On March 23rd, many members of the IPED family got together to meet, catch up, and chat for the IPED Alumni night. IPED alumni were asked to speak about their experiences working in the non-profit, government, and private sectors and gave advice for current and recent IPEDers starting their careers. Following the alumnae panel, current students were presented with their study and internship awards. Congratulations to all of you!
Category Archives: IPED Fellowships
Owen Fitzgerald, Therese ‘Tess’ Hart, and Viktoriia Brezheniuk (IPED ‘18) are interning at the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Equator Initiative. The main purpose of the Equator initiative (EI) is to recognize and promote the achievements and innovations of indigenous peoples and local communities. Every two years, the EI announces a global call for nominations for their prestigious award called the Equator Prize. This Prize ultimately serves “to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage.”
Owen shared his excitement that life is never boring at the UNDP: “Our responsibilities at UNDP’s Equator Initiative are ever-changing!” Upon arrival in September of 2016, Tess and Owen were working on a research project focusing on biodiversity and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. They assessed 60 different countries’ National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), and teamed up with a few others to produce a publication highlighting their findings.
Now, their attention has been focused mainly on the Equator Prize 2017 with the help of Viktoriia, who joined the team in January 2017. The global call for nominations is being spread far and wide. In March, when nominations are due, the EI team will begin reviewing submissions for this prestigious award, a task our IPEDers will be taking part in.
As Arrupe Fellows, Tess and Owen had an automatic “in” for the position with UNDP. Viktoriia, a Ricci Fellow, was passionate about joining the team as well, so Tess and Owen offered Viktoriia’s resume to their boss and she was also accepted as an intern.
Owen and Tess are full-time students, interning part-time as a requirement for their fellowships. Viktoriia is pursuing her education part-time while interning with UNDP part-time and working with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham, also part-time.
On Thursday and Friday, November 3rd and 4th, IPED went to Washington, D.C. for the annual Washington, D.C. Career Trip
The IPED students began the trip at Elephant and Castle to meet with representatives from the International Trade Administration (ITA). The discussions began with Israly Echegaray, an IPED alumna, who now works with the ITA and was able to work on both the TTIP and TPP trade agreements.
Israly had two pieces of advice for those seeking a job with the government: 1. Read the job description and be sure to use keywords when answering the question. 2. When answering, don’t be too high level with your answers initially.
Next to speak was Constance Handley, another IPED alumna, who is now the Deputy Director of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC). Her career began with the ITA in the Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties office from which she moved around a little bit before her current position.
The final speaker from the ITA was Shane Subler, IPED alumni, who spoke briefly about his work with Ms. Handley in the ITEC doing analysis.
After lunch the IPED students spent some time at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The first speaker was Anthony Cotton, RPCV, IPED alumni and Peace Corps Fellow who went on to get the double Master’s degree in IPED and Economics. He was a Presidential Management Fellow before he began his work with USAID. He has had an exciting career so far, holding seven jobs in seven years within the agency.
His tips were: 1. Spend time meeting people and having informational interviews. 2. Make business cards as a means to induce someone to give you theirs. 3. Apply to everything because it helps you learn your own narrative and to nail your resume.
Next to speak was Sarah Webber, RPCV, IPED alumna, Arrupe Fellow, and Fulbright Fellow to Botswana. Ms. Webber works with the Health section of USAID coordinating and organizing health initiatives for USAID.
Her tip was to apply for the Presidential Management Fellow as it was an excellent way to get a foot in the door at USAID.
The last speaker of the day was Tracy O’Heir, a Jesuit Volunteer Corps alumna, IPED alumna and Arrupe Fellow. Ms. O’Hare is the team lead for the southern and western Africa Foreign Disaster Assistance.
Her tip was to study French because it is super useful for a career with USAID.
On Thursday evening IPED had its annual Washington, D.C. Alumni Dinner at Tortilla Coast. IPEDers, both current and past, mingled and discussed opportunities and shared tips.
Friday morning IPED students went to the United States Department of Agriculture. First to speak was Matt Pavone, an IPED alumni and recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Italy. Mr. Pavone works with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) as an Outreach Specialist working to implement credit and community support programs to small-scale US farmers.
Next to speak was Hoa Hyunh from the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Mr. Hyunh is the Director of North Asia in the Agricultural Trade Office working in promotion of agriculture products overseas.
Hoa was followed by Jane Wilkins from the FAS. She is an IPED Alumna, and works as an analyst for foreign banks in order for them to take part in a US funded development program. She is a Civil Service Officer as opposed to a Foreign Service Officer.
Next was Brian Gruse who also worked for the FAS as Assistant Deputy Administrator. His focus was in capacity building in developing countries.
Finally, Brian Dutoi wrapped up the information session with a discussion of his with the the FAS in Food for Progress. He is also an IPED alumni and works on monetizing food commodities.
Following a lunch at the USDA cafeteria, the IPED students wrapped up their D.C. trip with a visit to the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC).
First to speak was Kari Nelson, formerly with the MCC, but recently moved to Social Impact. Ms. Nelson gave an overview of what the MCC does and the metrics used to determine country eligibility for “compacts.”
Representatives from human resources, Tom Wyke and his co-worker, Gigi, spoke about internship opportunities and hiring process.
Next to speak was Melissa Griswald from the implementation section of MCC. She works on the actual compacts (projects) from the development stage to implementation.
We finished the session with Sarah Lane from monitoring and evaluation, who spoke about her work and some of the metrics used to evaluate the work done in the field.
It was a wonderful trip and the IPED first years were even able to do a little bit of sightseeing.
IPED Internships: UNICEF: Policy Planning Intern in Data, Research, and Policy Division – Nathan Birhanu
This summer, I had the pleasure of interning at the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as part of its Data, Research, and Policy Division. UNICEF is centered on advocating on the rights and development of children across the world, which also extends to mothers, fathers, and members of society as a whole. UNICEF works in child survival and development, basic education, gender equality, HIV/AIDS, child protection, policy advocacy, research, and data analysis to name just a few. Although UNICEF’s headquarters are in New York City, a majority of its activities are in the field and extends out to over 190 countries.
During my time at UNICEF in the Data, Research, and Policy Division, I worked in the Policy Planning Unit (PPU). The PPU is focused on foresight and forward thinking to analyze emerging trends globally that are then incorporated into UNICEF’s global policy and strategic plan. My task in PPU included researching topics and writing briefs to be distributed to UNICEF staff, helping to develop foresight analytical methods by establishing relationships with schools and firms that focus on future trend analysis, and organizing speaker series of prominent thought leaders. An important brief I was able to write that was distributed to the organization was on the future of food, high lighting the important variables that will have the most impact on the world relating to food, climate change, health, and population growth. Other topics covered by the PPU include rapid urbanization, the future of philanthropy, and the role of institutions.
Much of the work conducted in UNICEF’s Data, Research, and Policy Division and the PPU allowed me to analyze an expansive array of topics pertinent to the coming decades. My work also included accessing the data and publications of UNICEF, along with having the ability to consult with experts across the entire organization. Such experiences allow me to grow and be effective in any work I pursue in the future.
I felt prepared to jump in headfirst into my tasks assigned at UNICEF due to the classwork and fieldwork I was able to complete in International Political Economy and Development (IPED). The work done at PPU also requires diligence and considerable amount of time; I was able to allocate the necessary dedication to my work at UNICEF and the PPU because of the Summer IPED Fellowship I was given by IPED and Fordham University.
IPED alumni are employed in UNICEF, and IPED and the Department of Economics at Fordham have a special relationship with UNICEF. If students are interested in interning there, it is good to apply early on UNICEF’s website. IPED and the Department of Economics regularly send out postings for available positions at UNICEF, and that is a fantastic way to apply for an internship position.
Three IPED students – Armand Aquino, Katie McCann, and Jackie Yap – spent their summer in France for an intensive French language study and cultural immersion with an Alliance Française Institution. Armand was in Toulouse; Katie was in Bordeaux; and Jackie began in Toulouse then continued on to Lyon.
Armand and Jackie were recipients of the 2016 Language Immersion Study Award (LISA) while Katie is an Arrupe Fellow who decided to use her summer grant from her fellowship to pursue French language study. French language study is part of their professional development to further their careers in international development.
Learning French at an Alliance Française Institution in France is a great opportunity because of the diversity of its students. Aside from the structured lectures, Alliance Française organizes a number of activities for its students so they can immerse themselves into the French culture. Such activities include guided tours of museums and the city, “art” hunting, and cheese (and wine) tasting (this is France, after all).
In addition, Alliance Francaise arranges homestays for the students which enables them to continue speaking in French even at home.
Armand and Katie shared that the summer experience has also been great opportunity for them to expand their network in the international development space. Both have met people working in international organizations such as the International Red Cross and World Food Programme who like them are studying French for their own professional development.
When asked for advice to students considering a language study for the summer, Jackie said that “If you are just starting out in the language, I encourage you to take advantage of the language class (audit) at Fordham. It helped me learn the basics and allowed me to be more confident in practicing the language. Also, do not be afraid to practice and make mistakes. Many, if not everyone, appreciate the fact that you are trying to learn French.”