Stephanie Sugars is a current student in the joint International Relations and Journalism (GloJo) Program and will graduate in 2018. She is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and completed her undergraduate studies in International Relations and Anthropology at the College of Wooster in 2015.
Why did you choose the IR program at NYU?
While I was interning in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2014, I helped organize and host a conference for war reporters and photographers; we had several galleries, film screenings daily, and a mini-conference. I was incredibly inspired by the work these professionals were doing, and wanted to find a program that would enable me to deepen my knowledge in international relations, human rights, and transitional justice while developing the skills I would need to work professionally as a journalist and photographer, and this joint program has been a perfect fit.
Which has been the class you most enjoyed? And the one in which you learnt the most?
My favorite IR class has probably been Human Rights, Art and Memory: our class discussions spurred a lot of my own independent thinking and researching, and was going to be the basis for my thesis; alas, things in the field can and, more often than not, do shake up your plans. I think I learned the most, however, in International Justice & International Institution, as our case by case analysis, discussion, and guest speakers made international law not only accessible but fascinating.
What advice would you give to future students of the program?
Talk to your professors and peers. A lot. Discuss the things you're interested in, whether that's international finance or Breaking Bad. It's through these discussions that you can find the overlaps, connections, and revelations that will help sort out what exactly it is you want to do "when you grow up." It's okay not to have the answers right away, just follow your passion.
What is your favorite place on campus?
The park: I'm a sucker for green spaces, live music, trees, the sound of water flowing and wind in the leaves. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but I recommend taking some time to disconnect from tech, to sit on the ground with your back against a tree to read a book (even if it's for class--mine usually is).
What is the best thing about living in NYC?
The people you meet. I've met fascinating, inspiring, hillarious, brilliant people almost daily. The 'train wizard' who talked with me when we were stuck on the L train. Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first prosecutor of International Criminal Court who came as a guest speaker to one of my courses. The pianist who wheeled a baby grand into Washington Square Park and played for 11 hours straight. And, of course, my peers, professors, coworkers, and friends. Astounding, one and all.
What are your plans after you graduate? How has this program prepared you for that?
I'm in the process of applying for internships, fellowship, and reporting positions. Most are with media, publishing, or human rights organizations. We'll see what sticks.