SPIA is supportive—graduate student life, academics and advising, internship placement and career development

Nov 26 2020
By Graduate Admissions Office

At SPIA, learning is not confined to the classroom. Our students explore policy issues through student-run organizations, public affairs programming, and more.

Faculty, staff and administration at SPIA are all committed to ensuring that all members of our community feel respected, supported and valued—inside and outside of the classroom.

To that end, SPIA has a graduate student life and diversity initiatives focal point. Princeton’s Graduate School has an access, diversity and inclusion team. Our entire community works hard, and intentionally, to support graduate students from the moment they are admitted. Please see this page for additional information on some of the recent student-led and student-run initiatives that have come online at SPIA.

We are always working to iterate, and always welcome fresh and innovative ideas for student organizations, outreach and activities from our current students; indeed, we are a community in conversation!

Beyond the tailored support we provide to student groups, our academic advising follows a similar pattern, headed by the Graduate Program Office. Each degree has a faculty director of graduate studies, and each field of focus within the degree has a faculty advisor. For those keen on our optional certificates in HHP, STEP and UP, there is an additional advisor for that. Our Associate Dean for Graduate Education sets up weekly office hours to provide another source of support, and an additional avenue to utilize in order to maximize your time at Princeton’s SPIA.

Prospective students also often ask about internships and professional outcomes for SPIA’s graduate students. Varied in scope and responsibility, our students are working with local, national and global organizations that support and serve their respective communities.

On campus, our Office of Career Development and Alumni Relations is largely responsible for career guidance and professional placement. This office provides comprehensive services, which include assisting first-year MPAs identify summer internships, supporting graduating students with career placement, and providing career guidance and networking opportunities to alumni. This is done through organizing annual recruiting visits, hosting panels and programs, disseminating job and internship opportunities, and providing coaching and guidance. The SPIA alumni network is incredibly strong, and spans class years and degrees. “Once a member of our community, always a member of our community!”

Following you will find a small but representative sample of where our graduate students have interned and initiated their professional careers after Princeton:

MPA Summer Internships (examples from 2015-2019)

55% Nonprofit/NGO/Foundation Sector
41% Public Sector
3% Private Sector

52% Internationally-focused
48% Domestically-focused

Field I
Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY
House Foreign Affairs Committee, Washington, DC
Mercy Corps, Nairobi, Kenya
Natural Resource Governance Institute, Yangon, Myanmar
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Geneva, Switzerland
U.S. Department of Defense, Arlington, VA
U.S. Department of State, domestic and international locations

Field II
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA
CDC Group, London, UK
Engineers without Borders Canada, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Human Rights Watch, New York, NY
Innovations for Poverty Action, sites in Liberia and Colombia
International Rescue Committee, sites in NY and Lebanon
The World Bank, Washington, DC

Field III
Center for Civic Policy, Albuquerque, NM
City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office, Chicago, Il
Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Washington, DC
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
New Jersey Department of Health, Trenton, NJ
Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle, WA
Southern Coalition for Social Justice, Durham, NC

Field IV
African Center for Economic Transformation, Accra, Ghana
California Policy Lab, Berkeley, CA
IDinsight, sites in India and Zambia
Impacts Social Consultores, Mexico City, Mexico
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, DC

MPA First Destinations

Field I
Center for Constitutional Rights, Bertha Justice Fellow
Government of Japan, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Deputy Director
Human Rights First, Legal Fellow, Refugee Protection Team
NaturalizeUS, Co-Founder
U.S. Department of State, Intelligence Research Specialist – Energy Analyst
White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, Domestic Policy Council, Senior Policy Advisor

Field II
EKStep Foundation (Bangalore, India), Senior Public Policy Advisor
Globesight (Dubai, UAB), Analyst
ideas42, Senior Associate
International Monetary Fund, Economist
Samaritan’s Purse International Relief (Juba, South Sudan), Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator
Sesame Workshop, Program Manager, International Social Impact
World Food Programme (Dhaka, Bangladesh), Communications Consultant

Field III
Chicago Jobs Council, Director of Policy and Advocacy
D.C. Government Department of Human Services, Data Scientist
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Economist
Iowa State Government, State Senator – Elected 2018
The Rockefeller Foundation, Acting Associate Director, City Relationships – North America
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Program Analyst

Field IV
Asian Development Bank, Financial Sector Specialist – ADB Young Professional
Bipartisan Policy Center, Policy Analyst
Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Cross Market Monitoring Analyst Associate
Google, Senior Strategist, Ethical Machine Learning
International Growth Centre (Kigali Rwanda), Economist
Reserve Bank of Australia, Senior Research Economist

MPP First Destinations

Advanced Surgical Associates, Surgeon
American Civil Liberties Union, Director, Board of Relations
Avians Air Base (Pordenone, Italy), F16 Fighter Pilot & Weapons Officer
Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Canberra, Australia), Foreign Service Officer
Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs, Deputy Secretary
Harvard Medical School, Medical Student
Japan International Cooperation Agency, Assistant Director
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Lt. Commander, Rotary, Aviator, Strategic Analyst
U.S. Navy, Naval Officer, Navy SEAL
World Bank Group (London, UK), Consultant

PhD First Destinations
George Washington University, Visiting Professor
Ministry of Defense (London, UK), China Policy Officer
U.S. Naval War College, National Security Affairs Department, Associate Professor
ICF, Climate Change Expert
National Nuclear Security (Pacific Northwest), Administration
The World Bank, Development Finance Vice Presidency

PhD Postdoctoral Placements
Harvard Kennedy School
Stanford University
University of Pennsylvania
Princeton University
University of California-Irvine

We are a community in conversation. We hope you will join us; we’re saving you a seat!!