How does your program contribute to the mission of national security?
The Hopkins program centers on political Russian and is meant to hone vocabulary for use in careers in international relations, national security, and socio-economics. Our professor also teaches Russian at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, so she has extensive experience training U.S. diplomats as they prepare to work in the international political space. As a Security Studies student looking to go into public service, this course has been key to developing my ability to speak, read, and write about a range of issues that I will encounter in my career.
Why did you choose this particular program?
While I considered a number of immersive Russian programs, a big draw of the SAIS program was its location and schedule. The night classes enable me to rapidly improve my language skills while simultaneously gaining valuable work experience at a full-time internship in the DC area. Being able to work while participating in this top-notch program has given me the best of both worlds as I attempt to develop myself professionally.
How will this experience help you in your job search and career?
Mastering the Russian language is not only something I am passionate about – it is likely a move that will help me immensely as I compete for a career in national security. Russian has been deemed a “critical language”– a language that is not commonly taught in the U.S. but that is critical to U.S. diplomacy and national security. The heightened demand for Russian speakers in the national security space translates into more Russian “language-use” positions throughout the public and private sector. By continuing intensive study between my language courses at Georgetown, I am able to maintain and improve my skills that would otherwise atrophy over the summer. With its emphasis in national security and political language, this program in particular is laying an excellent foundation as I prepare for full immersion next year in Daugavpils, Latvia and, eventually, a career in public service.