What Counts as Relevant Work Experience?
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 the summer and during the semester (if your schedule permits). We do count those experiences as valid work experience, particularly if jobs are relevant to public service or international affairs. For example, some students are able to secure a semester working in Washington, D.C., or with their state or local governments, working on political campaigns, volunteer for their local boys and girls club or tutoring in their communities. Other students find opportunities to volunteer in many capacities while they are studying abroad.
Upon graduating from college, many students pursue short-term positions with organizations like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, or they pursue fellowships opportunities with organizations like Fulbright. These programs offer relevant professional opportunities that demonstrate one’s commitment to public service and also provide prospective applicants with relevant experience abroad. This is another way to highlight major accomplishments and areas of leadership.
These are examples of the type of work experience applicants can pursue during and upon graduating from college to gain a few years of professional work experience before applying to and enrolling in graduate school. What most interests you?