#WeAreElliott: Kasey Stricklin

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Kasey Stricklin is completing her last semester of the mid-career Master’s in International Policy and Practice program with a focus in Russia and nuclear security. During her time at the Elliott School, she has interned at the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the State Department, the Center for Naval Analyses, and the Department of Energy. Kasey has a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Texas and a JD from the University of Oklahoma. She is licensed to practice law in Texas.

Where do you currently work, intern or volunteer, and how does it fit in with your career goals?

I am currently a participant in the DOE Scholars program, so I am interning through the end of this semester at the Department of Energy. My focus of my graduate program is in Russia and nuclear security, and the DOE does a lot of important work in both of these areas. The DOE is a lot more technical than anywhere else I have worked, so it has been a very different culture and work environment to get used to, but I’ve enjoyed it.

What strategies have proven most helpful in making the most of your time at the Elliott School or D.C.?

I knew I needed to make the most of my short time during grad school to find my dream job at graduation. I hit the ground running with internships, completing four over the course of the year-and-a-half program in all different aspects of Russia and in different types of organizations (government, research, and trade associations). This has been extremely helpful for both figuring out what I want to do and for networking. Getting involved in organizations (like young professionals groups specific to my field) have also been amazing for learning about new opportunities, meeting people, and getting inspired.

What piece of advice/wisdom would you have given yourself when you started your program now that you’ve completed your first year?  

I would tell myself that yes, there is a lot of reading and it is difficult to get used to at first, but you should still go out, have fun, and enjoy DC as much as possible. I really spent most of my time studying and interning my first year and didn’t take full advantage of the exciting events going on around the city. You have to strike a balance for your own mental health.

Best hidden talent?

I can make myself stop hiccupping instantly! As soon as I hiccup once, I’m able to focus enough to talk myself out of hiccupping again. I know they are supposedly involuntary, but somehow I’ve figured out the secret.

The #WeAreElliott series highlights current M.A. students at the Elliott School and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective and incoming students. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.