WWS Blog

Alumni Series—once a Woo, always a Woo

Jun 24, 2019
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Graduate Admissions Office

We come from all over and we work across all areas of policy. We are passionate and we are principled. We are leaders in the United States and we are leaders globally. We strive for impact in our work.

We recently held an alumni panel with MPA and MPP graduates from our four fields of concentration. The purpose was to introduce our newly admitted students to the Woodrow Wilson School (WWS), and to have each panelist speak about his or her experience at the WWS and how it helped them in their respective careers. Some offered additional general advice for making the most of graduate school.

The conversation was frank and open. We kept it off the record to ensure that all felt free to speak about their experience in a truthful and authentic way. We wanted panelists to openly express their thoughts on all of the things that work well and the things that need improvement at the WWS, where students might encounter challenges over the course of their time in graduate school as well as all of the fun things that go on in Princeton!

The purpose of this blog is to highlight the wide-range of professional experiences and trajectories that our graduates go on to pursue.

We had a panelist that served as an advisor at USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), supporting programs in Somalia, Syria, the Philippines and other rapid responses to political crisis or transition. Previously, they served as Program Manager for a large-scale peace and conflict prevention program in Burma, also with OIT.

We had panelists from the United States Foreign Service. One is a Public Diplomacy-coned FSO who hails from San Francisco, CA, and the other works on multilateral nuclear issues and negotiates bilateral nuclear energy cooperation agreements in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. They have held a variety of postings abroad and in Washington, DC, including work on, for example, issues pertaining to Cambodia, Brazil, Syria, North Korea, Lithuania, Cuba, Paraguay, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China.

We had a panelist from the New York City Mayor’s Office, who focuses on housing, economic development and land use. And we had a panelist that works at a property management firm that specializes in affordable housing as well as coordination of funding and delivery of social services to residents in New York City and its surrounding areas.

Our fifth panelist, who is from greater Chicagoland and now based in Washington, DC, is a Senior Analyst at the Government Accountability Office. They focus on issues of government procurement (i.e. how the government buys stuff), and have been detailed to the House Armed Services Committee, focusing on defense acquisition policy.

While not exhaustive—even of the accomplishments for those pictured—we hope this provides a short sampling of the multitude of paths our degrees can help forge. And while it may not be immediately apparent from the picture, these highlights represent graduates from both our MPA and MPP degrees, and individuals from the classes of 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

It’s impossible to relay in any tangible fashion the connection these individuals share—across class years—but please allow this brief blog post to serve as some measure of that. Here at the WWS, we are tight-knit and close. Even across class years and between cohorts. Once a Woo, always a Woo!

This is but a sampling of what our graduates go on to do. Our alumni provide a lot of support to our graduating students, whether through informational interviews, answering questions or facilitating connections. Of course this complements the work of our Office of Graduate Career Services, who is available for career support and guidance from day one and for life!

Have a good week.

Picture courtesy WWS Graduate Admissions Office.

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