • Arab Culture Club
  • Asian Student Union
  • Black Student Union (BSU).
  • Chinese Language and Culture Student Organization
  • Desi Student Union
  • Francophiles (French Club)
  • Hmong American Student Association (HASA)

Study Abroad Programs

Perhaps, as an International Relations major with a Latin American studies minor, you can see yourself in a Chilean classroom learning about political instability in the country during the mid-1900s. Or maybe as a double major with Chinese Studies, lately you’ve taken an interest in exploring the outsourcing of Michigan’s manufacturing jobs and you’re ready to learn more in China. It could also be that, as an IR major with an Arabic minor, the prospect of practicing your Arabic while completing an internship with a Dubai-based microfinance firm means the world to you.

Regardless of which area of the world, language, or subset of International Relations fascinates you, study abroad is your opportunity to learn about and experience diverse cultures first hand—all the while gaining valuable professional experience. Students in the International Relations program at GVSU engage in thoughtful discussions about a variety of issues with a significant international flair. Through study abroad, you will gain valuable insight that can only be derived by living, working, and studying in an international setting. In addition to being a valuable asset to your classrooms and community upon your return, these are the types of experiences that can best help define your career goals.

Develop some of these technical and professional competencies to be successful:

  • Research Skills
  • Strong Reading Comprehension
  • Project Management
  • Team Management
  • Information Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Inventory Control

Graduate & Professional Programs

Watch Videos to Hear from Alumni Working in the Field

Additional Resources

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