The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
My goals have remained pretty much consistent since I started at Wagner, but I think they have been shaped and fine-tuned, in a good way, since I've been here due to my work with OCS staff and my work and internship experiences.
Class projects provided a means for me to find out more about issues I was passionate about. The connections I made with faculty were invaluable in directing my research, studies and contact to practitioners in the field.
I have attended Alumni/Student networking events, where I have made effective contacts which have already begun to guide me in interesting directions—not to mention making friends.
I think there are two important points about academics to concentrate on: use class assignments to help you do more at your organization (or one you want to go to) and really take classes that you see helping you down the road.
During the Spring of my first year at Wagner, I began having advising sessions with OCS staff, and as a result, have been engaging in comprehensive assignments to make me thoughtful and proactive about building the career path of my choice. I am so grateful to OCS. They have been especially helpful this year as I narrow my focus, prepare for and succeed during interviews, and accept or decline offers.
I have used class assignments to find out more about issues on several occasions. I wrote a paper on small business assistance that prompted a research center to apply for a grant to study the same issue -- they received the grant, and I ended up with a full-time, summer research position and the opportunity to co-author the study.
My goals have become more clear and tangible. I have done a lot of self discovery of my talents and limitations.
If you keep seeing job postings in your field asking for skills you don't have, it means it's time to assess yourself and see what you can do to improve.
My summer internship in Kabul has given me a lot of insight into development work. My internship is unpaid, and I was apprehensive about that at first, but I figured it would pay off in the long run. There are tons of ex-pats here are and jobs are literally falling into my lap. It has shown me that it is pretty difficult to try to land an international job while sitting in your apartment in New York.
Since I'm exploring career options in another city, I used an assignment in Intro to Public Policy to learn more about the economic and political situation in that area. I researched an economic development initiative in St. Louis that helped me become more aware of the challenges facing the city and who is addressing them. This helped me during informational interviews by demonstrating my interest and helping me contextualize some of what I learned during the interviews.