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Gaining Expertise in Conflict Prevention

photo of Jenna

Jenna Wichterman
MAIR '21
Schwarzman Scholars Class of 2022

Q: What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS?
A: I was interested in the school for several reasons. I had heard great things about the academics and faculty, and I knew that I wanted to focus on international conflict management in graduate school. At first, I was intimidated at the thought of studying economics, but recognized its importance, and so I wanted a program that would force me to integrate economic thinking into my understanding of international affairs. It turns out that I have loved my economics classes, which surprised me! 
Q: What sparked your interest on focusing on China?
A: When I was interning at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during the summer prior to enrolling at SAIS, I was able to work on a few China-related projects. As someone whose initial interest in foreign policy was sparked by an interest in conflict prevention, I wanted to learn more about how China’s arrival on the world stage will affect global security and international conflict management. 
Q: What was your reaction upon learning you had been selected as a Schwarzman Scholar?
A: I was thrilled and felt so honored and grateful to have the opportunity to study in Beijing with the Schwarzman Scholars program. I'm looking forward to meeting interesting people from all over the world and learning about China alongside them. 
Q: What have you enjoyed most about studying at the school?
A: One of my favorite experiences has been participating in a study trip to Ethiopia. Not only was it a fantastic learning experience, but I also had a blast spending time with other SAIS students during our free time. At one point, a few friends  and I, whom I became close with on the trip, went on a run through Addis Ababa, where we chatted about our life experiences, while enjoying the city outside of a formal meeting context. 
In addition, I’ve loved taking classes such as “Public Finance,” “American Defense Policy,” “International Bargaining and Negotiation,” and “US Security Policy in the Asia Pacific.”
Most importantly, I’ve made such amazing friends in the program, whom I know will stay with me the rest of my life. 
Q: What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?
Immediately after I graduate, I’ll be in China with the Schwarzman program for one year. After that, I’m hoping to work in a government role focused on US foreign policy. 

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