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Grateful for the Steadfast Support of Faculty and Staff

Ronnie Alinda Kyamureku

Full Name: Ronnie Alinda Kyamureku
DegreeMaster of Arts in International Relations
Current Campus: D.C.

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

Before joining SAIS, I was working with the Central Bank of Uganda (BOU). I had just been transferred to the Statistics Department after 13 years in the Financial Stability Department.

What led you to Johns Hopkins SAIS?

I was introduced to SAIS by a former faculty member, Prof. Andrea Presbitero. We had previously collaborated on a joint research project between the BOU and the IMF, and he knew how passionate I was about improving my skills in order to make a “real impact” in the development space. I always consulted him about PhD opportunities, but he advised me to try SAIS. I checked the SAIS website and was convinced by what I saw.

What has been your favorite experience at SAIS and why?

Returning to a classroom after over 10 years in active employment can be very daunting. My favorite experience with SAIS is how the administration and faculty are always available full-time to enable students to achieve their full potential. Outside academics, activities with my colleagues like hiking, aperetivos and house parties were wonderful opportunities to bond and learn about different cultures and ideologies.

What do you plan on pursuing after graduation?

The ultimate goal for me is to daily go to bed after work with the satisfaction that I am doing something that is enabling someone to have clothes on their back and food in their belly. I have seen firsthand how poverty derives one of dignity and purpose and wish to dedicate my skills to this service for the remainder of my productive years. SAIS presents a good opportunity to join this space, through the school’s strong networks in humanitarian and development agencies worldwide.

What is one piece of advice you would give to students in the process of choosing graduate schools?

Schools with a strong attachment to alumni are usually very in-touch with the skills required in the field. SAIS maintains a strong alumni network which is very involved in career advice, internship placements and job recruitment. This I believe keeps SAIS up-to-date on the changing trends in the job market and this is translated into the way courses are offered.

What was one of the things you learned during your time at SAIS that transformed your perspective or way of thinking?

One of the first activities we had to complete as students even before classes started was to design a Career Focus Matrix. This exercise demanded deep introspection on what we truly desire and the skills we possess to achieve it. I learnt so much about what I desired as a fulfilling career, my life priorities and the skills I have to hone to enable me achieve my dreams. This changed how I approach evert aspect of my life.

Whose support has made your journey at SAIS possible and why?

Definitely the dynamic duo of Amina Abdiuahab and Donata Parisi. I would pass by this office whenever I had any issues at school or at home and they were so helpful and supportive. In November, my employer withdrew its support for my academic journey and required me to return to Uganda or lose my job. They encouraged me to stay on and although it has been financially difficult, I am very glad that I did not give up my dream for short-term considerations.

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 Ronnie's experience? Learn more about our Master of Arts in International Relations.

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