Maddy Berner is pursuing an M.A. in Global Communication at the Elliott School with plans to concentrate in Public Diplomacy and study how to improve cross-cultural communication in the digital age. She received her bachelor’s degree in online journalism and Spanish language from Syracuse University in 2014. While in school, she studied abroad in Spain, which kickstarted her interest in international affairs. After graduating, she moved back home to the D.C. area and interned for several publications, including Washingtonian Magazine, the Agence France-Press and the Chronicle of Higher Education. She is currently the Communications Manager for the International Women’s Forum, a global membership organization.
What has been your most rewarding academic experience so far?
Nothing beats getting accepted into grad school! This feels more monumental than getting into my undergrad program because this was a process I underwent all on my own. I made the decision to invest in my education and career and took the steps to do it. To know that I made the choice to pursue a master’s degree, studied hard and made it happen for myself is a very rewarding feeling.
What are you looking forward to about living in the DMV?
I’m actually a native to the area! What I love about living here (and what I plan to take advantage of) is the international identity of this powerful city. Getting to live, intern and work here has significantly affected my dreams to pursue a career in international affairs. I can’t wait to meet new people through my classes and learn from their experiences. The opportunities provided by the Elliott School will help me do just that.
What’s on your summer bucket list before coming to the Elliott School?
I want to learn how to cook! I am legitimately bad at cooking, so I want to take a few cooking classes to help me prepare meals that I can eat before class. I’ll definitely need the fuel for what could be some long nights in Foggy Bottom.
If you could splurge on one gift for yourself, what would it be and why?
The opportunity to further my education is a pretty great gift, but I’m also a sucker for a great pair of shoes. Not only can shoes complete an outfit, but I’ve found that wearing a statement pair really ups my self-confidence. I also think a pair of shoes can say a lot about someone’s personality, and I like making a statement through fashion.
The #IncomingElliott series highlights incoming Elliott School graduate students and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective and current students. The views expressed by students profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. Find out more about this program by creating a CustomViewbook!
For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail email@example.com.