Monday, September 5, 2011

Grad School Orientation - DONE!

Orientation was interesting yet overwhelming. So much information was being thrown at me, from the math camp (more like math boot camp) that week, to registering for classes, networking events, getting my business cards etc. I felt drained everyday I would come home and usually had a headache. My friends joked that if I came out with a headache (sometimes felt like a migraine) someone else may have had a meltdown. Classes haven't even started but without a doubt, Columbia will surely kick my butt. I will do my best as I have to maintain a 3.2 for my fellowship but must get a 3.4 or higher to apply and qualify for a 2nd year fellowship at Columbia to supplement my Rangel fellowship. I already started a study group for one of my classes.

I have also been working on my application for next summer's US embassy internship. After much thought and research I realized Burma isn't the right place for me. My first choice is actually Jakarta, Indonesia, my second is Bangkok, Thailand and my third is Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. I really do hope I get Indonesia though, as it would be a good place to do some thesis research, so we shall see. Either way, things will work out. By the way, I am taking my foreign service oral assessment (a sort of all day practicum comprised of 3 parts) this month on the 23rd. If I pass, I'll be done with my requirements for the foreign service and will be a Foreign Service Officer after finishing graduate school!

Currently, I am taking 5 classes. Economics 4200 (a year long course that is required), Politics of Policymaking (my mpa core requirement), War, Peace and Strategy (my int'l security requirement), management and governance of developing countries (a management class- I have to take one but I can choose from 5 different types) and East Asian Security. In addition, I am taking a professional development workshop for .5 credits that is required. I may drop one of these classes, most likely the management and governance one because I heard it's horrible and everyone I've talked to hasn't said a single nice thing about this class. However, I wanted to see how bad it was for myself because the material itself seems interesting.

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