Daniel Gulda graduated from the MA International Relations Program with a concentration in International Politics & International Business in 2020 and is from Bayreuth, Germany. He majored in Philosophy & Economics in his undergraduate studies at the University of Bayreuth (Germany) before coming to NYU.
Where are you working currently and what do you do there?
I currently work at Allied Universal as an Intelligence Analyst.
How did the MA in IR Program prepare you for what you are doing now?
In my current role, I manage corporate security risks. I am happy to say that the IR Program and its set of distinguished practitioners have prepared me for all of my responsibilities. My field requires a variety of skills and I am grateful that the program gave me the flexibility to choose from a number of different courses. I was able to learn about topics in foreign policy that had always interested me. Specifically, I became an expert in US national security interests in East Asia as well as the Middle East. My concentration in International Business & International Politics gave me the opportunity to take classes at NYU's Stern School of Business where I improved my management skills and learned about the private sector's role in important areas such as the transition to renewable energy and cybersecurity.
What advice do you have for current students who may be looking for a career in your field?
Intelligence analysis for private companies is a growing field and there are likely to be more opportunities on the horizon. Another plus is that the skills required for this kind of role will make you a fit for a variety of actors in the public and private sector. I recommend that students who are interested in international security should become experts in a region of their interest but also try to go out of their comfort zone to learn about complex issues in other areas.
The goal is to become a distinguished generalist who is able to quickly analyze any given scenario and communicate complex information effectively. The best way to learn these skills is to take classes with professors that challenge you and are committed to help you improve. Before enrolling in any class, I would contact a number of professors to share their way of teaching and their goals for their classes held in the forthcoming semester. I found there is no need to be shy as they are more than happy to talk to students and this guarantees that you receive the education that benefits you the most.
Which class did you enjoy the most? And the one in which you learned the most?
My favorite classes by far were Prof. Helman's courses on US national security and US foreign policy in the Middle East. Prof. Helman cares about every of his students like no other and promises to you that he will help you excel in your career to the best of his abilities. In return, you promise to be fully prepared for class which is typically held on Saturday afternoons. This may discourage some to enroll. However, the ones that do tend to be among the brightest and most motivated students of the program. In addition to Prof. Helman's phenomenal teaching style, this gives way to discussions where students learn from one another and it creates a collegial environment that is rarely felt in other classes. My writing and my ability to communicate complex information effectively have improved significantly due to the class requirement to have a fellow student review any assignment before submission. Among the most critical skills I learned is the ability to make forward-looking assessments by using open-source information.
What is your favorite place on campus? What do you like best about student life at NYU?
As a master's student, you typically spend most of your time reading hundreds of pages every week. My favorite place to do this was the 8th floor of Bobst library facing north. The view over Washington Square Park and the skyscrapers of New York would constantly motivate me to keep going! Obviously, there is more to a master's degree than just reading. Meeting friends on campus for coffee or drinks at one of the surrounding localities was essential to get some time off. NYU is a large university so it is important to make friends quickly to avoid getting lost. I met most of my peers through social events hosted by the International Relations & Politics Association (IRPA). I am grateful to have acted as IRPA's president later on and I enjoyed contributing to the success of the IR program's student body.
Do you have any additional comments you would like to share with current and prospective students?
The IR Program at NYU comes with great opportunities and although there are many distinguished universities that offer similar degrees, a number of factors underscore the benefits of this program.
All of the program's classes consist of 10-15 students. This ensures that professors can focus on each individual's needs. I was grateful for this because I received my bachelor's degree from a university where classes were so filled that none of my professors really knew me. A smaller community also leads to more meaningful relationships with fellow students and it is much easier to reach out to alumni for professional advice. (I highly recommend that students reach out to alumni early on in their university career!) Another major benefit of NYU is that the school is located in New York City - a city with countless opportunities and amazing people.
Last Updated August 20, 2020