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Building My Network

photo of Hayden Hubbard

Hayden Hubbard
MA '21
First Year: SAIS Europe

Q: What inspired you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS and study in Bologna?

I felt that Johns Hopkins SAIS provided the best holistic set of opportunities among the top international affairs graduate schools. These initial positive impressions of the school were confirmed and exceeded after my first year in Bologna. The professors are not only top-notch, but uniquely personable. The students and alumni are both wicked smart and tons of fun to be around. There are a huge range of interesting courses. The school’s network and campus locations are pretty much unparalleled. The list goes on and on… Being able to attend the Bologna campus was just icing on the cake.

Q: What was one of your favorite experiences about studying in Bologna?

It was definitely traveling all over Europe with my classmates during my first semester. The Bologna campus creates a special collegiality among students and there were always cheap flights from Bologna to somewhere interesting in Europe. This combinations made for some pretty spectacular weekends. The Bologna experience provides for the perfect work-life balance and all the travel was both a blast and educationally eye-opening.

Q: What are you looking forward to in your role as the Student Government Association Bologna Representative?

More than anything I love getting to know students and their aspirations. My favorite part of participating in the Bologna SGA last year was getting to know students’ concerns, hopes, and ideas and then trying to problem-solve and partner with them to find solutions. I think this will also be my favorite part of SGA this year and my continual goal is to listen better to a more diverse variety of students and more actively work with them to answer their questions, connect them with resources and advocate for them.

Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?

I hope to continue working for a large development organization such as the World Bank or the OECD. Eventually, I’m super interested in the social impact space and would love to start my own social entrepreneurship organization (as if there weren’t enough already!). I’m currently most interested in the regions of Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia and the fields of education and healthcare, but Johns Hopkins SAIS is continually challenging my plans and ideas of what sounds most interesting!

Q: Have you received any special recognitions as a student at Johns Hopkins SAIS?

I have a special ability to mix up names, places and acronyms (my apologies to you all in advance!). During the first week of my internship this summer, I had to reach out to the Norwegian Ministry of Education and accidentally referred to them through my message with the wrong acronym. The incorrect acronym I used just so happened to stand for the Official Cat-Breeding Association of Norway, and I had my Norwegian colleagues thoroughly confused as to why I was reaching out to them about cat breeding. I think I should receive some special recognition for that.

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