Nathanael is a Senior Research Assistant in the Global Financial Flows section within the Federal Reserve Board’s division of International Finance. An international relations enthusiast, he wanted to supplement this knowledge with economic training. Acquiring the International Economics Certificate at Johns Hopkins SAIS was to him an obvious choice for two reasons: the school’s reputation as a leading graduate program for international relations and the part-time study opportunities available to working professionals.

Nathanael has so far found it very beneficial to learn about the academic world of global finance. The knowledge that he has gained through his classes has been immensely useful in his day-to-day work. Gaining the skill set to actively analyze the reports, projects, and institutions that he is a part of at the Board has been incredibly rewarding and has made him a better researcher in his professional role. In fact, just recently one of Nathanael’s instructors at the school used the exact multinational report on global financial stability as a teaching tool that he has been working on over the past year with his section chief at the Board.

In offering some words of advice for prospective non-degree students, Nathanael recommends being strategic with class selections and making sure that you take classes you are most excited about at the end of the workday; having a vision of how you want to grow academically and professionally; and determining how Johns Hopkins SAIS can best support your goals. And, although the idea of working full-time and taking classes can be daunting at first, Nathanael has been able to successfully balance his schedule by dedicating certain hours of the week to solely focus on work and on school. Strategic use of weekend time is also important, as well as a healthy supply of caffeine.