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2020 Launching a Career in International Affairs

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Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs

Grads Land Jobs from Capitol Hill to Tokyo

From a perch in the US House Intelligence Committee to a seat as a principal at Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo, the 2019 graduates of Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs have pursued a broad range of professional opportunities.

Alumni from earlier classes work at the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, and the Ford Foundation in New York, in embassies for the United States and Singapore, and in nonprofit humanitarian organizations such as Catholic Relief Services in Mali, among many other high-level positions across the globe.

“In terms of career skills, the students are directing what they want the program to look like, beyond the core three classes.” –Elizabeth Gill, Director of the Career Development Office, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

It’s a notable record for a program that is small by design, graduating only about three dozen students a year. That allows each of them significant time with faculty, visiting lecturers, and influential alumni. That network is extensive—the institute will celebrate its 10th anniversary this fall.

Among 2019 graduates, the largest share went into the nonprofit sector, with the private sector a close second, says Elizabeth Gill, director of the institute’s Career Development Office.

“The biggest change we’ve seen over the last three to four years has been the shift from the US public sector to the nonprofit sector and also the private sector,” she says. That’s due in part to shifts in government hiring and to students’ evolving career goals. 

The Jackson Institute prepares its students by requiring only three core courses—statistics, economics, and history—and then encouraging a range of classes that build skills such as quantitative analysis, project management, writing budgets, and leadership. The career office offers full-day workshops in topics including political risk, writing policy memos, and leveraging social media for professional objectives.

“In terms of career skills, the students are directing what they want the program to look like, beyond the core three classes,” Gill says. They can take courses across Yale’s campus—for example, at the School of Management, the Law School, the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and the School of Public Health. 

Through practicums, students gain experience producing real work solutions for partners in projects that can involve trips to locations such as Kenya, Ethiopia, and Armenia. The institute offers as much as $5,000 for unfunded or underfunded summer internships or research projects in the United States and abroad, on top of the financial awards provided to assist with attendance costs.

Career Services

Jackson Institute Admissions: https://jackson.yale.edu/apply