Alumni Spotlight: Kevin Malone (MA in Conflict Resolution)

Curious what our graduates of the MA in Conflict Resolution do after graduation? Check out the latest Alumni Spotlight profile from our Conflict Resolution Institute.

How Not to Take the Foreign Service Exam

Most of our applicants became interested in international relations after study abroad or the Peace Corps.  I am a child of the 80’s, so naturally, I became interested in International Relations from the 1985 classic “Spies Like Us”. If you are in need of some holiday videos, I highly recommend this gem. Seriously, check out the clip below of Chevy Chase taking the Foreign Service Exam.

Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad

This edition of Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad is formatted a little differently.

Becky, a 2013 MA in International Studies Korbel graduate, wanted to write a letter to current and prospective Korbel students sharing her outlook on Korbel and the opportunities it has provided her in her career so far!

Becky PictureMy name is Becky Li. Currently I am living in New York, working as a Quality Improvement Coordinator at HeartShare Human Services, which is the 2nd largest non-profit in the City, funded by Federal and NY State Government.

A year ago, I postponed my graduation and moved to NYC because of an internship position at United Nations Secretariat. Under the support and supervision from Prof. Zhao, I did an independent study in order to complete my degree at Korbel long distance from NYC. In a realistic perspective as an international student majoring in International Studies program, I would like to say that courses of Statistics, Professional Communications, and some IGOs related briefings are really helpful in job searches.

I am sincerely glad to have studied at Korbel, specifically learning knowledge and stories from experienced professors and friends. To all dear Korbel students, best wishes to you all. You will never regret choosing Korbel.

Best Regards,
Becky Li

Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad

This week Oliver, a 2013 MA in International Studies Korbel graduate, stops by to reflect on his time at Korbel and what earning a degree from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies has done for his career.

1. Where do you currently work?
I currently work as an Operations Specialist for Project C.U.R.E a Denver based 501c3 non-profit which takes donated overstock medical supplies and equipment from area hospitals and manufacturers and ships them to partner hospitals in over 130 countries.

2. Which courses or professors at Korbel do you think best prepared you for this job?
Chen Reis was one of my biggest influencers through courses like Health and Humanitarian Aid, as well as Information Management for Humanitarian Crises. These courses gave me a solid foundation in working in the humanitarian sector as well as the challenges it presents. I also got a lot of value out of classes with Tom Laetz, such as Project Management which gave me a lot of valuable tools such as project planning, Gantt Charts, budgets and other key project management skills. However, my favorite class in terms of learning was taught by an adjunct professor Dave Cherney, about the policy process, and I also spent a lot of time with Lynn Holland who guided me through the process of publishing a paper on the international political economy of the humanitarian regime.

3. We know that graduate school is an investment, how did you finance your graduate school investment?
Through loans- both private and public- I was also fortunate to receive the Peace Corps Fellowship which was a financial and academic support, as well as several academic awards- the Paterson award to support my work while interning in Washington DC and through the Korbel in DC semester, as well as the Chester Lee Brinser scholarship, for demonstrated commitment to humanitarian service. I am still paying off the loans, though!

4. How did Korbel’s location in Denver impact your job search? 
I guess being a Denver native, I had a good network here to start, but I also made sure to get to DC and forge connections there- which ultimately led to my first consulting role after Korbel and gave me some credibility and valuable work experience upon returning to Denver. In the end, Korbel’s location is great, and it seems to me to be all about who you know. Korbel attracts a great network and leveraging that is as important as the degree itself.

5. How have you utilized Korbel’s alumni network?
I got an internship at Save the Children in Washington through Korbel alumni and now professor, Jerry Montgomery. He was instrumental in mentoring me in international humanitarian logistics and getting my first role as a operations consultant with the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme in South Sudan. He continues to be a mentor and role model today. Upon returning to Denver, and finding Project C.U.R.E I also found a solid network of DU alums- in the year plus I’ve been here I have worked with 4 Korbel alumi and numerous others have worked as interns. I try to return the favor now.

Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad

Sarah, a 2014 Korbel Grad, stops in to share her story on today’s Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad.

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  1. Where do you currently work?

I work at the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians where I serve as the Director of Health of the Public.

  1. Which courses or professors at Korbel do you think best prepared you for this job?

My primary responsibility in my current position is managing the implementation of a pediatric obesity intervention in several primary care offices across the state of Colorado. I often refer to this work as international development in a domestic context. Statistics, Fundraising and Financial Management for Non-profits, and my global health classes best prepared me for my current role.

  1. We know that graduate school is an investment, how did you finance your graduate school investment?

Scholarships funded a significant portion of my education. I also worked several part-time positions during my first year. In my second year my work study position turned into a full-time job. And, of course, student loans.

  1. How did Korbel’s location in Denver impact your job search?

Denver is a great place to live and it’s a great place to work.  Volunteer positions and jobs that I had during graduate school turned into full-time opportunities post graduation.  For me, it was easier to find a position in the place where I had built networks during graduate school.

  1. How have you utilized Korbel’s alumni network?

The alumni network has been very important to me – a Korbel alum sent me the job posting for my current position! One of the great things about living in Denver is the small, connected community. I run into Korbel alum often and its an easy way to stay connected professionally and socially.


Tuesdays with a Korbel Grad

Meet Victoria, a 2013 MA in International Development Korbel Grad.


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  1. Where do you currently work?

I am the Education Manager at an international development NGO in Cambodia, called Journeys Within Our Community (JWOC). JWOC is based out of Siem Reap, but has operations is Burma and Laos. We develop projects in Southeast Asia that reduce poverty levels, increase educational and economic opportunities, and empower recipients to be agents of change in their community. At JWOC, I oversee a portfolio of 25 unique vocational classes serving over 700 students in Siem Reap aged 5-50 each week; my job involves a lot of project M&E, strategic planning, organizational leadership, flexibility, strong cross-cultural collaboration skills and compassion. Before JWOC, I was in Boston working at an international education consulting firm.

  1. Which courses or professors at Korbel do you think best prepared you for this job?

Devin Joshi continues to be a huge mentor for me. The conversations we had during class and office hours were enlightening and thought-provoking to say the least. The research I did for Devin about Asia inspired me to further my career in Asia and why I am back working in Asia now! Other amazing classes include GIS for International Development and Fundraising and Financial Management with Sue Dorsey.

  1. We know that graduate school is an investment, how did you finance your graduate school investment?

My approach to financing my graduate education has been three-pronged- with strategic planning before, during and after. Before applying to schools, I examined the financial benefits available to me as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Korbel was one of my top choices. The Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship program helped me save money by enrolling in an accelerated track and completing my degree requirements in just over 1 year. During my time at Korbel, I held about 5 different part-time jobs at any given time, working about 8-12 hours per week. The part-time jobs helped me offset living costs and not rely on loans for anything except the cost of tuition. And lastly, after Korbel, I have been open about my loans to my previous and current employers; being somewhat open about your financial situation gives you better leverage in negotiating your salary and/or having your employer make performance-linked payments towards your loan.

Korbel Internship Data

The Josef Korbel School’s Office of Career and Professional Development recently released the latest internship data. Check it out to see where Korbel students interned. Want to talk to a Korbel student about their internship? Reach out to one of our Student Ambassadors!