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Gaining Expertise to Advance My Career in Military Service

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Sam Arhin
Master of International Public Policy '21

Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS? 
A: I am in the middle of a career pivot and I was looking for a reputable school with the right area of studies. SAIS was on top of my list. The Master of International Public Policy (MIPP) was well suited for my professional and personal needs. Additionally, it is one of the best programs of its kind in the country. I cannot say that about any other institution. Furthermore, SAIS’s reputation and academic rigor satisfied what I was looking for in my choice of graduate school. As a first generation American I want to set a benchmark for my family, as such I am proud to affiliate with SAIS. Finally, I like that the school offers me the opportunity to network and collaborate with a like-minded cohort.
Q: What has been one of your favorite experiences at the school so far? 
A: Due to COVID I have not had the chance to engage in any in-person activity at the school. However, I enjoy the expedient services that I have received from the school. I enjoy the school’s Mason Library the most and I appreciate the ease at which I can access resources to make my research less stressful. Additionally, I appreciate the free COVID testing amid the pandemic to ensure the safety of the student body. I also enjoy the quality of online collaboration and exchange with other students.
Q: What were you doing before attending the school?
A: Prior to SAIS, I served in various tactical and operational level jobs in the US Army. I have also supported civilian missions in the US such as support to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and others such missions overseas. My last assignment was an observer coach and trainer. In this rewarding job I had the opportunity to share my experience with fellow soldiers in the US Army National Guard and Reserves to ensure they were adequately trained.
Q: How has your military background contributed to your learning experience? 
A: My military service gave me a global perspective to analyze complex issues as well as provided me with the skills to apply patience and dedication to work through difficult situations. As an MIPP candidate, I can engage and contribute to complex class discussions on diverse topics by drawing from my experiences. The one-year MIPP program is quite demanding and requires dedication and perseverance to stay on task; thanks to the military I am able to stay on track.
Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate? 
A: The knowledge and skills that I gain from SAIS will be instrumental in my future military service. As a midlevel career soldier, the negotiation skills, research skills and other interpersonal skills I have acquired from SAIS will help me to contribute positively to senior level decision making. Additionally, as a lifelong learner, I desire to tap into the networking opportunities that I have developed at SAIS for future collaboration and to enhance my professional horizon.

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