Helena was a Fulbright fellow from Denmark. She graduated from NYU in 2014 and has an undergraduate degree in Rhetoric from the University of Copenhagen.
Where do you currently work and what do you do there?
I work as Advisor in development policy at the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington, DC. I manage Denmark´s relations with multilateral institutions, including the World Bank Group and the Inter-American Development Bank; American authorities, including USAID, the White House and the US State Department; and Washington based think tanks, civil organizations and private companies
How did the IR Program prepare you for what you are doing now?
The IR program is built on core classes that comprise the foundation of your IR education from which you can specialize in the areas that you are passionate about. I focused my studies on international security, diplomacy and American politics. My understanding of the complexity of the international community overall combined with my knowledge of American institutions and politics were very valuable to the Danish Foreign Service and are insights I use every day.
Why did you choose the IR program at NYU?
When researching different IR schools, I found that NYU’s IR program has a modern approach to IR both from an academic perspective and a professional perspective. For example, I think it is hugely important with practical, international experience, which New York based internships and NYU exchange programs you can secure.
What was your favorite class during your MA in International Relations?
This is a tough question. I cannot point out any single class. Instead I will say that my academic development over the two years and the feeling I got when all the different classes I had taken came together and supplemented each other in my head was my favorite experience during my MA.
Looking back, what were some of your favorite things about studying at NYU and about the IR Program?
NYU is full of resources and other great programs. I supplemented my IR program with classes at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service. I took free lessons in Mandarin, and I refreshed my mind with squash at NYU’s sports facilities. The IR program has some of the best professors in the field and they were all open to share and discuss their expertise, which was an incredible help not only to understand IR, but also what my role in IR could be. Today, I am in contact with several professors and it helps me to keep sophisticating my professional work.
What advice would you give to current and future students of the program?
Be curious and open-minded. During your MA program, you are surrounded by specialists in the most interesting city in the world – utilize that and embrace all the opportunities that come your way.