Class of 2013
I’ve been working for a social purpose consultancy that brings me into contact with senior policy makers and political figures on a regular basis.
Christopher graduated from SUA with a concentration in International Studies in 2013. He currently works for the British Government.
Q: What is your best memory as an International Studies concentrator?
A: The suite of classes I took within the International Studies concentration helped me go on and get a master’s in political economy at the London School of Economics. The emphasis on classroom debates at SUA and the level of interaction between professors and students was an advantage for graduate level work. Since 2014 I’ve been working for a social purpose consultancy that brings me into contact with senior policy makers and political figures on a regular basis. My day-to-day involves running evaluations, generating evidence of policy innovations, and advising on policy development within government.
Q: How did International Studies prepare you for life after SUA?
A: Comparative Social and Political Systems: This class gave a broad overview of the core theory and findings in political science. While the survey of the literature was wide, going deep on one country permitted the application of theory to a real-world case, facilitating a better appreciation of the concepts and their relevance to debates around power sharing and regime transition.
Democracy and Democratization: Democracy means something different to anyone you’ll ask. Studying the history and extant contentions surrounding this concept brought alive the purpose of academic study: to understand the richness of ideas, the nuance behind a concept, and the sometimes conflicting epistemologies they are based on. The classroom debates we had kickstarted a journey to arrive at my own understanding of democracy, which I continue to refine and reflect upon.
Q: Do you have any advice for current International Studies concentrators?
A: Study methods, but don’t neglect theory—you need both to grapple with the big questions. Keep your notes, even if you only read them once again. Read widely.”