Jack Liu is a second-year Masters’s candidate in the International Affairs program at the Elliott School, concentrating in International Security Studies and International Development with a focus on gender. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication Studies from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. He is particularly interested in gender issues as well as how journalism can serve the public good. In college, he was a student journalist covering stories on gender equality and LGBTQ+ rights. He previously interned at IntegrityRisk International, a political risk and business consulting firm, where he realized business is not the thing that he is passionate about. Currently, he serves as the program assistant at Global Taiwan Institute, assisting the institute’s event planning and logistics as well as research pertaining to Taiwan. In addition, he is a web developer at the GW Hatchet, where he produces and codes landing page for the Hatchet from time to time. During Jack’s free time, he enjoys watching Vice News Tonight and traveling around the world.
When did you realize you wanted an international career?
In my junior year as a student journalist in college, I covered stories in gender and LGBTQ+ rights. Since then, I knew journalism is something I am passionate about. A year later, I studied abroad at Temple University and was exposed to many races and gender discussions amid and outside of the classroom. Then, I realized that gender issues shared their ubiquity amongst different cultures/countries; however, without the ability to contextualize what is going on in those countries, it is hard for people to think of any tangible solution to resolve gender discriminations that individuals are facing. Therefore, I came into the Elliott School to further my academic career and concentrate in International Security and Development, focusing on gender.
Where do you currently work, intern or volunteer, and how does it fit in with your career goals?
I currently work as a program assistant at Global Taiwan Institute. The position offers me the opportunity to learn research writing, project management as well as event coordination. From time to time, I attend other think tanks’ events on Asia issues. Amid those events, I have the opportunity to connect with individuals and experts that have expertise in the Asian region. My short-term goal after I receive this degree is to work for a media company, such as Radio Free Asia or other multinational media outlets covering international news. My current position provides me a platform to meet those people in the field. My ultimate goal is to go back to academics and earn a Ph.D. degree in Communications.
What tools/strategies have proved most helpful in making the most of your time at the Elliott School?
I really enjoy all the talks, lectures and panel discussion held by the Elliott School and other school-affiliated institutes. During my first year when I was still a full-time student, I took advantage of, especially, the panel discussions. Those events help me figure out what I really desire to do in the future. Specifically, I attended many events held by the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. Those events help me know more about the current trend in the journalism and communication field and further my interests in journalism.
In addition, I also leverage the email letter of research institutes affiliated with the Elliott School, such as the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs. By signing up for the weekly newsletter, I am always well-informed of what kind of events are going on in those fields on campus. I also receive first-hand information about what organizations are hiring and it saves me a bunch of time when searching for internships!
What advice do you have for students for staying motivated at work or in class?
Don’t forget the initial passion that brought you into this program. Only something we are passionate about can keep us motivated in life. If possible, go to all kinds of events held by the Elliott School. These events can help us meet people that have similar interests as us. Making connections with those people and chatting with them out of the classroom is one of the methods that I stay motivated.
Favorite place to unwind on the weekend?
Discovering different restaurants and neighborhoods in DC and northern Virginia. I especially like the vibe in Petworth. The area is filled with foreign delicacies, such as Mexican, Italian and Thai food. My personal favorite is Pantry in Petworth. I also love to enjoy dinner at 14th St NW, around Petworth. Most of the restaurants there have outdoor dining areas, and it is especially cozy during summer when dining outside.
The #WeAreElliott series highlights current Elliott School graduate students and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming 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!
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