Michael Rettig graduated from the MA in IR Program in December 2012. He is from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania and received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Sociology.
Where are you currently and what do you do there?
I'm currently a communications officer at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of the nation's oldest philanthropies. I support the Corporation’s international security and U.S. democracy programs, developing and executing communications strategies to ensure our work has an impact with the right people.
How did the IR Program prepare you for what you're doing now?
My work with what is now IRPA was an incredible primer for my career. I learned to diagram where decision-making power lies, understand how to influence those decisions, and use the basic tools of business and communications (building and using email lists, hosting events, publishing reports) to push forward a strategy for change. Formally or otherwise, as a core part of my role or a supporting one, I've had to do the same thing in every job since.
What advice do you have for current students who may be looking for a career in your field?
Your career goals can always change, but you should have them starting on day one. Think about going to events, meeting people, subscribing to the right newsletters, and reaching out for coffees with interesting professionals throughout your degree. Then think about the stress of applying for jobs, through the unsympathetic internet, to strangers, in the last few months of your time at NYU. Which sounds more effective and more enjoyable?
Which was the class you most enjoyed? And the one in which you learned the most?
Each and every one of Dr. Helman's courses were incredible. Those courses gave me invaluable insights on how government and other large institutions work, and I've been using the knowledge I gained ever since.
What was your favorite place on campus? What did you like best about student life at NYU?
On any given day, you could probably find me and my friends either in the department computer lab or at the grad cafe in Stern. For me, those were important physical spaces to meet my colleagues, absorb new information, and organize things.