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School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Interning in D.C. Inspires Student's Professional Path

Matt Kelly

Matthew Kelly

One of the School of Diplomacy’s most engaging opportunities is the Semester in Washington, D.C.

Through the program, both graduate and undergraduate students from any major can pursue an internship in our nation’s capital, while maintaining their Seton Hall financial aid packages and full-time student status. Students receive assistance from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations with finding internships and making connections with alumni mentors who are working in fields related to their interests.

Matthew Kelly, a graduate student from Hebron, Connecticut, recently spent the semester interning for the State Department’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs.

Kelly, who earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Fordham University, specializes in foreign policy analysis and international security. He found his internship to be relevant not just to his future goals but to his current studies as well. “Interning at the State Department was an incredible opportunity to experience what a career in foreign policy might look like,” Kelly explained.

Matt Kelly with other participants

Matt Kelly with other participants in DC

During the semester, he was able to attend events at the White House, meet senators face to face, and even prepare documents for the Secretary of State. Kelly had a chance to put his international relations knowledge into practice and learn new skills as well, making him a more competitive candidate for future jobs in the international affairs arena.

In addition to their internships, students in the D.C. program also take classes with Ray Walser, Ph.D. Professor Walser brings over 40 years of teaching know-how to the classroom, along with a wealth of experience in the field as a foreign service officer and policy analyst. Whether they’re learning inside or outside the classroom, students are provided with real-world insight and first-hand knowledge of what careers in international relations can be like.

Regarding the classroom experience, Kelly explained that the School of Diplomacy “set up weekly guest lectures for our class with former congressmen, professionals within the State Department and CIA, and policy analysts with leading think tanks.” The experience was invaluable, Kelly said, and enabled him to make lasting connections with professionals in the field and with Seton Hall alumni.

Although Washington D.C. is centered around politics, there is more to see than just government buildings. After work and on the weekends, Kelly explored the many cultural and historical offerings of the nation’s capital. Overall, he found the program to be educational and enjoyable, and an important step on his journey towards a career in Washington. Kelly said that he hopes to leverage his time at the School of Diplomacy and in D.C. to pursue a career at the State Department or with another government agency.

Students who are interested in participating in the Semester in D.C. Program may contact Director of Internships and Career Development, Rob Case, at [email protected] for further information.

Categories: Nation and World