Jirawat graduated from NYU’s MA Program in International Relations in May 2015. He is from Bangkok, Thailand, and currently works for the Thai Ministry of Defence. Before coming to NYU, he attended Boston University where he received a BA in International Relations and Economics.
Where do you currently work and what do you do there?
At the Ministry of Defence of Thailand (MOD), I am working as a political affairs officer in the Office of Policy and Planning, which oversees defense cooperation with other countries. My main responsibility is to write talking points and briefing papers for senior defense officials’ bilateral meetings with foreign diplomats including defense attaches. I also provide English translation service for the MOD.
Why did you choose the IR Program at NYU?
Courses and the professional development opportunities NYU and New York City have to offer! I knew I wanted to go deeper in the areas of international security, United States foreign policy and the United Nations, and NYU’s IR Program offered courses on some of the most interesting and pressing thematic issues in these fields. Adding to this was the opportunity to gain a practical and first-hand experience in diplomacy and civil service through internships with a member-state’s permanent mission to the UN and the UN itself. So NYU was my graduate school of choice.
Which was the class you most enjoyed? And the one in which you learnt the most?
I thoroughly enjoyed Professor Stuart Gottlieb’s “American Foreign Policy” class. The course was well-structured, covering the traditions that inform U.S. foreign policy thinking, the history of U.S. foreign policy and how it evolved throughout different eras and presidencies, U.S. institutions and foreign policymaking, and important thematic issues, such as counterterrorism. I loved how Professor Gottlieb approached the course throughout by highlighting the interplay between those traditions, institutions and history, and its influence on U.S. foreign policy in any given period or topic. His approach has enhanced my understanding, and today I find it invaluable for analyzing and making sense of any topics pertinent to this subject. As someone who has extensive professional experience in international affairs, getting to hear his perspectives on many foreign policy-related issues was also a plus.
What advice would you give to future students of the program?
Get your life-balanced and make the most of what the university and NYC have to offer. Outside the Program and studying, make sure you make time for social events and activities run by GSAS Master’s College Program Board, and take a recreation class offered at Palladium Athletic Facility. You will get to know people outside your program. Outside of university, do explore other NYC neighbourhoods as well as museums, many of which you can gain admission either free of charge or at a discount rate with your NYU Student ID.
NYC is home to many international affairs-related organizations and think tanks, many of which regularly host seminars and talks given by speakers who have first-hand experience in the fields. So do attend some of these whenever you can. Not only are they a great way to supplement what you learn in class, but also an opportunity to learn other areas of IR that are not covered in your concentration.
Also feel free to tailor your degree program to your interests. The MA Program in IR is very flexible. Not only it allow you to create your own concentration, but also allows you to take classes in other GSAS departments and NYU schools. Whatever area of concentration you choose (whether it’s law or regional studies), you will find classes that meet your interests.
What was your favorite place on campus? What did you like best about student life at NYU?
This is a difficult question since there are many places I really liked on campus. Rather than picking one, I am going to name a few – a lounge on the 7th floor in the Kimmel Center, where you can study and enjoy the view of Washington Square Park, Bobst Library, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters on 30 W 8th St - my favorite place for a coffee!
During my time at NYU, I was very fortunate to have a very supportive group of friends, who I studied and hanged out with, and we all shared the same academic passion and interest. So the best about NYU student life was the people in the Program.
What did you like best about living in NYC?
Living in New York City is great for many reasons. I love going to art museums, theaters, entertainment events, running in a park, and exploring different neighborhoods and dining scenes. NYC is definitely one of the best cities for these. I also love the vibrancy and liberal atmosphere of the City. With so many things to do, there’s always something for everyone to do and enjoy here.
Last Updated August 20th, 2019