Opportunities Outside the Classroom

The Edward R. Murrow program is an exchange program administered by the U.S. Department of State. The “Fellows” are international journalists selected by the U.S. Department of State for a three-week exchange here in the United States. This year’s participants hailed from Central and South East Asia—from places like Nepal, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, and more. The point is to expose these international journalists to the important role of independent media in fostering and protecting freedom of expression and democracy.

But the State Department can’t do this alone. So the department partners with leading schools of journalism and international relations to host the participants.

Fellows, administrators, and interns pose for a group picture at the farewell dinner. Photo by Jay Poudyal.
Fellows, administrators, interns, and PD students pose for a group picture at the farewell dinner. Photo by Jay Poudyal.

Enter: the Newhouse and Maxwell Schools.

Last week, Maxwell and Newhouse hosted the Edward R. Murrow Fellows here in Syracuse. As a Public Diplomacy (MAIR/MS PR) student and journalism nerd, this was a dream come true. Public Diplomacy professionals, at our core, are relationship builders. PD is a field based on two-way communication with the goal of promoting understanding and positive sentiment for the future. Hosting the Fellows in Syracuse was PD in action.

The only reason I was able to get involved with the Fellows is because of the opportunities afforded to me by the Maxwell and Newhouse schools. Maxwell houses the National Security Studies program, the Syracuse office with which the Fellows have the most interaction and where I am an intern. As an intern, I was able to assist in the execution of this program while still putting my studies first.

Journalists in ponchos--Fellows bused from Syracuse to Niagara Falls! Photo by Dhanushka Ramanayake.
Journalists in ponchos! Fellows travelled from Syracuse to Niagara Falls. Photo by Dhanushka Ramanayake.

Maxwell and Newhouse made sure that all PD students—interns or not—were involved in the visit, inviting us to dinners and workshops. We PD students were able to see first hand the direct impact our exchanges have on foreign publics and on the United States. Not only have these exchanges affected our world-views, but they have also allowed us to forge lasting relationships with foreign professionals that will undoubtedly extend into the future.

As cool and unique as this opportunity was, things like this are a common occurrence for a graduate student here at Syracuse.

“You’re Moving to Syracuse?!” Why I’m Here.

Hello perspective students! My name is Alexcia Chambers and I am a first-year Public Diplomacy (PD) graduate candidate here at Syracuse. What does Public Diplomacy mean? Good question. That’s what I’m here to find out. Logistically, it means I will receive two degrees from Syracuse after this two-year program—one M.A. in International Relations (called MAIR in conversation) from the Maxwell School and one M.S. in Public Relations from the Newhouse School. Together, these degrees form the program called “Public Diplomacy.”

In future posts, I’ll talk more about what the day-to-day looks like as a PD student… but for now I’d like to share with you why I’m here.

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Watch what you say today…

Whenever I am trying to get a sense of a firm I will be visiting, I usually make use of google to read up on it. I did the same before I came to Syracuse University. I somehow do the same for people too. To kind of get a sense of what sort of persona an individual has, I usually look at the person’s social media.

Remember that what you do now has a bearing on your future regardless of the career path that you choose. Unless you care less about that, you will throw all sorts of muck about your life either on social media or in the public domain. If in true Maxwellian fashion you intend to conquer the world like me, then you will certainly mind that which you share with the public.

Be very careful with what you post on your facebook and twitter. Research now shows that 45 percent of the employers when competition is stiff do look at your social media as a basis to eliminate a few candidates. As you enjoy your social media freedom, please mind your decorum and parlance. Do not let that one post stand between you and that dream job.

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