WWS Blog: 2014

Dec 22, 2014
WWS Admissions
Have a wonderful Holiday season from the WWS Admissions Office!  
Categories:
Dec 22, 2014
Amal Karim, MPA '16
When I started last August in the MPA Program at WWS, three weeks of math camp was just enough time to get to know everyone. Finally, the faces linked with their names. That "girl who sat next to me at lunch" became Laura who had attended her childhood summer camp with my former colleague. The "guy on crutches" became Mike, a returned Peace Corps volunteer with a civil engineering background. And the list went on from there. During math camp, we...
Categories:
Dec 10, 2014
Sara Bencic, MPA '16
I came to the Woo to strengthen my quantitative skills and to gain greater experience in health policy. After working for three years, I knew these were the skills I needed to advance my career. After college, I worked for a year at the Pew Charitable Trusts, addressing issues from unemployment insurance to federal tax and spending policy. I often worked with Bureau of Labor Statistics data in STATA – statistical computer software – to examine...
Categories:
Dec 4, 2014
Melissa Lyles
#BLACKLIVESMATTER Today I witnessed one of the most moving moments at Princeton University since I started working here 11 years ago. Students, faculty and staff at the University were encouraged to participate in a “Walk-Out & Die-In” to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and others in demanding an end to racialized state violence. One of the goals of the protest was to dismantle systemic injustices against marginalized people of...
Categories:
Dec 2, 2014
Ritika Katyal, MPA '15
As a part of the WWS policy workshop, “Elections in Fragile States,” I got an opportunity to travel with nine of my classmates to Myanmar to assess the preparations for the upcoming elections. The 2015 elections are critical to Myanmar’s democratic transition, and it was an incredible opportunity for us to observe this critical juncture in Myanmar’s history. We met a range of stakeholders, including the Government Union Election Commission, ...
Categories:
Nov 27, 2014
WWS Admissions
As you put the final touches on your applications to the MPA, MPP and Ph.D. programs, be sure to review the application tips recently posted to the admissions blog. For your reference, the links are posted below. The admissions office will be closed over the holiday weekend—If you have difficulty with the online application between now and December 1, you may contact the application administrator, CollegeNet, at help@applyweb.com. Please allow...
Categories:
Nov 26, 2014
Ricardo Hurtado, MPA '15
On Aug. 9, 2014, Ferguson, Missouri added a heartbreaking chapter to an already tragic story that includes Emmett Till, Tanisha Anderson, Rodney King, Trayvon Martin, Rekia Boyd, Tarika Wilson, Jordan Davis, Renisha McBride, Eric Garner and many, many more. On this fateful day, yet another young life was taken at the hands of authorities. Michael Brown, 18 years old, was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson. One hundred and eight days later...
Categories:
Nov 26, 2014
WWS Admissions
The Ingredients of a Strong Résumé Use a two page annotated format.  Begin with paid Professional Work Experience. Provide date, job title and employer. Under each one, provide a brief paragraph of your key assignments and important accomplishments. Some bullet points are fine, but be judicious as substance is more important than format. Include a separate section on Leadership and Public Service. Include examples of leadership in college,...
Categories:
Nov 25, 2014
WWS Admissions
The Evaluation of Transcripts & GRE Scores The beauty of the admission process to schools of public and international affairs is that the applicant pool is relatively small in comparison to other professional graduate schools of law, business, engineering and medicine. We do not use a matrix or formula for Grade Point Averages and GRE scores because the content behind those points of data is what we value most. We focus mostly on your...
Categories:
Tags:
Nov 24, 2014
WWS Admissions
GRE Scores and the Dec. 1 Deadline WWS is flexible on the receipt of GRE scores for applicants who either retake the GRE or could not schedule the test before the Dec. 1 deadline. During the past 20 years, GRE testing has moved from paper- to computer-based administration, but not in all countries. The one constant is that it is difficult to control all of the externalities that affect taking the GRE, including: unforeseen professional travel or...
Categories:
Tags:
Nov 21, 2014
Brandon Lewis, MPA '16
Here’s what I got away with in my application to the Woodrow Wilson School: Not having a degree in economics, political science, or international relations Writing my first ever policy memo Deciding to write that memo to the president, provincial governors, minister of mines, and chairman of the state mining company of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (I mean, Why not?) Prefacing my course list with the following statement concerning my true...
Categories:
Tags:
Nov 20, 2014
WWS Admissions
How to Build Momentum in a Personal Statement The personal statement must “smell authentic” meaning that it could never be possible to confuse it with any other applicant. To be compelling, your story must be told with humility while also highlighting your strengths and leadership. Begin by telling your story of public service, your contributions to the public good and define your passion for specific policy issues and the ways in which you have...
Categories:
Nov 19, 2014
WWS Admissions
The December 1 deadline to submit MPA, MPP and Ph.D. applications for Fall 2015 is quickly approaching. The admissions office will post short reminders of what applicants should include as they complete their applications. Check back for more reminders and tips. Letters of Recommendation By virtue of the small class sizes of the MPA, MPP, and Ph.D. cohorts, admission to each program is competitive—in crafting a diverse class each year, it...
Categories:
Nov 17, 2014
WWS Admissions
Our Master’s degree students come from a wide range of professional backgrounds, primarily in the public and non-profit sectors. Post-graduate work experience can be obtained over time, beginning with summer employment, internship experience, volunteer experience, and professional experience after graduating from college.  While you are in college, be sure to seek out your institution’s career services office for internship opportunities during...
Categories:
Nov 11, 2014
Shasti Conrad, MPA '15
This summer, I had the great privilege of working for one of the new Nobel Peace Prize 2014 winners, Malala Yousafzai. After previously working for the federal government, I decided that I wanted to gain experience working at a smaller NGO in the philanthropic sector focused on international development issues. So, when the opportunity presented itself to work with the Malala Fund, I jumped at the chance. The Malala Fund was founded in 2013, a...
Categories:
Oct 28, 2014
WWS Admissions
Applicants often ask us to provide some guidance in writing a policy memo.  Steve Frakt, WWS writing advisor, has been advising WWS undergraduate and graduate students for the past 17 years.  Steve meets with students one-on-one during his office hours to advise them on their various writing assignments.  Graduate students in our Masters in Public Affairs program are required to take a core course entitled "The Politics of Public Policy"  in...
Categories:
Oct 22, 2014
Alex Kasdin, SINSI-MPA '18
We all thought it was a joke, a mistake on the schedule that was code for something else. But when we walked into the dining room, we saw a band and an excited John Templeton, director of graduate admissions, and knew: we were seriously square dancing.  The Woodrow Wilson School’s MPA curriculum is very quantitative, so to ensure that all incoming MPA students are prepared for the mathematical rigor of the courses, the school sponsors three...
Categories:
Oct 20, 2014
WWS Admissions
The type of career one can pursue upon completing a degree in public policy or international affairs is limitless - our graduates go on to pursue lifelong, rewarding careers in public service.  Some pursue careers domestically within federal, state, and local governments.   Others pursue careers abroad for the State Department, USAID, the UN, and non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and the lists goes on and on.  The best advice is to...
Categories:
Oct 9, 2014
Eric Wilkens
We asked recent Woodrow Wilson School graduate alumni about their time at Princeton and what they are doing now.
Categories:
Sara Elsayed, MPA '16
Oct 7, 2014
Sara Elsayed, MPA '16
I grew up in a small town in North Carolina as a first-generation American. I went to a public high school. My family was supportive and I was motivated. I did well, but I was sheltered. It had never occurred to me to consider a more prestigious or even out-of-state university.  I applied locally and went to a state school. It was a great experience and I received an extraordinary education.  But it was safe--a by-product of my sheltered small...
Categories:
Oct 6, 2014
WWS Admissions
Admissions Officers get asked all the time – “How do I get into your program/school?”  The short answer is we are looking for candidates who demonstrate a commitment to public service and an ability to learn what we teach.  Your application should showcase your professional and volunteer experiences, leadership, academic preparation, accomplishments, and strengths -- as they relate to a professional career in public service.  Therefore, we will...
Categories:
Renato Rocha, MPA '16
Oct 3, 2014
Renato Rocha, MPA '16
During the summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to participate in Princeton’s Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute. The PPIA program looks for applicants from various backgrounds interested in public policy. The fellowship provides students with round-trip transportation, room and board, and a summer stipend. When I was applying to PPIA, I knew I was interested in pursuing a career in public service. However, I...
Categories:
Sep 23, 2014
Karli Bryant, MPA '16
You mean to tell me that I have unlimited access to every alumni that has graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School?  I have a team in the Career Services Office who actually wants to meet with me and help me with my career path? And I get to take all these classes and have access to all these resources? Yes! Yes! And Yes!  While applying to the Woo, I can say that I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I knew there were amazing faculty...
Categories:
Sep 9, 2014
WWS Admissions
We would like to extend a warm welcome to our incoming and returning graduate students
Categories:
Robertson Hall
Aug 5, 2014
WWS Admissions
MPA. MPP. MPA (again). MPH. So what exactly is a master's degree in public and international affairs? Put simply, it is a course of study that will prepare you to think critically, to analyze and solve policy problems and to become an impactful leader for the public good. Flexible programs allow you to tailor a curriculum to your interests and sometimes even earn a joint degree in another discipline. While programs will vary by institution,...
Categories:
Jul 28, 2014
Ana E. Cubas, MPA-URP ‘96
As a Los Angeles native, adjusting to life as a graduate student at the Woodrow Wilson School was tough.  The curriculum was rigorous and getting used to the weather was challenging (I had to learn how to shop for the appropriate jackets, socks, and ear muffs!).  I missed home, and as someone that was committed to public service, I also searched for opportunities to volunteer, and to give back to Latino and African American communities.  I tried...
Jul 14, 2014
Eric Wilkens
On a recent summer evening, a group of 17 rising seniors from colleges across the country were discussing Russia and the European Union in Robertson Hall on the Princeton campus.    The students are part of the international policy workshop, "U.S.-EU Cooperation on Conflict Resolution," in the Junior Summer Institute (JSI), a seven-week-long program hosted by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs that is designed to...
Categories:
Jul 7, 2014
Megan McGuire, MPA '15, UN Somali - Intern, Resident Coordinator’s Office
This summer I’m working with the office of the UN Resident Coordinator to Somalia, which plays a strategic planning and coordination function for the UN Somalia Country Team, a set of more than twenty UN agencies working in Somalia. It’s a very exciting time to be in this office: Somalia is undergoing positive political change, experiencing some gains in security and governance, and the international community is beginning to increase its...
Jun 27, 2014
Ricky Hurtado, MPA '15, Institute for Black Male Achievement Intern, PolicyLink
As I picked up my registration packet at this year’s "A Gathering of Leaders" conference in Oakland, CA, I couldn’t help but laugh when I glanced down at my name tag. “Ricky Hurtado, Institute for Black Male Achievement Intern, PolicyLink” it read. It felt a little strange to be with my new PolicyLink co-workers, preparing for a week’s worth of energizing and challenging dialogue around the work supporting boys and men of color across the...
Jun 17, 2014
WWS Admissions
Do you want to explore your future in public service? Apply to attend a free 4-day weekend conference just for college students who want to move the world forward! Motivated students from diverse backgrounds will gather at Indiana University, October 23-26, 2014, to learn how they pursue a career, or get a degree, in public service. They’ll hear from renowned thinkers and leaders in public service, participate in cultural and recreational...
A student during the 2013 Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute’s Summer Policy Academy (SPA) at the Wilson School. Photo provided by Patrice Chavez.
Jun 17, 2014
Eric Wilkens
Fourteen high school students from 14 Pueblo Nations in New Mexico will visit the Woodrow Wilson School from June 14-22, as part of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute’s Summer Policy Academy (SPA).    The program, co-founded and co-directed by Regis Pecos ’77, chief of staff to the New Mexico House of Representatives Majority Floor Leader and director of legislative affairs for the House Majority Office, brings American Indian...
Categories:
Jun 13, 2014
Melissa Lyles
We would like to welcome the 28th cohort of students to our Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA-JSI), the largest diversity program in the United States that promotes the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and advances their leadership roles throughout the U.S. and abroad. The program helps prepare undergraduate students for graduate study and careers in public policy...
Jun 4, 2014
Melissa Lyles
In June 2013, I welcomed the 27th cohort of rising undergraduate seniors from across the country to our Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute (PPIA/JSI) program for students interested in public policy. Thirty –five students, hailing from 28 colleges and universities, were here for the seven-week program. 2013 PPIA/JSI CLASS - WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS At the welcome event, one student...
May 27, 2014
Melissa Lyles
One of the exciting features of our Master in Public Affairs (MPA) program is a 10-week-long summer internship during the summer between the first-and-second-year of our two-year program. Each student is required to intern at a professional level for an agency or organization that is relevant to their course of study and career interests.  From the moment students arrive during Math Camp, Ann Corwin, director of Career Services and Alumni...
Princeton University President Emerita Shirley Tilghman (Photo credit: Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications)
May 13, 2014
Eric Wilkens
Shirley Tilghman, president emerita of Princeton University, will be joining the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs as a joint faculty member with the Department of Molecular Biology.    “We are thrilled to have Professor Tilghman join our faculty,” said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Wilson School. “Science is integral to public policy, and Professor Tilghman’s research and scholarship in the field of molecular biology and...
Categories:
May 5, 2014
Cherena Walker
“My door is always open.” That’s what I like to tell our graduate students at the Woodrow Wilson School. As director of Master in Public Policy (MPP) Career Services and assistant director of Graduate Career Services and Alumni Relations, I develop and execute the career services strategy for our mid-career graduate students and provide individualized career coaching for all WWS graduate students. It’s a job I really enjoy because the students...
WWS Logo
Apr 21, 2014
Meet the Woodrow Wilson School graduate faculty, most of whom have dual appointments with other departments within the University. Through their innovative research and expertise, WWS faculty members equip students with the analytical skill and knowledge necessary to take on complex policy issues.
Categories:
Apr 14, 2014
Emily King, MPA '15
One of the first decisions you’ll be faced with at Princeton—after you decide which drawer will be the silverware drawer, select the color of your new comforter from Ikea and pick which intramural sports to sign up for—is which track of quantitative classes to take.  As Dan’s earlier post mentioned, quantitative classes come in three flavors at the Woo. B-track classes are designed for students who haven’t taken a math class in awhile and D-...
Apr 7, 2014
Dan Edelman, MPA '15
I’m not the most quantitatively inclined person. I took only one economics class in college and was just a few courses shy of a quadruple major in Sociology, Spanish, Black Studies and History. After college, I taught social studies and coached soccer at a high school in Mississippi and then worked at a food pantry in East Harlem. One of the more surprising aspects of coming to Princeton was that I wasn’t alone in the lack of quantitative...
Apr 2, 2014
Seyron Foo, MPA '14
There, we sat. In this beautiful parlor of a Brooklyn brownstone, where original rich wood paneling contrasted with the sleek modern marble lines, eight of us Woodrow Wilson graduate students joined Woody Woo alumni of color to do what Woos do best. Eat. And talk. We trekked from Princeton on a (finally) warmer—but drizzly day—to the home of a Woody Woo alumna of color, who wanted us to meet established leaders actively engaged in lifting...
Categories:
MPP students bowling
Mar 31, 2014
Elin Burns, MPP '14
“So what are you doing next?”… It’s the dreaded question that looms as you’re nearing the end of a diplomatic posting. After 7 years working across three UK government departments in two countries, I realized that I wanted a new challenge. Busy jobs had left me little time to think strategically about what I'd learned, what I wanted from my career, and what I might do next. With this in mind, I applied to the MPP program (designed specifically...
Dean Rouse
Mar 25, 2014
WWS Admissions
Categories:
Welcome
Mar 17, 2014
WWS Admissions
Welcome! We would like to welcome our newly admitted MPA, MPP and Ph.D. students! We look forward to meeting you all at our hosting program on April 6, 2014. Here's what you should expect: You will receive an email from our Student Hosting Committee shortly that will include the agenda and details on how to register for our hosting program. Within the next 24 hours, you will gain access to your electronic offer of admission and contract from the...
Categories:
Mar 10, 2014
Elena Serna-Wallender, MPA '14
When I started the Master in Public Affairs (MPA) program at the Woodrow Wilson School, I had no intention of getting involved in WWS’ student government, called the Woodrow Wilson Action Committee (WWAC). I had not done anything like that as an undergrad and I figured plenty of my classmates would be far more politically inclined than I am. I am not a terribly competitive person, so the idea of running for office—albeit for our school’s rather...
Feb 28, 2014
Eric Wilkens
Second-year Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) and Masters in Public Policy students shared with peers and Woodrow Wilson School administrators the findings of their Policy Workshops during a Policy Workshop Symposium on Feb. 6, 2014.  The purpose of the symposium was for students to share their experiences and research and to offer tips to first-year MPA students on how to plan and execute their own Policy Workshops in Fall 2014. The information...
Categories:
Feb 24, 2014
Melissa Lyles
For the past nine years at the Woodrow Wilson School, I have participated on the admissions committee, read and evaluated applications for admission to our Junior Summer Institute program and served on the selection committee for the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Programs, a collaborative effort between the United States Department of State and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. This is my first official season...
Categories:
Hands shaped like a heart
Feb 5, 2014
Larry Handerhan, MPA '12
“What is the queer community like at Princeton?” It’s one of the most frequent inquires I receive when I tell people I went to the Woodrow Wilson School. And questioners are often surprised when I reply that Princeton is consistently ranked among the Top Universities for LGBT Students by Campus Pride. Princeton takes its LGBT community very seriously. In recent years, reinvestment from the community has made the University a well-resourced and...
Categories:
Students bidding on prizes
Jan 22, 2014
Eric Wilkens
Graduate students, faculty and staff from the Woodrow Wilson School (WWS) raised $13,000 for the Isles Youth Institute in Trenton, N.J., during the Sixth Annual Woodrow Wilson Action Committee (WWAC) Service Auction Dec. 6, 2013, in Robertson Hall. Money raised by the event, organized by WWAC Community Service co-chairs Samuel Clark and Kate Fritzche, both second year master’s students, will go toward helping at-risk youth. All auction items...
Jan 14, 2014
Melissa Lyles
You received the acceptance letter from the graduate school of your dreams – now the reality of having to pay for another round of tuition, books and living expenses sets in. Over the past 10 years, I served as the director of the PPIA Junior Summer Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. In that role, I often discussed graduate school opportunities with students and I was very surprised that many of them did...
Categories:
Jan 7, 2014
WWS Admissions Director
I read applications in "3D"; I create mental pictures of each person. Images of every place described are active. It is highly entertaining and incredibly time consuming. One applicant wrote about sky diving 800 times. I don’t know about you, but I think once would be enough. Still, this was her passion and it’s important to sense every applicant’s passion. Another applicant served in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria and watched drunks beat a stray...
Categories: