Clayton Curran graduated from the MA International Relations Program with a concentration in International Politics & International Business in 2020 and is from Jersey City, New Jersey. He majored in Political Science and French in his undergraduate studies at Drew University before coming to NYU.
Where are you working currently and what do you do there?
I currently work at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations as a Sustainable Development Policy Adviser.
How did the MA in IR Program prepare you for what you are doing now?
The MA IR program puts an emphasis on both academic and real life tools needed to do well in the professional world. Whether it be attending important talks and discussions, or being able to sit down with professors who have extensive experience in the field, everything helps prepare you for interviews and real world situations later on.
What advice do you have for current students who may be looking for a career in your field?
Applying for jobs in NYC and DC can be a daunting task. My advice is to START EARLY and apply early. The best way to get your application on HR's desk is to be among the first few applicants, so if you see a job that you like that just popped up on a job board, try to apply as soon as possible. I got my application in the day after the position was posted, and I think that helped considerably. I never heard back from any position I applied to where the job had been up for more than 2 weeks.
Additionally, while it is difficult to find the 'perfect job' I found that figuring out a couple of areas that interest you is important, then start applying to all the jobs in that sector that you can. At the end of the day, job applications are a numbers game. The more jobs you apply to the higher the chance of getting a position. I probably heard back from 10% of the jobs I applied for, and most of them rejections. Also keep in mind that these job boards are constantly refreshing. Keep looking up that same search term on the boards to make sure there aren't any new positions that opened up. Eventually you'll find a match.
My last advice is to network. While I didn't get my job through networking, talking to professors, alumni, and previous professional connections, helped me stay in the game mentally, and they also introduced me to other interesting people, expanding my network and giving me valuable insight into their professional fields and career path. Regardless on whether these connections lead to a position, the network you make now will continue to be useful even after you have found a job.
Which class did you enjoy the most? And the one in which you learned the most?
I enjoyed my Global Finance course with Prof. Ammendola the most. I learned the most in my Firms and Markets course with Prof. Pugel.
What is your favorite place on campus? What do you like best about student life at NYU?
My favorite spot on campus is the desks in the library that have windows facing out to Washington Square Park, preferably if I don't have tons of homework so I can have a snack and relax. My favorite aspect of being a student at NYU was making friends who I know will also go on to do incredible things, and who will remain life long friends.
Do you have any additional comments you would like to share with current and prospective students?
If anyone wants to reach out to me about my career path or about how to apply to the UN itself (inspria and what not) please feel free to reach out.
Last Updated April 21, 2021