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SAIS Has Opened My Eyes

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Reyan de Verteuil
Master of Arts in International Relations

Before joining the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), what were you doing?

After graduating from Howard University with a bachelor’s in International Affairs in Africa and the Caribbean, I was working at Iris House Inc., a non-profit in the Greater New York City area providing Case Management services to persons living with HIV/AIDs. With a team, I worked to build a new, federally-funded psychosocial support program at the organization.

What led you to Johns Hopkins SAIS?

SAIS came up as one of the top schools for International Relations postgraduate studies in the US when I was first learning more about graduate programs. I appreciated the broad scope of the MA International Relations program since, at the time, I was still very much open to different pathways within the development field.

I was also very excited about the opportunity to spend a year at the Bologna campus and have the complementary experiences of studying international relations in the heart of Europe and in the center of world affairs in the Americas — Washington, D.C.

What has been your favorite experience at SAIS and why?

For one of my Spring 2022 semester classes, Rural Development, Gender & Social Inclusion, we had the opportunity to visit Romania with our professor, Anna Hartmann, who had spent a large part of her career working there with the World Bank. It was very interesting learning about the history and formative years of Romania and assessing its current level of development.

Our trip to the rural countryside was such a calming and beautiful experience and I had the chance to deepen connections with my classmates and professor. Apart from all the other travel I was able to do while in Italy, I appreciated this opportunity to apply the analytical skills I learned in the classroom to a country case.

A family photo with Reyan

If you could give one piece of advice to new SAIS students, what would that be?

Make sure that you’re prepared to manage your time wisely and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. SAIS is a full load — ranging from rigorous coursework and experiential learning activities to networking and engaging in important discussions on global issues. Take advantage of all of these and explore every door that is opened.

My time at SAIS has opened my eyes to the many different avenues in and around international relations and development.

What do you plan on pursuing after graduation?

After graduation, I hope to continue in the field of development, primarily in the multilateral bank sphere. I have been interning with the Inter-American Development Bank’s Country Office in Trinidad and Tobago for the past 7 months so I hope to obtain a full time job upon graduation. I would like to spend the next few years working on and eventually leading  projects in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

In the longer-term, I plan to enter the foreign service of Trinidad and Tobago. My time at SAIS has opened my eyes to the many different avenues in and around international relations and development, so I am confident that I will find my space in this field.
If you are looking to learn more about what it's like to be a current student at Johns Hopkins SAIS, we encourage you to schedule a virtual appointment with one of our Admissions Fellows.

Enjoyed reading Reyan's experience? Learn more about our Master of Arts in International Relations.

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