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2021 In-Demand Careers in International Affairs

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University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies

Robust Alumni Network Gives Graduates a Head Start

The University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies leverages its flourishing alumni network to help its students navigate job searching during COVID-19, by hosting virtual networking events and connecting students with alumni mentors.

“The silver lining of the pandemic is that we have a very active alumni group who are in jobs all over the world,” says Rae Ann Bories-Easley, director of the Office of Career and Professional Development at the Korbel School. “We have been working very closely with alumni since the pandemic started, to mentor and to help students find employment.”

“Our graduates have weathered this pandemic exceptionally well. Most of their skill set adapts easily to remote work, and they have been finding employment in all sectors.” –Rae Ann Bories-Easley, Director of the Office of Career and Professional Development, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

In December 2020, a record number of Korbel School students participated in a virtual tour of Washington, DC, meeting 130 alumni in one week of “visits” with potential employers. The online format enabled more students and alumni to take part, and allowed students to spend more time networking.

Another unforeseen benefit of the pandemic is that students can graduate and accept competitive positions without leaving Colorado, which has freed them to expand their professional goals and connect with more potential employers.

“From research and managed projects to policy work and analysis, our students have access to unprecedented opportunities to support organizations across all sectors,” says Bories-Easley.  “Even during the pandemic, all of our students are completing internships, either virtually or in person.”

Korbel School graduates accept jobs evenly across sectors, with 36 percent working for nonprofit organizations, 33 percent for private companies, 29 percent for federal or state agencies, and 2 percent for multilateral organizations (according to data averages from 2017 through 2019). Ninety-five percent of recent Korbel School graduates are employed.

A particularly bright light at the school is its MA in Global Economic Affairs, which generates competitive candidates for positions in development, security, and data analytics. The program’s robust training in data and economic analysis has helped graduates land positions at Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Robinhood, the US Agency for International Development, and research centers across the globe.

“Our graduates work on a variety of issues,” says Bories-Easley. “We’ve had students and alumni working in the private sector, performing risk analysis for companies such as Western Union, which is headquartered here in Colorado, where they might analyze the flow of money related to terrorism. We have created a pipeline of organizations like this that love our students.”

Under President Biden’s administration, Bories-Easley expects an increase in demand for jobs in the security and policy studies arenas, as much of the world turns during the pandemic to secure digital platforms for e-commerce, cloud file management, and digital internal communications.

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