Student Accomplishments: Publication in EU Observer

This post was written by Maxwell student, Mark Temnycky, who has recently had an article published by the EUobserver. The EUobserver is the second most read EU-related news source by journalists after the Financial Times.

When I enrolled in the Maxwell School in June 2015 I was very excited and I wanted to make the most of the two-year public administration and international relations graduate program. During my first year I had a unique opportunity – I had an op-ed on Ukraine published in Forbes. After sharing this exciting news with family, friends, faculty, and staff, I made a personal goal: before graduating in June 2017 I wanted to write another article and have it published.

For several months I wrote other op-ed pieces. These topics ranged from the implications of the ‘Brexit’ decision on Ukraine’s bid for EU membership, my experience abroad working as a parliamentary trainee for Ukrainian Parliament, and future challenges that this Eastern European state may face in 2017. I submitted them as op-ed pieces to various news outlets, yet they were unsuccessful.

I did not let this rejection discourage me, and in January 2017 I came across a new topic: Ukraine’s IT sector. After spending a lot of time researching this industry and learning about Ukraine’s struggle for EU membership, I decided to write an article on how Ukraine’s high quality, rapidly developing IT sector can be of great benefit to Europe and facilitate European integration for this former Soviet state. The end result? It was published in EUobserver.

Rejection is quite frequent with writing op-ed pieces as news agencies receive hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces every day from all over the world. I did not let this discourage me. I am very thankful for these opportunities and have learned an important less during my time at the Maxwell School. I strongly believe that if you put your mind towards something, and if you try hard enough, you might just get what you want. The end result is worth it.

Graduate School is Not a Destination

I used to believe that going to college was the key to getting a job. When things didn’t shake out like I hoped, I updated the belief by swapping out college with graduate school. Entering my 9th month of my Masters of Public Administration program, I realize now that my belief was wrong.

Snow covered Hall of Languages.

As a first-generation college student, going to college was a big deal. It brought immense pride to my parents, both unable to pursue higher education after obtaining their high school degrees. I knew the moment I crossed the stage to receive my college degree was the first time I was ever part of something larger-than-myself.

When I was unable to get a job prior to my college graduation, I felt like I failure. Sure, I knew the degree was mine but without a job, what was it all for? Immaturely, I refused to change my view of this input-output relationship between college and a job.

Refusing to change my belief, I submitted job application after job application once I began my MPA program. Months went by and the success of securing a job continued to escape me. The weight of rejection after rejection began to be too much for me to bear. I wasn’t happy and I knew why: this mentality was a zero-sum game.

View from Newhouse looking at the Hall of Languages.

This mentality buried all the personal and professional growth I made while pursuing higher education. It ignored the friends I made, the opportunities to challenge my assumptions about the world around me, and learn how to stand on my own two feet since graduating high school. For the first half of my time here in Syracuse, this toxic mentality blinded me from gaining pleasure in all the positive ways I’ve grown as a man.

It has taken me 22 years to realize that investments of time can be just as valuable as financial investments. By going to college and further pursuing a graduate education, I have afforded myself the opportunity to discover passions and interests. Be it books on presidential history, foreign films, or data science, all that matters to me is my enjoyment when it comes to how I spend my time. No longer is the goal to simply obtain a job; the goal is to be happy.

I want a career that incorporates data science to improve the lives of everyone, especially those in need. I want my fiancé to be able to pursue her own career goals as well. Together, no matter where her and I live, I always want to spend the holidays with our families. These statements of desire are only possible after taking the time to figure out what matters most to me. This degree is a testament to me finally realizing all of this.

Rare warm day in February.

Graduate school is not a destination; it is a place that gives you a framework to pursue whatever passions or interests you have at a professional level. Thanks to my short time here at Syracuse, I know what matters most to me.

The “Maxwell Mafia” and What it Can Do for You

I’m back! After a brief winter-break hiatus, I’m back to impart some Maxwell knowledge. This month’s topic? Internships!

Most people go to graduate school for two reasons: (1) to feed their hunger for knowledge, and (2) to improve job/salary prospects. With this post, I hope to show you the real advantages of being part of the “Maxwell Mafia” in finding work opportunities.

As a Public Diplomacy (PD) student, I am “strongly encouraged” to intern abroad during the summer between the two years of my program. So while I’m not on the job-hunt yet, I am on the internship-hunt!

From Maxwell, there are two ways to intern abroad. You can either participate in one of the many Global Program options provided by SU, or you can do it on your own.

The way I understand it, the “global program option” through the school is helpful because it means Syracuse already has connections in your country of choice, and faculty/staff help you to find and secure your internship. Initially, I was looking at the Global Programs in Brussels and Geneva. The process is like this: you apply to the Global Program of your choice (standard essay questions, resume, etc.), you interview with the program directors in both locations, and successful applicants are admitted. From there, you have conversations with the in-country Syracuse faculty member so he/she gets a better idea of your interest and what kind of internship would be a good fit for you. While he/she looks around to help find available internship opportunities in your field of interest, Syracuse faculty stateside help you refine and perfect your application materials—resumes, cover letters, interview techniques, and more.

This is me pretty much every week with Laura, going over cover letter after cover letter.

Ultimately, though, I chose not to apply to the Syracuse Global Programs simply because I am more comfortable picking the exact internship I want rather than involving third parties. The downside, obviously, is I don’t get the same in-country assistance that a Global Program would provide me. HOWEVER, Maxwell is still helping me every step of the way in my quest to find the right position for me. I’ve been meeting with my new best friend Laura (really, I love her) at the Maxwell Career Development Center (called CDC around Maxwell) weekly to work on cover letters and resumes. What’s more, she’s been extremely helpful about putting me in touch with Maxwell alums abroad that work in my area of interest.

Being a PD student, I have the added benefit of also having access to the Newhouse School’s career center. Media internships in general require totally different (more artistic) kinds of application material, so they’ve been a great help, too.

Bottom line is that being here gives me direct access to resources and contacts that I would not have had otherwise. Us Maxwell students are beyond lucky, because we all have a small army of people here to help make sure we end up in our perfect positions after graduation. Plus every time I have a mini “crisis” about my future, they are nice enough to listen…and then help coach me after I finally stop ranting. 🙂

As always, feel free to reach out any time with questions! Until next month.