Prerequisites for Career in International Affairs
Pursuing a career in international affairs is an exciting path that requires a multitude of skills and knowledge as prerequisites before embarking on this international journey.
Multidisciplinary background sounds to be crucial especially for practitioners career path in foreign service, international organisations and media rather than research career path in think tanks or universities. Understanding of complex interrelationships, profound knowledge of other countries, political systems, and different mentalities, in addition to interest in people and the ability to combine this knowledge are qualities of successful international affairs professionals
One of the ways to acquire these competencies is a postgraduate degree which provide participants, in addition to knowledge, with global network of contacts valuable as they progress in their careers. Learning foreign languages is another factor that is necessary in pursuing a career in international affairs. If you speak Arabic, Russian or Chinese in Europe and United States, it will definitely give you an advantage in your career in the field. Interpersonal skills are very important for a successful career in this field as it is required to be able to build and maintain good relationships - ultimately between nations, but starting with individuals and smaller groups. International experience such as studying abroad or volunteering for an NGO is an asset for an international career.
All the opinions expressed are those of the author in this article and do not represent those of The Global Diplomatic Forum. The Diplomatic Digest is an independent and neutral page that is aimed at generating debate around key international topics.
It is a competitive career, the more professional courses you can take, the better- the more internships and summer jobs that are relevant to the field, at places people have heard of, the better, the more relevant skills and competed projects that you can talk up in your interviews
Multitasking seems also to help people progress in careers in the field as you always find the ones with management, fundraising and communications skills at the top of the main think tanks and NGOs rather than the best writers/researchers.