Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

So You Majored in International Studies?

I hope you got to spend your summer backpacking through Europe— it’s professional development, you know— but as autumn rolls around it might be time to start looking for a job. Here are some international studies positions that will remind you of time spent abroad, but will be a little more lucrative.

International Relations Specialist
Working for a publication, government department or other organization, you will compile reports and presentations on various international relations topics. This sounds very broad, and it can be. Your background knowledge of international relations will be invaluable in helping decode ongoing situations either for your own work or to support the work of others.
Apply at: Federal government, publications, larger organizations (I even found a listing for this position at a hospital)

International Programs Assistant
This job title can include work with study abroad programs and also support for the international programs of humanitarian and non-profit organizations. You might perform a lot of paperwork and general office duties, but you will also probably be involved in grant writing, social media work and general assisting of cool projects.
Apply at: Colleges/universities, larger humanitarian and non-profit organizations

Cultural Orientation Coordinator
In this position, you might help refugees transition into life in their new cultural climate. You will teach problem solving skills, encourage self-sufficiency and provide clients with the tools to navigate their new community.
See also: Cross Cultural Experience Coordinator
Apply at: Colleges/universities, relief and aide organizations

Public Affairs/Program Coordinator
Studying international relations can also be incredibly helpful for domestic relations (i.e. public affairs). This position will utilize your diplomacy skills and your project management experience as you coordinate an organization’s interactions with its customers and the public. Check into any kind of project management job that you think you might enjoy— you have the skills to excel in this role!
Apply at: Educational and non-profit organizations

Creative/Marketing Assistant
Your study of other cultures, in concert with your research and communications skills, will make you a strong contender for creative and marketing positions. You might work with an international affairs organization, or you might not. In your cover letter make sure to emphasize any project management or publicity campaigns you worked on during school.
Apply at: Non-profit organizations, marketing firms and any company large enough to have a marketing department

Business Development Associate
Although plenty of international relations positions involve providing relief and educational services, don’t forget that your skills are also useful in business. You might study business planning for an international affairs group or study international affairs for a business. You are versatile and valuable.
Apply at: Political organizations, businesses with international ties

Once you have become a walking encyclopedia in international relations— you totally know which fork to use for each course at a dinner— here are some jobs you can start enjoying.

Director of Humanitarian Policy
After you file the paperwork, you get to spend a bunch of money doing wonderful things to help people.

Private Tutor for Royalty
This list is somewhat devoid of international positions, only because I assume that you are pretty aware of those opportunities. This is the more awesome version of teaching ESL.

Intelligence Specialist
Use your foreign relations expertise to provide intelligence on said foreign places. You might work for the NSA, the CIA or just be James Bond.

Best of luck in your job search, and let us know what major you want us to tackle next! Leave a comment below or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb

IMAGE: Courtesy of Sweet Briar College

Kristin Anderson

Kristin has a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa, with an emphasis in creative writing. In her free time she enjoys long walks, kitchen adventures, and making puns.