Career Session: Undergraduate International Political Economy (IPE) Major

By Khutso Segooa

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – IPED hosted a career session for undergraduate in the International Political Economy (IPE) program. The students listened to IPE alumni from the public, private, and the nonprofit sectors share their professional experiences.

The IPE alumni were:

Jillian Abballe, FCRH ‘13, Advocacy Manager and Head of Office, Anglican Communion Office, United Nations.

Victoria Rau, FCHR ‘13, corporate strategy associates, Cargill.

Tara Moran, FCRH ‘15, International Trade Analyst, U.S. International Trade Administration.

The speakers spoke about the benefits they gained from the interdisciplinary IPE program. They commended it for being  a program that allowed them to understand how to be agile in different industries, as Jillian highlighted that the skillset one gets from interacting across different disciplines through IPE, is beneficial. 

The speakers also revealed that the most rewarding thing about working in their respective sectors is that it allows them to speak directly to decision makers, help inform policy and fix real issues; to be a part of the solution as well as meet many people from all over the world. 

The anxious students were reinvigorated to keep trying with their job search and to try out different opportunities. To put themselves out there, not only in internships but to do volunteer work that spark their interests. They were encouraged that taking this approach to life will help them see what direction they may want to take for their careers, as this journey is rarely a straight line.  

The students were also encouraged to broaden their networks. This may be in the form of reaching out to their alumni as many are always willing to share information about their journeys and their jobs. 

In the words of Thomas Edison, “I did not fail, I just found 2000 ways not to make a lightbulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work”. The students were encouraged to keeping putting themselves out there and to not be afraid of doing so.