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International Affairs

Do you want a career that can expand outside of the United States? Do you tend to think about international relations and how other countries interact with each other? Are you passionate about another culture and/or language? If so, you might want to consider a career path in international affairs.
Federico Elizondo ’17 teaching a class 
International affairs careers can be found across all sectors, private, public, or government. There are also many think tanks and NGO’s devoted to international relations.

Colgate Professional Network

Colgate Professional Networks spark crucial relationships, introducing you to fellow Colgate community members working in your industry. Follow the link below to investigate which of the ten Professional Networks pertains most to you and your industry of choice.

International Affairs Advisor

Headshot of Kat Kolozsvary
Read about Kat
Kat joined the Colgate University Center for Career Services adviser team in January of 2016 and focuses on the areas of Pre-Law, Education, Common Good, and Government.

Before coming to Colgate, Kat was a Graduate Programs Manager at Kaplan Test Prep, working with students at colleges and universities throughout Central and Western New York. Previously, she has held a variety of positions related to the government, healthcare, and technology sectors. Kat received her BA in Public Affairs from Syracuse University and enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris, their two daughters, and two Great Danes.

Questions

Call 315-228-7380 for an advising appointment.

Explore Careers

Industry areas
Public (government)
  • Capitol Hill: Employment on the Hill generally refers to positions available in one of the 535 Congressional offices (100 Senate and 435 House of Representatives) or 300 committees and subcommittees.
  • Federal Government: Interested in a career in the Foreign Service? Check out DOSCareers, an app by the Department of State. International affairs positions in government do not just exist in agencies such as the Department of State and the Agency for International Development. Almost every federal department and agency maintains an international affairs division.
Private
  • Management Consulting: Typically, consultants conduct research, analyze data, prepare reports, and present findings; less frequently a management consultant will become involved in the actual implementation of the plan.
  • International Business: Multinational corporations, joint ventures, financial institutions, law firms, consulting firms, and manufacturers of both goods and services cater to an international clientele.
  • Journalism: Journalists report on current affairs and other events for publications in print and electronic media, or for broadcast on radio or television; News reporters may specialize in fields such as politics, foreign affairs, business, arts, sports, health, or science.
  • Political Risk Analysis: Typically, ‘political risk analysts’ gather information on an area or a country, determine the causes and sources of any related risks, and forward their findings to those making investment decisions.
Non-profit/NGO
  • Associations: Approximately 22,300 multinational, binational, and non-U.S.national associations operate internationally. The majority of associations in the US are headquartered in Washington, DC, New York, or Chicago.
  • Foundations: A foundation is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization with its own funds (usually from a single source, either an individual, family, or corporation) and program managed by its own trustees and directors established to maintain or aid educational, social, charitable, religious, or other activities serving the common welfare, primarily by making grants to other nonprofit organizations (Foundation Center).

  • ALL information was taken from: apsia.org
    For more career options visit: spotlightoncareers.org/career/international-affairs-2/employer-job-options (for username and password, please contact Career Services)
Professional associations
These organizations can be great places to make connections, learn more about the field, and search openings. Many have discounted student memberships.

Prepare for Jobs and Internships

Typical interview questions for international affairs
  • Describe your international experiences as they relate to this position.
  • How has you study abroad experience contributed to your candidacy?
  • Describe an experience dealing with a cultural difference and barrier. How did you react/handle the situation?
  • Describe a current global issue that matters to you.
  • Are you willing to travel to countries without western amenities as part of your job?
  • Tell me about a time when you completed a research project?
  • Tell me about a time when you managed a project?
Industry news and trends
Knowledge of industry news can give you a sense of the culture and make you a better interview candidate. Social media can be a great tool to stay current:
  • US Department of State- Follow on LinkedIn for updates/news/postings etc.
  • NYC International Affairs/ Mayors Office: @globalnyc
  • Twitter Tip: search “international affairs” as a keyword for great results on who to follow
  • TIP: Follow each organization/office/agency, etc. on all social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) for job postings/updates and resources
Graduate school
Some possible graduate degrees:
  • Master of Arts in International Affairs (M.A.I.A.)
  • Master of Arts in International Communication (M.A.I.C.)
  • Master of Arts in International Development (M.A.I.D.)
  • Master of Science in Development Management (M.S.D.M.)
  • Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution (MAIPCR)
  • Master of Arts in Law & Diplomacy (MALD)
  • Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP)
  • Master in International Business (MIB)
  • Master of Laws in International Law (LLM)
  • Master of International Service (M.I.S.)
  • Master of Science in International Affairs (MSINTA)
  • Ph.D. in International Relations (Ph.D.)
Graduate School Resources

Alumni Advice

Hedshot of Clarissa Shah '10
Current Title and Organization:
Supply Chain Counsel, Emerson

Major at Colgate:
Chinese

Advanced Degrees:
JD and MA in East Asian Studies: Chinese Language and History, Washington University
Q&A with Clarissa
  • What do you currently do?
    As Emerson's Supply Chain Counsel, I facilitate the procurement of goods and services between our businesses and suppliers, ensuring that the transactions are legally compliant and in the best interest of our company. Emerson's supply chain is a global operation, so I regularly facilitate international transactions.

  • What was your first position out of Colgate and what did you do in that role?
    After graduating from Colgate, I went straight to law school at Washington University in St. Louis.  Fortunately, I did have very unique internships each summer that I was at Colgate (thank you, Career Services!).  My first summer, I interned in the Senate office of Barack H. Obama. My second summer I was a Manzi Fellow at Facing History and Ourselves. My third summer, I received the Golden fellowship and interned for a judge in St. Louis, Missouri. These experiences helped me secure a clerkship with Emerson after my first year of law school. I have been with Emerson ever since!
  • How can students prepare themselves while at Colgate to work in your field?
    Be sure to take advantage of diverse opportunities, not just opportunities that are strictly within and related to the legal field. The best attorneys are dynamic attorneys.
  • What extracurricular activities, associated with your profession or not, were you involved with while at Colgate?
    Colgate Student Conduct Board, Konosioni, Hindu Student Association, Colgate Jewish Union, Sojourners Gospel Choir, Interfaith Society, Residential Life

Finding Opportunities

Recruiting timeline
  • Public: Most government-based positions will hire well in advance, particularly if clearance is required. Begin your search roughly 6-12 months before your anticipated start date.
  • Private: Business, finance, and consulting tend to hire in the fall. Communications typically conducts its recruitment in spring.
  • Nonprofit: Nonprofit predominantly hires on an as-needed basis. Internships and entry-level positions will typically become available mid-late spring.
Employers to know
Capitol Hill Consulting International Human Rights Associations International Business International Culture / Education / Health Organizations International Development International Policy Analysis / International Diplomacy Peace and Conflict Management: Think Tanks
Find opportunities through social media
  • “Careers in Foreign Affairs” Facebook Group- connect with others, updates/jobs/internships and career fairs are being shared daily!
  • Careers in Diplomacy: LinkedIn Group-discussions, members, jobs, etc.
  • US Department of State Twitter:@doscareers

naviGATE Opportunities

Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE, Colgate's internship and job database.

More Opportunities

The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) and Nationwide Internships Consortium (NIC) are databases of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.

Connect to Careers

Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.
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