Stories from Our Community

Samuel Irwin (MA 2017)

Sam applied to Johns Hopkins SAIS because he found the graduate degree unique in that it combines international relations and economics, which offers a valuable set of skills and perspectives. Given how complex most global issues are, having the opportunity to study both disciplines was a big draw.

After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sam served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar for two years. He then worked at Epic Systems, a healthcare software company, before applying to Johns Hopkins SAIS.

Sam spent his first year of study at SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, which he said set the tone for his time at the school. Engaging with other passionate students and professors on economic and political issues became the norm during his time at the school. Additionally, his experience as Editor-In-Chief of the SAIS Europe Journal of Global Affairs was a definite highlight, allowing him to work closely with an amazing group of students and talk to key policymakers on a variety of different issues. During his second year of study in Washington, DC, Sam had the opportunity to work on a student consulting team during the Energy, Resources, and Environment practicum, which allowed him to apply what he learned in his classes to real-world deliverables for a client organization.

Sam hopes to be able to use the skills and knowledge that he learned at the school to address complex issues like climate change and the rapidly evolving global economy. Creating more resilient economies and societies will require innovation in policy, research, and financial mechanisms and his degree has prepared him to help face these challenges.