Matt Geason was born in D.C. and grew up in a small college town in New Hampshire. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Political Science. While attending UNH, he interned at the New Hampshire State Senate and also the DC based consulting group, The Potomac Advocates. After graduation, he spent a year studying Chinese in Taiwan before returning to the U.S., where he began working at the DC think tank, the Truman National Security Project. Additionally, he worked as a Research Analyst at Thomson Reuters before starting his MA in Asian Studies at the Elliott School. As a Freeman Foundation International Fellow, Matt interned at the Taipei City Government’s Special Projects Office during the Spring of 2020.
What inspired you to select your program/concentration at the Elliott School?
While I was in undergrad I studied political science and became interested in politics in East Asia, specifically that of Taiwan and China. When I started working, I found myself able to find opportunities which allowed me to continue to pursue my interests in East Asia. As I had been living and working in DC I was familiar with the Asian Studies program and some past students who were in the program previously and felt that GW was the right fit for me.
What has been your most challenging academic experience at the Elliott School and how did you overcome it?
I’d say that one of the more challenging experiences I have had while at GW was when I was interning during the spring of 2020 in Taiwan while I was a Freeman Foundation International Fellow. I was interning at the Taipei City Government and found myself needing to adapt to a different office environment as well as conducting my day to day business in both English and in Chinese, while simultaneously adapting to the changing situation regarding COVID-19.
What resources or strategies have proven to be most helpful in helping you reach career success?
I have found that career services have been helpful for graduate students in locating opportunities as well as the numerous events that the Elliott School holds which enables its student to network with alumni, members of the community and also prominent speakers.
Now that you’re a graduate student, what do you wish you knew during the graduate application process?
While I believe that I made the correct choice for graduate school I can’t help but feel I should have asked more questions from the start. For example, I highly recommend reaching out to former students as this really assisted me. However, I failed to reach out to many faculty members to learn more about the programs and classes. A master’s degree is a significant step forward in a person’s career and not many people have that opportunity to easily obtain a second. Asking faculty, and former students as much info as you can when you are trying to decide for school is a critical thing that I wish I had done more of during the application process.
Dark chocolate or milk chocolate? Explain.
I don’t like chocolate and have never enjoyed it. There is somebody in every generation of my family who does not like chocolate and this time it turned out to be me.
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The #WeAreElliott profile series is managed by the Elliott School Office of Graduate Admissions and highlights current students to answer common questions posed by prospective, incoming, and current students. For more information on this series or to submit questions, e-mail the Office of Graduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.