Coffee Conversations IR Careers Masters Programs

Selecting an International Relations Master’s School: Coffee Conversations Episode 2

International Relations Masters Schools Selection

Rebecca Chen: Hi, I’m Rebecca Chen, and welcome to Ilkmade Careers Coffee Conversations, a show where we speak to various guests in the political space at different stages in their education and careers, digging deep to uncover the insight they’ve gained.

Rebecca Chen: In this episode, we’re discussing choosing a master’s program abroad, with Shashank Reddy from India, a first-year master’s student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States, and Kenddrick Chan from Singapore, who will begin his master’s in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science next year. We’ll look at how they selected their schools and what kinds of information they found useful to help make their choices and their expectations from the program.

How did you select the International Relations Master’s School you are attending?

Kenddrick Chan: I guess the simple, most important factor in my decision to pursue postgraduate studies was the desire to specialize in a specific area of international relations because the bachelor’s degree was broad and I wanted to specialize. So my area of specialization would be China and nationalism. I found that the websites of individual universities to be the single greatest results, right? There’s a lot of up-to-date information from the universities themselves, so this an official source.

And, also, right up on there is student forums, such as Student Room. So to get an idea of what current students who are already studying there thought about your decision to study there.

Shashank Reddy: So I selected my master’s program on the basis of three considerations: the flexibility of the curriculum, the location of the school, and the alumni network.

What are your expectations following this program?

Shashank Reddy: One of them is to get a job, and just basically get to know more about more stuff, stuff that I would not have known if I was not here.

Kenddrick Chan: For me, going to master’s degree was that I will be able to specialize, to gain more in-depth knowledge, and not only about nationalism and entails, but how the very phenomenon itself is manifested or reflected in a certain political context, which in this case is China in a specific time and place, right? A specific time.

Kenddrick Chan: What makes master’s different from the bachelor’s level, besides the fact that it was more in-depth?

Shashank Reddy: As you said, it is more in-depth, and I think there’s just a higher standard in terms of writing. The professors just expect you to write better and write in a slightly more professional manner.
Rebecca Chen: I want to thank you and wish you both well in your endeavors, and we’ll hopefully have you back for another Coffee Conversation sometime in the near future. So thank you so much.

Shashank Reddy: Thanks so much. Goodbye.

Kenddrick Chan: Thanks, Rebecca, Shashank.

Rebecca Chen: Thank you all for joining us, and we’re looking forward to having you back on for another cup of Coffee soon. We hope you enjoyed today’s conversation. If you did, please share. And if you haven’t already, subscribe or join our email list to stay in the loop about future episodes and new features. Until next time.

Shashank Reddy: And without jinxing anything, I would like to say that, so far at least, that has turned out to be the case.

Rebecca Chen: That’s great. That’s great.

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