Charles Crabtree (MPPA '17) wants to be an economics officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. His internship this summer at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) brought him one big step closer to his career goal. Crabtree worked in ITA’s Memphis office, where he served as a resource for local businesses looking to export their products abroad. And this internship, Crabtree hopes, will position him well for the job he wants after graduation.
SPP’s graduate programs teach students strong analytic skills and prepare them for successful, professional careers. In addition to completing their academic coursework, therefore, students are expected to participate in many professional development activities during their time at SPP.
Professional Development Seminar
Students in our graduate programs take a one-credit professional development seminar that equips them with critical job-seeking skills and offers important lessons for budding professionals. Among other topics, students learn how to network, write cover letters and resumes, negotiate, and speak in public. The class gives students valuable opportunities to put these lessons to the test through mock interview sessions and networking trips to Boston and Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C. Networking Trip
Each year SPP graduate students visit Washington, D.C. as part of the Professional Development Seminar or Prosem. The Prosem has become an integral part of both the MPPA and MPP curriculum. The trip to DC is designed to give students exposure to the wide range of professional opportunities that are available to them as graduates of our programs. Students meet SPP alumni and other policy professionals who are working in a variety of government agencies and nonprofit organizations.
The internship requirement is a key component of SPP’s graduate programs. Students’ individual interests guide their internship search. SPP faculty and staff help navigate the placement process and often call upon the School’s international alumni network and strong connections in the local community to ensure that each student has a relevant and educational internship.