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

Elena Szost Spotlight

Elena Szost

Economic Development Consultant

Laura Carlson Spotlight

Laura Carlson

2012 IR Graduate is Research Projects Manager at Feeding America, Gulf Coast

Jennifer Ventimiglia Spotlight

Jennifer Ventimiglia

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

Samuel Yocca Spotlight

Samuel Yocca

Samuel Yocca works for Global Programs at Georgetown University

Amanda Miralrio Spotlight

Amanda Miralrio

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

View More Spotlights

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

IR Alumni Heading to Law School

IR Alumni Heading to Law School

Alexys Neal (l) '21 will attend Michigan State University College of Law and Marie Edouard (r) '20 will attend Boston University School of Law.

Aug 2, 2021

GVSU Students Intern in DC through The Washington Center

GVSU Students Intern in DC through The Washington Center

The department of Political Science and International Relations is pleased to have four of our students participating in TWCs summer program.

Jul 19, 2021

Salam Recipient of GV in DC Scholarship

Salam Recipient of GV in DC Scholarship

Congratulations to Shireen Salam!

Jun 22, 2021

Bowen and Boss Named 2021-22 Batchelder Scholars

Bowen and Boss Named 2021-22 Batchelder Scholars

The Political Science Department is pleased to recognize Rebekkah Bowen and Kylie Boss as our Batchelder Scholars for the 2021-2022 school year.

Apr 28, 2021

Linderman Wins International Relations Excellence-in-a-Discipline Award

Linderman Wins International Relations Excellence-in-a-Discipline Award

Congratulations to Elyssa Linderman, who is this year's winner of the Excellence in a Discipline award for International Relations.

Apr 7, 2021

View More News

Events

French Film Night

February 1, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Sit back and relax after the first four weeks of the semester. We hope you will take an hour to appreciate the film culture of France and hang out with some friends. RSVP on LakerLink

Mno'Chigewin-Cultural Teachings with Jason Wesaw: (2 of 4) Continuing talking circles with Indigenous knowledge keeper

February 3, 2022 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

We will be continuing the work we started last academic year with cultural teachings from a local Indigenous knowledge keepers. This will be a special time to gather, find community, and build...

French Valentine's Vocab + Francophone Monuments

February 15, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Come learn some love-related vocabulary and then explore some of the worlds coolest and profound Francophone monuments. We'll have a guessing game to see if you can correctly determine where the...

Mno'Chigewin-Cultural Teachings with Jason Wesaw: (3 of 4) Continuing talking circles with Indigenous knowledge keeper

February 17, 2022 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

We will be continuing the work we started last academic year with cultural teachings from a local Indigenous knowledge keepers. This will be a special time to gather, find community, and build...

Mardi Gras Celebration!

March 1, 2022 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Come to celebrate the great Louisiana tradition: Mardi Gras! We will have music, food (COVID permitting), games, and a few festive items (eye masks and beads). It's a great time to add some pep...

View More Events