Stories from Our Community

MSFS Graduate Andrea Conde Ghigliazza Lauds Tight-Knit Community of Classmates, Faculty and Alumni

Andrea Conde Ghigliazza

Master of Science in Foreign Service

Mexico City, Mexico

Internships during time at SFS: Human Rights Watch (Americas Division); Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center

Activity/internship Summer 2015: Summer Policy Intern, Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies, Rabat-Morocco.

What made you choose SFS for your graduate education?

MSFS became my top choice given its reputation, inter-disciplinary nature, strategic location, and highly renowned faculty. However, what I have grown to appreciate more from MSFS—besides the balance between theory and practice—is the tight-knit community of classmates, faculty and alumni interested in international affairs. As a Fulbright international student, MSFS became more than just an intellectual challenge in a second language, but a place where I became part of a strongly driven community, committed to shaping international relations. Now, a couple of days before graduation, I can confidently say that MSFS was the perfect choice for me and I could not be prouder of being a Hoya.

Do you have any mentors or advisors at SFS who made a big impact on you?

Overall, the Program leadership and faculty are very committed with MSFS students: following our progress and challenges closely. Moreover, I was very lucky to have an excellent professor, who quickly became my mentor: Professor John Bailey. In fact, his course (Citizen Security and Democratization in Latin America) was one of the reasons I became interested in Georgetown in the first place. Throughout my studies at MSFS, Dr. Bailey opened his door to discuss not only papers and ideas, but also career paths and gave me really good advice. His mentorship means a lot to me, and has helped me develop professionally parallel to my studies.

How has SFS prepared you for your career path?

Morocco SummerMSFS has given me the main tools to successfully launch my professional career upon graduation: from a rigorous curriculum to skill-oriented courses and workshops, the Program prepares students to thrive in a competitive environment. Furthermore, MSFS focus on building networks of driven individuals in the field of international politics, which provides the opportunity of making great friends and future leaders. For example, the small class size has allowed me to establish close relationships with professors and classmates—who led to recommendations and internships. Furthermore, by being located in the heart of U.S. policy making, you get a pretty good idea of the labor market and you have the opportunity of exploring different sectors while studying—an experience few programs offer. Additionally, being constantly exposed to the high-level practitioners in foreign affairs provides a great window of opportunity into the field.

What has been your favorite course at Georgetown and why?

It is hard to choose only one, but I would have to say Professor Chester Crocker’s Conflict Management and International Security course during the spring. The class was extremely well prepared and passionately taught by Prof. Crocker, who provided key insights and concepts, while allowing a rich discussion among peers. It also introduced me to my field of interest (conflict management and crime prevention), and challenged me to think outside the box. I would extremely recommend this course, as well as talking to Prof. Crocker, whose door is always open to a good discussion.

What will you miss the most about Georgetown?

Beyond second floor Lau, it all comes down to my experiences; the friendships I built and maintained; the professors that challenged and guided me; as well as the Program’s Leadership staff that helped me out every semester. Furthermore, I was very lucky to be surrounded by a very impressive group of people who transitioned from being friends to becoming my safety net in a foreign country. Without a doubt what makes MSFS an excellent graduate program are its people; and I am humbled to have had the opportunity of learning from them and growing up together.