#ElliottProud: Bradley Wiggins

Blog_ #EP Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins earned her MA in International Affairs with a concentration in International Development and Conflict Resolution. While attending the Elliott School, she focused on the impact of armed conflict and security threats on educational systems – specifically in Africa. Bradley’s Global Capstone Project analyzed strategic considerations for harmonizing language education policy and practice in South Africa. During graduate school, Bradley first worked as an intern for Global Classrooms DC, the flagship education program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA). She then joined the U.S. Department of State as a Pathways intern, later converting into a full-time employee. Currently, Bradley works as a Program Coordinator in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Office of International Visitors, Near East and North Africa Branch. Before completing her graduate degree, Bradley received her BA in History and Art History from the University of South Carolina. She then served as a 2014 Teach for America corps member in Nashville, Tennessee, where she taught high school for two years. Bradley is originally from Statesboro, Georgia.

Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?

I work as a Program Coordinator for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The IVLP is an exchange program for current and emerging international leaders who travel to the U.S. for programs that reflect their professional interests and U.S. foreign policy goals. My team and I work with U.S. embassies in the Middle East and North Africa to identify changemakers who will have an impact on their professional field for years to come. In my position, I am instrumental in the logistical planning and consular components of this program. This includes composing a variety of reports and cables to support the region. I also serve as a liaison between staff at embassies and our non-governmental affiliates to ensure that our exchange visitors have all of the necessary travel documents and exchange information to ensure a successful program. Additionally, I assist with program orientations, attend Department of State regional briefings with our participants, and conduct closing evaluations.

What was your experience with the job search post-graduation? Can you provide any wisdom for students who will start their job search?

Since I was already working as a Pathways intern, my job search post-graduation was slightly different than some of my peers. Instead of searching for a new position, I had to navigate the conversion process to become a full-time federal employee. Although programs such as Pathways may not guarantee you a position upon graduation, they do offer the opportunity to gain relevant work experience, acquire a security clearance, and build your network from within an agency while completing your graduate studies. All of these are valuable advantages to finding a job upon graduation. For these reasons, I would encourage students to research opportunities such as Pathways early on in their graduate career.

What do you wish other people knew about your organization?

Having been around for nearly 80 years, the International Visitor Leadership Program has a rich history. The program has supported U.S. foreign policy by fostering the mutual exchange of information across a range of key sectors such as education, security, and governance. The IVLP welcomes around 5,000 exchange participants every year and relies on the commitment of nearly 90 volunteer-based community organizations in 44 states. More than 200,000 International Visitors have engaged with Americans through the IVLP. Many of these exchange participants went on – later in their careers – to become Chiefs of State or Heads of Government, such as Anwar Sadat and Margaret Thatcher.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

It should not come as a shock to anyone who knows me that I would definitely be a corgi. Take one look at my desk at work and you will find a corgi calendar, magnets, and stickers. I even recently attended the Million Corgi March in Washington, DC and am now certain that being surrounded by corgis is the epitome of true joy. I really can’t pinpoint what makes corgis so great, but I believe it has something to do with the disproportionate nature of their short legs and big ears that makes them so lovable. For these incredibly thought out reasons, I without a doubt would be a corgi, potentially in a costume or sweater, because what is better than that?

The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. The views expressed by alumni profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#WeAreElliott: Sebastian Stoelting

Blog_ #WAE StoeltingSebastian Stoelting is a German Fulbright Scholar in the Master of International Affairs program. He studied prior in the Research Master Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam and completed a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication studies at the University of Technology Dresden, including a term abroad at Cairo University. Besides his research focus on EU and US Foreign Policy towards China, he is a close follower of German politics. After finishing his education, he is looking forward to building stronger relationships between China and a rapidly changing world. His aspirations include a career in consultancy for Governments and Business at the intersection of legislative, political, regulatory and commercial considerations.

When did you realize you wanted an international career and what inspired you to select your program or concentration at the Elliott School?

Throughout my bachelor studies and travels, I embraced the increasing globalization of our world. I naturally evolved the desire to have a positive impact myself, to foster communication among people and support policies providing for equal opportunity for everyone – transcending all kinds of “borders”. The unique concept of the Elliott School to employ Professors of Practice, and thus bringing expertise right into the classroom is unique and a great addition to the already outstanding academic excellence of the University.

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

Socializing is crucial. Friendships in this challenging environment can give you the often-needed boost to concentrate and provide positive feedback circles to find the self-confidence to succeed in Grad School.

What advice do you have for first-year students who are starting their internship or work experience search?

Try from early on, to get your priorities and interests sorted. I highly recommend seeking the advice of the awesome Team of Career and Academic Advisors of the Elliott School – they can provide you with the perfect feedback before and while getting into the hunt for opportunities.

If you could recommend one city outside of the US that people should visit, which city would you recommend and why?

Amsterdam, cause duuuuuh BICYCLES! Cycling, as a form of life in this beautiful liberal city in the heart of Europe, was one of the greatest gems I encountered. The quality of life is just higher when a society embraces the harmonious interaction with their urban environment.

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. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#ElliottProud: George Raskovic

Blog_ #EP RaskovicGeorge Raskovic is a graduate of the International Affairs MA program. His focus while at the Elliott School was in international development, environmental and energy policy. In 2017, he was awarded the Freeman Fellowship Award, which allowed him to work for a climate change resiliency organization in Indonesia. During his time there, he witnessed firsthand the economic vibrancy of urban Asian communities and decided to do his capstone on the economic and social growth potential of e-commerce in Indonesia for the US-ASEAN Business Council. After his graduation, George started a Research Internship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Energy and National Security Program. He is interested in how new technologies in clean energy can ensure sustainable and substantial development in emerging markets.

Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?

I am currently a research intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. My responsibilities include conducting extensive research on the sanctions regime against Russia, its effects on the U.S. economy, and a vulnerability assessment of U.S. energy companies doing business in the country.

What are the current trends driving the future of your career field and what advice would you provide an Elliott School graduate student that is interested in your field of work?

As new technologies allow for more accurate and in-depth data to be published, being able to understand and interpret them is essential for any professional in the field of policy. Furthermore, professional experiences abroad are crucial, for expanding one’s worldview, establishing cultural understanding, and being able to navigate the diverse community of international affairs successfully.

When you need inspiration, you … ?

I take a walk! DC is a city of museums, food, music, and everything is a short distance away.

If you could travel anywhere in the cosmos, outside of Earth, where would you go and why?

Mars is going to get popular soon; I guess I should go check it out before the lines get too long.

The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. The views expressed by alumni profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

 

#WeAreElliott: Ilyssa Tuttelman

Blog_ #WAE Tuttelman

Ilyssa Tuttelman graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in History and International Studies in the Middle East in 2017. She is an M.A. International Affairs candidate concentrating in International Security Studies and the Middle East. During her time at the Elliott School, she has been a research intern at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Center for a New American Security. Currently, Ilyssa is a Research Assistant at the United States Institute of Peace and blogs for The Times of Israel.

What has been your most rewarding work, intern or volunteer experience since starting your program at the Elliott School?

From April to August I was the Middle East Security Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Research Intern at the Center for a New American Security. During my time at CNAS, I was able to research and participate in the joint CNAS-Brookings Future of U.S. Foreign Policy Towards Gaza Task Force. I met dozens of Ambassadors, experts, and professors who have spent their careers in international security and Middle Eastern affairs. It expanded my interests in security studies and allowed me to see first hand how policy suggestions are created. It was really awesome to meet a lot of the experts and officials whose work I had been following since I started at the Elliott School.

What courses have you found most helpful in your work/intern/volunteer experiences and how have they been useful?

International Affairs Cornerstone has been really useful for my past internships. The knowledge and understanding of the basic theories come up in the workplace more than I expected. Also, the European Union class with Professor Michael Sodaro is an excellent way to really learn how to write professionally.

What advice do you have for prospective students who are on the fence about applying to a graduate program at the Elliott school?

Elliott School will challenge you intellectually in your classes and help you every step of the way with internship and job applications. The resources alone, such as the Graduate Career Coaches, are incredible and can’t be found elsewhere. If you’re interested in International Affairs, Elliott is one of the best places to enhance your understanding of the field and push you to advance your career.

If you could have a dinner party with any 3 people from history, fictional or real, who would you invite and what would you serve for dinner?

Abraham Lincoln, Madeleine Albright, and Harry Truman.

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. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#ElliottProud: Briana Suarez

Blog_ #EP Suarez

Briana Suarez graduated from the Elliott School with a degree in Security Policy Studies in 2018, concentrating on Conflict Resolution and Intelligence. Building on her undergraduate degree in International Relations from the State University of New York, New Paltz, the SPS program allowed her to combine her interests in humanitarian aid and war studies, bridging her understanding of both and their relevance during warfare. Briana worked at GW in different departments and previously interned with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) prior to her graduate studies.

Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?

I am the International Admissions and Operations Manager at the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). I am responsible for connecting prospective students with leading graduate schools in international affairs and public policy, such as the Elliott School, and providing them with the resources and opportunities to apply, afford, and achieve a career in this field. This includes webinars on applying to graduate schools, panels, info sessions, fairs, and so forth. Additionally, I work with these graduate schools to make them better and help them in continuing to make their students positive agents of change. 

What professional organization, websites, or Elliott School courses, would you recommend for students interested in your field, and why?

One of the most critical courses I took during my time at Elliott was the “Writing for Policymakers,” taught by the distinguished Professor Chris Kojm. The amount of writing, editing, and restructuring done in that short period made me a more critical and concise writer. Policymakers and professionals do not want to read term papers or reports about these topics nor do they have the time. And yet, you are often tasked with briefing and teaching them the context behind these topics in 2 pages or less to help them make a well-informed decision. If you are unable to convey your argument and points in a concise manner, no amount of passion or conviction can help you succeed. I eagerly recommend this course, especially if taught by Professor Kojm.

What part of your career do you find most challenging and how do you stay motivated?

I find the most challenging part to be getting the word out about all of the amazing opportunities available for students. There are so many resources at the disposal of prospective and current graduate students from how to pay for graduate school all the way up to how to network and get a job in your respective field. I stay motivated by reminding myself of the important work I am doing and remembering that having someone like myself to guide students during their graduate school application and process makes the world of a difference. Finally, I remind myself that I want to see the international affairs field more representative of individuals like myself. My work helps in changing the landscape and face of the field to include more diverse voices and perspectives; to include more underrepresented individuals, be it women, minorities, those with disabilities, and so forth. That keeps me going when I feel like the work is overwhelming.

If you could throw a parade of any caliber, what type of parade would it be?

A parade that celebrates wine, cheese, and bacon with free samples from different vendors. Lots of confetti, giveaways, and the aforementioned things.

The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. The views expressed by alumni profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

#WeAreElliott: Joe Florino

Blog_ #WAE Florino

Joe Florino is in his second year of my MA program in Security Policy Studies. He is currently interning with the State Department, and have interned at two think tanks earlier this year: Hudson Institute here in Washington DC and Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, India. Before joining GWU, Joe received his BA in Criminal Justice with a minor in International Studies from Fairleigh Dickinson University and interned with ATF in New Jersey.

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

I currently intern with the State Department, and this fits with my career goals because I am considering both civil service and Foreign Service. I am looking into applying soon for the FSOE and looking into postings on USA Jobs, and this has given me an opportunity to see the State Department first hand and learn about the various opportunities from the people I work with.

What has been your most challenging work, intern or volunteer experience since starting your program at the Elliott School and how did you overcome it?

The most challenging aspect of my internship is the amount of work and time I dedicate coupled with full-time graduate school. While this is relatively manageable, it is more intense this semester due to capstone and its associated work. The way I have overcome this problem is by working with my supervisor to coordinate days that I might have to miss work in order to meet with clients or professors for the capstone.

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

Go to campus besides classes! There is always an event or something occurring on campus, and as a graduate student I often do not show up until night time. However, if you have the chance try getting to campus to explore and enjoy the various activities and events that happen weekly especially while the weather is still nice.

If you had to watch only 3 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?   

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Inception; Interstellar.

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. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.

 

#ElliottProud: Jacob Hart

Blog_ #EP HartJacob Hart is a research assistant with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He received his MA in European and Eurasian Studies at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs and his BA from the University of Kentucky. Before joining NATO PA, he spent a year in the Senate as a Legislative Correspondent and completed internships on Capitol Hill as well as with the Center for European Policy Analysis.  

Describe your current position and what are your primary responsibilities?

Currently, I am serving as a research assistant with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels. My main responsibility is assisting the committee directors in research, writing, and editing for reports for our annual plenary session, this year in Halifax, Canada. Beyond working on the reports for the annual session I have been able to compose committee resolutions, and speeches for different parliamentarians from across the Alliance as well as drafting memos on research for future reports. Outside of work for the annual session, I create background documents for the committee and presidential visits.

What part of your experience at the Elliott School best prepared you for your current position? (Specific classes, student orgs, career development office, etc.)

The Elliott School Graduate Student Services (GSS) office was instrumental in my receiving this opportunity. My capstone for the EES program was crucial in developing the writing abilities that I use every day in working on reports to drafting memos. Additionally, I would not have received this opportunity without the Elliott School’s Career Center. Tara Sonenshine has become a mentor to me. She first told me about the Research Assistant Program as well as connected me with a fellow Elliott School Alum, who helped me to prepare for the interview and program.

How does what you’re doing now compare to what you thought you would be doing when you first started your program at the Elliott School

The NATO PA has far exceeded my expectations for what I would be doing following graduation. Before coming to The Elliott School I had a very narrow view of international affairs career opportunity, however, learning about the diverse world of prospects within the international affairs world has really opened me up to everything from think tanks to the Hill and even my current posting with a Multinational Organization in Brussels.

How do you feel about pineapple on pizza?

Personally, I’m a big fan of pineapple on pizza. We used to eat it a lot growing up, so it is quite normal for me. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned some people found this to be a bizarre pizza topping.

The #ElliottProud series highlights Elliott School MA alumni and seeks to answer common questions posed by prospective, current, and incoming students. The views expressed by alumni profiled do not necessarily represent those of organizations they work for, are affiliated with, or the Elliott School of International Affairs. For more information or to submit questions, e-mail esiagrad@gwu.edu.