Congratulations SPEA December Grads…

The SPEA Career Development Office wishes you well for a successful and bright future.    Here are a few tips to help you get a great start in your first post-college job.   After you settle into your new career, please consider becoming a networking resource or mentor for other SPEA students.

Remember, if you still need help with the job search or have any career questions, the CDO is here to help you.     You can still access the job board,  or e-mail         or call  812-855-9639  for career advising appointments. 

If you are away from Bloomington we can conduct phone or SKYPE advising sessions.

Again, congratulations on your achievement!

The CDO Staff:  Mark, Alejandra, Glenda, Katie, Marlene, Melodie, Rhiannon, Scott, and Susan


Do Employers Know You Exist?

Searching for a job or internship? How should you start? What is the process? Unfortunately, sending out tons of resumes into virtual limbo is not an effective strategy – sorry!
For success in today’s competitive job market a seeker must demonstrate action, initiative, and resourcefulness. In other words, don’t wait for an employer to publicize a job opening (for which you will compete with dozens if not hundreds of other candidates). Instead, reach out before those jobs are posted and let employers know who you are and what you can do.
One of my favorite career websites, Student Branding Blog, has termed this strategy “direct employer outreach”. Their article Do Employers Know You Exist? has helpful suggestions for taking an action oriented approach and distinguishing yourself in the job search.
The SPEA Career Development Office is ready to help you design and implement your own effective job search strategy. Make an appointment soon!

Dr. Anar Valiyev’s SPEA visit – Recap

The following recap of Dr. Valiyev’s roundtable discussion is submitted by CDO Student Partner, Jack Renner. Jack is currently interning with WFHB News as a local government reporter.


On Monday, October 22, 2012, SPEA Professor Emeritus Dr. Randall Baker and Dr. Anar Valiyev, a SPEA graduate and current Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic University (ADA), had a round table discussion with SPEA students and faculty. Dr. Baker spoke about his role in helping start universities in several countries, including ADA in Azerbaijan. When most people explore careers, starting universities around the world is not a typical goal; however, it is one that can be extremely rewarding and beneficial.

ADA offers top notch Masters Programs in Diplomacy and International Affairs and Public Policy. The Doctors emphasized that the right student can get a tuition free Master’s Degree through ADA through merit scholarships. They are also looking for graduate students to teach and help expand efforts to increase education opportunities. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Valiyev at

A Career in Foreign Service – Notes on Ambassador James McGee’s visit to SPEA

IU Alum, Ambassador James McGee, met with students on Friday, 10/5/12 to discuss his career in the U.S. foreign service. For anyone interested in taking the foreign service exam, the first step on this exciting career path, the CDO’s Alejandra Lance can advise you on the exam – what to expect and how to prepare.
Below is a synopsis of the meeting with Ambassador McGee from CDO Student Partner, Jack Renner.

On Friday, October 05, 2012, Indiana University and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs welcomed home Ambassador James McGee. A 1977 graduate from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Mr. McGee spoke to students in the SPEA Dean’s Conference room Friday afternoon. His comments were very interesting and informative, particularly to anyone interested in working overseas. Over the course of his 30 year Foreign Service Career, he served as the Ambassador to four different countries, including Zimbabwe. Mr. McGee emphasized how important the Foreign Service is: it is the face of America to many in the world; it is the United States government’s official presence overseas.

One anecdote that stood out was how Mr. McGee joined the Foreign Service. When serving in the Air Force in Thailand in the late 1970’s, Mr. McGee met many state department officials his age who were living the dream; they had their own houses in Thailand, they loved the work they were doing and the perks that came with it. Mr. McGee began to consider the State Department as a career. At an IU basketball game, a fellow Hoosier alum with Foreign Service experience encouraged McGee to take the Foreign Service Exam, and he did. After the interview stage, the young McGee thought he was done for; two weeks later the State Department offered him a job. McGee’s story highlights the opportunities available for IU grads if they choose to seek them and how one’s career path is rarely straightforward or predictable.

As an Ambassador, McGee had the chance to seek solutions for problems ranging from political violence and hunger to malaria and HIV/AIDS. He told us that he worked to pressure Robert Mugabe’s regime to share power in Zimbabwe after Mugabe stole the election in 2008. Unpopular with the Zimbabwean government, Mr. McGee received threats to his person and his wife. Nevertheless, efforts by Ambassador McGee and many others eventually led Mr. Mugabe to agree to share power, though it remains to be seen if democracy and human rights will prevail.

When asked what he would say to someone considering the Foreign Service in light of the recent deaths of the American Ambassador in Libya and others, Mr. McGee did not sugar coat the risks. Rather, he emphasized the difficulty of the decision and the risks of such a career. Indeed, Foreign Service officers spend the majority of their careers overseas and typically move to a different country every two or three years. Though individuals have a “wish list,” the State Department ultimately sends people where they are needed, places that are rarely luxurious and sometimes dangerous. He also acknowledged that the U.S. government by itself cannot necessarily make gigantic differences; it needs partners in Non-governmental organizations, academia, and the wider international community.

Despite the risks and hardships, I came away from Ambassador McGee’s talk with a renewed conviction that one can make an impactful difference through an international career; the Foreign Service may be the way to go. For those interested in such an exciting path, Mr. McGee recommended Pickering fellowships, becoming fluent in at least one other language, and specializing in a geographic region.

Observations on the SPEA Career Expo by Kevin King

Recently, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) held their first ever Career Expo at the DeVault Alumni Center on September 27th, 2012. This Expo, specifically for SPEA students, drew nearly 40 prospective employers to the Bloomington campus.

Hundreds of students took time out of their busy schedules to network and search for internships and full time jobs. The turnout was even better than expected because of the diligent advertising that the SPEA Career Development Office and its Student Partners did around campus during the weeks before the event.

The friendliness exhibited between students and employer representatives made the Career Expo a welcoming environment. The chance to network with professionals certainly helped students to improve their communication and interpersonal skills.

I am happy that I went to the Career Expo because I found a few internship opportunities that I can apply for soon. Hopefully I’ll get accepted for one in spring semester or next summer.

I could tell a lot of preparation went into organizing and staffing the Expo and want to congratulate all the individuals who played a part in making this event happen. All students should go to these career events as they provide excellent opportunities for professional career development and networking.


Photo by Catherine Teng  
Kevin King is a SPEA sophomore majoring in Management with a minor in Political Science. He is a member of the Career Development Office’s Student Partner Network and is also very involved with many IU student organizations and activities (Teeter Quad Student Government, Student Alumni Association, First Year Experience, Union Board, IU Dance Marathon). Kevin contributes to the WeAreIU student blog and has written about his observations of the recent SPEA Career Expo for the CDO. Thanks Kevin!