A Head Start on a Master’s Degree with Unparalleled Benefits

Robin Dickey
BA/MA ‘20
Strategic Studies
First Year: SAIS Europe

Robin decided to apply to the Johns Hopkins BA/MA five-year program because she was set on pursuing a career in international affairs. She wanted to move quickly through the undergraduate curriculum and she knew that Johns Hopkins SAIS had an excellent reputation in the field of international relations. She also believed that the early graduate program would be beneficial because at some point many careers in policy and diplomacy require a master’s degree, and she felt that once she began her career, it would be more challenging for her to take a leave of absence to pursue a graduate degree.

The immediate transition from her undergraduate to graduate studies was less challenging than expected; unlike her classmates, many of whom came straight from the workforce, Robin was on an academic trajectory with fresh knowledge of writing papers and completing extensive readings. The main difference in the transition was getting to know her classmates, who had a much more diverse range of academic and experiential backgrounds than undergraduates.

Robin’s experience at the school so far has been excellent. She has learned to balance rigorous academics—such as her current favorite class on political leadership in the Middle East—with fun extracurriculars that have included study trips to places such as San Marino, Munich, Prague, and Slovenia. She has also applied to the Brussels career trek that includes a visit to NATO and the EU. She is also helping to organize a study trip to observe efforts in democratization and stabilization in Tunisia.

Robin also appreciates that the program has already helped her build key career skills, which have allowed her to improve her writing, strengthen her debate skills, expand her Arabic language capabilities, and develop connections with a wide range of interesting friends and colleagues.

After graduating, Robin would like to begin a career in diplomacy or policy with a focus on national security and conflict management, potentially through the US State Department, NATO, or a think tank.