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Understanding International Relations Dynamics and History

ali mammadov
Ali Mammadov

Ali MammadovMAIR '231. What encouraged you to apply to Johns Hopkins SAIS?Before applying to SAIS, I did some research on the quality of education it provided. The school was well-known in my country, and several people recommended it to me. As a result, when I began my application process, I assumed SAIS would be among the schools to which I would apply. I had the opportunity to learn more about the school and its notable alumni during the application process. The number of well-known people who had either studied or worked there left an indelible impression on me. Furthermore, the school's location was one of the primary factors that drew me in. SAIS is close to several think tanks, and it only takes a few minutes to get to international organizations like the IMF and World Bank. I realized that the school's ideal location could inspire students and provide them with limitless opportunities. Furthermore, as an international student, I valued the diversity of students at SAIS as well as the school's positive attitude toward students from diverse backgrounds. All the factors mentioned above had a significant impact on my decision to attend SAIS.2. What were you doing before attending the school?Before coming to SAIS, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Economics from George Washington University. After taking international economics courses, I decided to pursue an advanced degree in international relations because I felt my education would be incomplete unless I understood how states interact with one another. Several internships and volunteer opportunities allowed me to expand my knowledge of finance and economics. I also interned at a student-run think tank, where I wrote articles and reports. During my undergraduate studies, I also worked as a research assistant, which allowed me to improve my foreign language skills.3. What program are you in and what do you hope to gain from it?Now, I am enrolled in the Master of Arts in International Relations (MAIR) program. I hope to gain a thorough understanding of the field of international relations, its dynamics, and its history. In the last two semesters, I learned a lot about international relations and honed my critical thinking skills. Since I still have one year left at SAIS, I am eager to learn more about the field and continue to delve into its depths with the assistance of SAIS faculty. I also appreciate how the school encourages MAIR students to learn new languages, as knowing multiple languages is an essential component of being an expert in international relations. I am currently studying French and hope to reach a certain level of fluency by the time I graduate.4. What has been one of your favorite experiences or classes at the school so far?One of my favorite classes at SAIS is Contemporary Theory in International Relations, which I am currently enrolled in. The course is designed to thoroughly explain major and minor theories of international relations. Furthermore, the course equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize major patterns in state-to-state relations. Learning theories from Professor Charles Doran, who has made significant contributions to the field of international relations with his own theories, is an incredible experience. Having said that, all my classes have assisted me in learning new things and expanding my knowledge.5. As a first year, what are some things you are looking forward to?As a first-year student, I am looking forward to becoming a more active member of SAIS by joining student groups and participating in school events. I am also thinking of getting a summer internship to obtain more experience.6. What do you hope to do with your degree after you graduate?I am planning to start working after I graduate, though I may also continue to obtain more education simultaneously. I hope to become an expert in international relations eventually.

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