International Affairs Postgraduate Personal Statement

I am a dynamic and capable International Development graduate with experience of working within international institutions. I am committed to pursuing a career in anorganization centred on international affairs, and I am also highly motivated to undertaking postgraduate studies to equip me with the skills and expertise that are necessary for this vocation. Accordingly, I would like to outline my interest in and credentials for applying to study the Master in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. The undergraduate honours degree that I completed in International Development at the University of East Anglia hasfostered my enthusiasm for further study in the area of international affairs, and has been an ideal preparation for postgraduate study in this area as a result of the theoretical and practical expertise that I acquired during the course of completing the degree.The course provided me with a thorough grounding in the political, social and economic elements of international development issues. Whilst studying my degree I also sought out opportunities to gain further knowledge of international affairs through participating in additional courses related to this area, such as a course on Human Rights at Oxford University. Courses such as this have helped encourage me to seek whenever possible to approach the subject area from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Perhaps the most valuable aspect of my BA was the opportunities that it afforded me to gain practical work experience in the field. I spent a period of three months carrying out an internship at the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin. I held a role with a wide remit of responsibilities at the Institute, which allowed me to gain a broad understanding of professional life in the world of international relations. I was involved in writing and editing articles and research publications, and had overall responsibility for organizing a symposium on the subject of cultural diplomacy in Europe.

Since graduating from the University of East Anglia, I have gained a more practical understanding of the workings of international relations, international development and public policy through holding a variety of internship positions. At present I am a stagiaire at the European Parliament. The MEP for whom I work sits on the Development Committee of the Parliament and is also the Chair of the South African Delegation. The role has therefore given me a fascinating insight into the interactions between developed Europe and parts of the developing world, revealing an inter-linked series of both sources of conflicts and opportunities for cooperation.' I am also a writer for Results, a UK-based blog that campaigns for an enlightened development of global public policies to combat poverty, disease and malnutrition in the developed world. Writing for the site has helped focus my mind on how well-reasoned and practicable solutions to global problems can be developed and implemented.

I would warmly welcome the opportunity to commit the sum total of my talents and enthusiasm for international affairs to contributing fully to the academic life of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.I believe the Master in International Affairs is a unique opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge base and skills that are required for a wide variety of professional roles within the spheres of international relations, international development and public policy. I am particularly attracted to the fact that the degree offers such a wide selection of course options,which allow an approach to the overall question of international affairs from the perspectives of a very wide range of academic disciplines.I would be especially interested in undertaking in-depth study and research into the themes of global society and conflict management and security, two areas in which I developed a close interest during the course of my undergraduate study. In addition to these subject areas inspiring a deep intellectual curiosity, I am also interested in working within one of these fields in my future career. If accepted to the course, I would look forward to the chance it provides to study in both English and French. I am currently taking steps to supplement my existing knowledge of French, and would grasp the chance to become fully bilingual over the course of the degree.

I believe that the Master would be an invaluable method of building my understanding of the myriad complexities of international affairs. After completing the course to the very best of my abilities, I would like to progress to working in either a policy-development role in an organization such as the United Nations Development Programme or the UK Department for International Development, or alternatively through working in an advocacy role for an NGO. I believe that the Master in International Affairs would provide me with the best preparation possible subsequentlyto embark on a career in either of these two areas.

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