Archive for internship

3 Tips from a Student Researcher at SIPA

Working as a student researcher at SIPA is a great opportunity to gain practical experience in your field and learn firsthand from SIPA’s world-class faculty members. So how do you get the job and make the most of the experience? Here are 3 tips based on my experience working for Professor Jason Healey.

1. Network!

Since individual faculty members are the hiring managers for these positions, it’s certainly beneficial if they know who you are prior to seeing your application for a position. You should take their classes as early as possible, attend events that they organize, and utilize their office hours. You should also join any relevant student groups. For example, Professor Healey often prefers his student researchers to be active members of the student Digital and Cyber Group (DCG) because he works closely with DCG to organize cyber policy-related events. I was a DCG board member and had worked with Professor Healey in this capacity prior to being hired as a research associate. The key thing is to demonstrate your interest in the topic by being involved!

2. Look for both formal and ad-hoc opportunities.

There are two primary ways in which student researchers are hired.

First, a few research assistant positions are usually included in the formal assistantship application process for second-year students. SIPA students apply for these positions in the spring semester of their first year.

Second, faculty members hire student researchers on an as-needed basis. The majority of student researchers are hired this way, and both first and second-year students are usually eligible. Many of these positions are advertised via your concentration, in the Professor’s classes, or through the relevant student group. So again, it’s vital that you stay involved!

3. Understand your strengths.

When applying for a position, discuss the specific requirements for the position with the professor. Faculty members hire students to assist with a wide variety of tasks including archival research, online research, coding, quantitative analysis, writing, event planning, or helping manage various programs. Be honest with yourself about your strengths and what you want to do. In my role, I mainly focus on writing for publication because I’m able to write in a style consistent with Professor Healey, which makes the co-authoring process much smoother.

Working directly with a faculty member is one of the best things you can do at SIPA. If you keep an eye out for opportunities and follow these tips you’ll be well on your way to a great learning experience!

Six Ways that SIPA OCS Can Help with Your Career

SIPA Office of Career ServicesThe Office of Career Services (OCS) provides students and alumni with tools to manage their professional development. OCS offers a variety of services to help current students and alumni find their career paths, such as individual career advising; required professional development courses; networking events, on-campus recruitment sessions, professional networking opportunities, and internship grants. Throughout the semester, OCS organizes numerous activities and services aimed at informing students about their options in internships and full time jobs.

As a first year student, you will benefit from the professional panels where you can learn about possible employers and the procedure to apply to future positions. Some of the employers that have participated in these panels are: The Federal Reserve Bank of NY, the Central Intelligence Agency, Human Right Watch, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Eurasia Group.

As career development is a tenet of SIPA’s core curriculum, the OCS supports students’ career paths in the following ways:


The Professional Development class, which is administered through OCS, heightens the awareness and involvement of students in career planning.  This mandatory half-credit course develops the skills needed to compete effectively in the international and public affairs job markets.  Instructors provide direction on writing resumes and cover letters, job search tactics, successful interviewing, networking, negotiating employment offers, and other key career topics.


Students are required to conduct an internship as part of their degree requirement, and this is also administered through OCS.  The internship is typically done in the summer between the first and second year, although it can be completed at any time during the program.


On an individual level, OCS career advisers provide students and alumni with career advice, job search strategy tips, resume and cover letter reviews, and general career information.  OCS also maintains the SIPA Career Coaching (SIPACC) program, which is comprised of alumni working in a variety of jobs who provide industry specific information and advice.  Students can arrange appointments once they have registered for classes in August through SIPAlink, our recruitment software.  (See more )


To update students on programming and services, OCS compiles a weekly newsletter that lists information on career events, fellowship opportunities, upcoming recruitment visits, job/internship postings, and other essential information for their job search.  (See more )


OCS offers a database of current positions, including internships, for both current students and alumni in a variety of professional fields. The database, which can be access through SIPAlink, has proved to be quite useful to current students in helping them to find internships.

If you are curious on what other things OCS does, visit our past blog post or go to the SIPA OCS website:


Finally, SIPA Career Coaching (SIPACC) is offered free of charge by experts in the field. SIPACCs are full-time professionals who volunteer throughout the year to offer industry-specific knowledge to current students. Sessions run 30 minutes and Seeples can sign up for them in SIPAlink, SIPA’s job and internship database. Within the sessions, SIPA Career Coaches will:

  • Dispense industry-specific job advice in their field(s).
  • Share their knowledge about various career opportunities related to the advisee’s SIPA concentration or specialization.
  • Establish steps that should be undertaken by the advisee in order to advance in a particular industry.
  • Offer other career advice at their discretion.

SIPA students and alumni can sign up for three coaching sessions per semester.

SIPA’s Office of Career Services is another reason why SIPA may be the place for you. We hope to see you this coming year!

what I did this summer

Internship in Country Risk Management at J.P. Morgan

Prior to attending SIPA my experience was in banking; however the reason I chose SIPA for my graduate studies was to transition into a role that offers more of a macro and international picture, allowing me to work in a field where macroeconomics, capital markets, and risk meet and of course a role where I am challenged every day and get to learn and apply my skills. I had the chance to work in Country Risk Management (CRM) at J.P. Morgan during the summer. It all started with three representatives visiting SIPA to host an information session in the fall of 2013. What followed was an application process, consisting of four phone and four in person interviews.  I consider myself fortunate that I received the opportunity to be a part of the team and the culture at the bank, because this is a dream job for a SIPA student. It was a 10 week internship, starting in June with a couple of weeks of training. The first week I was part of the Sales & Trading (S&T) Markets Training group, where about 100 interns were trained on basics, such as what is equity, what is a bond through how markets are supposed to behave to how financial derivatives fit into the bank. The second week, I took part in a more risk specific training to be prepared for my eight weeks at the desk. Before the training weeks were completed, students were formed into groups of four to prepare a case study to competitively pitch to senior management.

After some valuable training I was excited to finally join my CRM team and to apply my skills learnt and advanced at SIPA. The team in CRM was relatively small on a global basis and therefore I had a chance to work closely with colleagues also based in London and Hong Kong. The eight weeks were packed and I had several deliverables on top of assisting with ad-hoc tasks. However, it was a super learning experience and with the great support of the team I was able to master my objectives successfully. My summer objectives were based around the main work the team does, such as internal ratings of countries and measuring the exposure risk the bank experienced.

The summer program was well structured. Each intern had a junior and senior mentor, who assisted the intern throughout the summer. Throughout the program there were also different social and professional events. Social events consisted of visiting a New York Yankee game and having dinner at different places. The professional events included senior speaker series with management from the bank. These were all very interesting; however I would say the highlight was when Jamie Dimon spoke to us and shared his experiences in banking and at J.P. Morgan.

My summer experience at the bank has been wonderful and it was great to meet so many professionals with whom I look forward to staying in touch and working together in the future. It may be the fall semester only; however the sooner you start looking for your dream internship, the higher the chances that you will be working there during the following summer. Good luck!


by Andreas Maerki, MPA International Finance and Economic Policy Dec ‘14


what’s going on this summer

This weekend I went to Baltimore, MD (nicknamed “Charm City”) for a visit with friends and family.  We had beautiful weather and delicious crab (if you like that kind of stuff).  But as I was wandering the streets of Baltimore thinking about how to get from one part of town to the next… I remember that one of our current MPA students is working on getting public transportation to the people.  Anthony Scott, MPA 2015 is back in Baltimore interning this summer with the MTA and working on the Baltimore Red Line development, a $2.6 billion light rail investment that would connect east and west Baltimore.   One of the most anticipated stations is the West Baltimore MARC Station. Located in the Midtown Edmondson (M/E) neighborhood of West Baltimore, this is the only station in West Baltimore that will connect Baltimore’s local public transit directly to the regional commuter rail, which travels to Washington, DC.

As an intern for the MTA and a self-named community liaison between the MTA and the Baltimore neighborhood, Anthony will be attending a lot of meetings, taking notes, and ensuring information is passed along to the community, and that the community’s concerns are communicated to MTA.  The  overarching goal is to ensure that the gains in transparency and accountability that come with improved communication are sustained.  If you are interested in following Anthony on his MTA summer internship, you can read more about it on his “Development Without Displacement” blog,


Summer in the Amazon: Reliving Hakuna Matata

CollageDuring the summer I had the privilege to work with Fundacion Runa in Tena Ecuador. Located in the middle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Fundacion Runa specializes in commercializing Guayusa (a tea native to the land and sacred to the Quichua Community). Since its creation initiation in 2010, Runa has earned “Fair Trade” labeling through FAIR TRADE USA due to its organically grown products. The foundation offers different internships directly related to the product including agro-forestry research, social impact studies and community development.

As the community development intern, I focused on working with the FAIR TRADE social premium fund. Under Fair trade agreements, 15% of all Guayusa sales must be redirected to the community. Other fair trade organizations have help fund schools, buses to schools and health clinics for women. The purpose of my internship was to establish goals and set deadlines for projects that the Guayusa Co-Operative could work on in the future. My assignment over the two months was to focus on issues pertaining to children and women of the Quichua community.

I was able to do research by talking to different members of the community and working with children for three hours every other day. It was difficult at first because of the lack of trust and because most of the work I did set the foundation for the future. I was also able to find resources through local “children defense fund” and work with them on children issues including rights and harassment. For two months, I was able to witness poverty but also help the foundation set a plan for women and children in the Quichua Community: Immediate necessities include simple first aid kits for each community and operational schools throughout the academic year.

I was also able to establish a youth council for teens in “Alto Tena” with the sole purpose to voice their opinions on how and what to fund for their communities. The youth council will provide a voice to the youth and hopefully allocate funding for things they need: operational schools, health clinics, etc.

The work was challenging. I visited communities in the middle of the rainforest; sometimes not accessible through cars or busses. I experienced the Quichua culture: tried delicacies (larvas), checked out the Fincas, learned a couple of words in Quichua and even attended school with the children.

The internship solidified my interest in local domestic issues and how to solve them using a different perspective. I was also able to put into practice management techniques learned in class.

post submitted by Eder Gaona-Macedo, MPA 2014, concentrating in Urban and Social Policy (USP)

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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