International Studies Majors have a wide variety of career resources and support. Many of these opportunities are listed below including a career advisor, L&S Career Services, and internship opportunities. The IS Major also maintains a list of career events across campus that will benefit undergraduate students interested in careers with an international focus.
ISM has compiled a transition checklist to help students prepare for post-undergraduate life. There are several steps you can now to make life easier down the road. The document is available below.
November 2nd 2016 – IS Major and Your Career Workshop
Watch our workshop with IRIS representatives Csnad Silkos, Joel Clark, Marie Koko, Michael Kruse, and Kirsten Brown talk about how an international studies major will work with your future career. Transcript and powerpoint also provided below. Video here.
Joel Clark, Career and Internship Instructor: Political Science, Sociology, International Studies
Joel specializes in advising students with a variety career-related concerns, including professional goal-setting, internships, job searches, resumes and cover letters, and strategies for making the most of their time and campus resources while at UW Madison.
Students can schedule an appointment through WiscCal, using the link above.
Spring 2017 Walk-in Advising Hours/Locations
Monday: 10AM-Noon (Ingraham 333)
Thursday: 10AM-Noon (Social Sciences 8111)
To ensure a productive meeting, bring a paper copy of your current resume/CV and any cover letter you would like Joel to review. If this is a follow-up visit, bring any information or research you have gathered since your last visit.
Careers with an International Studies Major
Students who complete a major in International Studies pursue a wide variety of career paths because it provides them with a strong foundation and preparation for success. These careers include but are far from limited to: human rights, international and domestic law, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector firms, medical school, and graduate school. Our alumni have gone on to work in business, education, government, language, global health, policy development, and more. The IS Major helps students develop key skills that employers look for most in a candidate such as critical thinking, the capacity to write effectively and clearly, knowledge of research methods, and foreign language skills. Within the IS Major students are offered the freedom and flexibility to create a cohesive program based on a geographic area or theme, such as focusing on Southeast Asia or global poverty and inequality. This thematic approach is especially appealing to employers when paired with strong language skills and cultural understanding.
Although the career options afforded to graduates with International Studies majors are numerous, through a comprehensive and cohesive program students can easily find their direction during their course of study. Students are encouraged to seek out other opportunities outside of the major in order to supplement their experience. Volunteering, joining a student organization, getting a part time job or finding an exciting internship make students well rounded, marketable, and interesting to employers.
To view a list of resources for finding international internships and jobs, click on our IS major career handout below.
The interdisciplinary approach of the IS major prepares you to engage in ever-expanding possibilities of work and scholarship after graduation. The skills you will develop in the major include:
- An ability to think analytically and critically
- The capacity to write effectively, clearly, and persuasively
- An ability to identify, evaluate, and use information effectively
- Knowledge of research methods used in the social sciences and humanities
- Foreign language skills to achieve a level of basic communication
- Knowledge of other cultures
Please review information regarding internships for International Studies Majors on our website by clicking here.
Washington, DC Summer/Semester Internship Programs
The Wisconsin in Washington program offers a unique opportunity that supports students interning in DC during the summer or the semester. This program is considered study away and administered via IAP in the red gym. The DC program combines an international affairs-focused internship and regular seminars with prominent speakers and distinguished UW-Madison alumni who work in professional, academic, and diplomatic fields related to international affairs. This program is 12 credits (3 classes that are 4 credits each). Students who wish to use the credit for the International Studies Major need to enroll in the international track. Please click here for more information about the program and application process. Starting in Fall 2017, students can view how the DC program classes fit within their IS Major by following the directions on the procedure for obtaining IS Major credit for an internship.
For information on applying to federal/state/city/county agencies, working for campaigns and elected officials, think tanks, policy, and more click here.
Preparation for the Job Market
Keep an updated resume: every semester remember to update your GPA, list of jobs you have held, list of skills, and, if necessary, related classes.
Attend career fairs and meet with your career advisor: this is a great way to explore career options and gives you an opportunity to ask questions to the experts.
Apply for volunteer positions and internships. Internships and volunteer positions will give you transferable skills and allow you to explore potential career paths.
Conduct informational interviews: reach out to people working in careers you find interesting.
Practice writing cover letters: the writing center frequently hosts classes about writing resumes, application essays, and cover letters.
Career Preparation Resources on Campus
BuckyNet: An interactive online system that allows you to search for jobs and internships, participate in on-campus interviews, and more. Employers interested in Letters & Science students can view profiles and resumes. Before getting a login, students must attend a short orientation via web or workshop through L&S Career Services.
Center for Leadership & Involvement: Campus portal for student organizations, campus jobs, and leadership opportunities.
Exploration Center: Offers workshops and individual advising geared toward major exploration and connections between majors and careers.
International Internship Program: Identifies, cultivates and promotes high-quality internship opportunities that: advance the professional training of UW-Madison undergraduate students; foster global competency; and reinforce academic learning through practical application.
Go Global!: Individual advising on online resources to assist in the search for international work.
GoinGlobal: Job search tools, employment resources, recruitment contacts, work permit regulations, salary information, professional and social networking groups, resume tips, interviewing and cultural info. Go to L&S Career Services to get free login & subscription information.
L&S Career Services: Workshops and career fairs for students preparing for the job market. Resources for searching for internships and jobs. Resume and cover letter preparation, mock interviews, skill assessments, and more.
Morgridge Center for Public Service: Campus hub for volunteering, service learning, research and community involvement.
The Writing Center: Workshops and individual appointments on writing resumes, cover letters, personal statements, writing samples, and all your writing needs.
Wisconsin Alumni Association Career Hub: Networking opportunities, tips, trends, workshops, and freely available listing of international alumni chapters and contacts.
External Links to International Career Job Boards or Organizations
This is a list of potential resources for students who are searching for jobs or internships. The organizations on this list are not affiliated with or endorsed by UW-Madison.
Dave’s ESL Cafe– is a clearing house for people interested in teaching English abroad.
Devex provides a resource for new graduates interested in international development.
NAFSA– Is the Association of International Educators, a non-profit professional organization for professionals in all areas of international education including education abroad advising and administration. NAFSA has a job posting board that includes non-profit and for-profit companies frequently focused on education.
Hire an International Studies Student or Graduate
If you are interested in hiring a International Studies Student or Graduate of our program, please contact Dr. Kirsten Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org