Q & A

Hear from our graduate students about what being a part of the Jackson community means to them.

Want to know more? Contact our admissions office to be connected with a Jackson student for a one-on-one Skype chat or phone call.

Veronica Chiu

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Class of 2019
What did you do before you came to Jackson?
Before Jackson, I was working at the Council on Foreign Relations, a foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC, where I managed a program that convened high-level working groups to examine critical foreign policy issues ranging from the Arctic to North Korea.
What do you like most about the M.A. program and the Jackson community?
I find the flexibility of Jackson's M.A. program to be wonderfully liberating — in fact, it was a key factor in my decision to come here. With only three required core courses, you have the ability to tailor your curriculum to your specific interests and the unique opportunity to take courses across all of Yale's professional schools. My favorite aspect of the Jackson community is the diversity. Each cohort is split evenly between American and non-American students, and all of us bring such fascinating backgrounds and varied interests to the program. I find myself learning so much from my classmates, both within and outside of class, and it makes for a very enriching experience.
How have you customized your curriculum to match your area of focus?
As a future diplomat, I've been taking courses in diplomacy and state-building at Jackson, while also honing my leadership and communication skills through classes at Yale's School of Management. I'm also completing a directed reading on East Asian security with several Jackson students to further develop my regional expertise.
Any particular experiences that have really stood out?
There have been so many memorable experiences thus far, but a few that particularly stand out were: participating in a Jackson student roundtable with former Secretary of State John Kerry, joining two former ambassadors for lunch at Mory's, having the opportunity to be mentored by a distinguished diplomat, and closing out the dance floor at GPCSY (the graduate bar) with my cohort, just to name a few.
What do you want to do once you’ve finished the program?
As a State Department Rangel Fellow, I will be joining the Foreign Service after my time at Jackson, and I look forward to applying the knowledge and skills I've gained here to my work overseas.

Tabish Azeem

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Class of 2019
What did you do before you came to Jackson?
I was a Prime Minister's Fellow in India, working with the Government on economic development issues in Central India's conflict-affected region. My undergraduate training is in Chemical Engineering, I worked in the private sector for a bit, before diving into the public sector.
What do you like most about the M.A. program and the Jackson community?
I love the flexibility and inter-disciplinary nature of the program. This program truly puts you in the driver's seat to carve your own path. I've gotten a chance to learn way more than just a set of skills, it has taught me to think strategically about problems around the world.

And, then there's so much more beyond classrooms: workshops, talks, and conferences. The small class size means that you are not just a participant, you are actively engaged. There are ample opportunities to hone professional skills through workshops, all of it has been a real help.

Jackson family is a real support, it is an intimate experience. The rich professional and lived experience that people bring in is special; I get an opportunity to learn way beyond my subjects of interest.
How have you customized your curriculum to match your area of focus?
I've taken advantage of the fact that all of Yale that opens up to Jackson. I've taken classes extensively at the School of Management, Statistics department and the Forestry School. The focus on practice that one can bring into the curriculum is a big advantage. To learn from leaders who have been shapers of things as they stand in the real world is truly exceptional. Much of my curriculum combined academic rigor with a practice-oriented approach.
Any particular experiences that have really stood out?
I undertook a consulting practicum, where we engaged with social enterprise in India. It was a very rich experience; defining the problem, narrowing down the scope, finding solutions, and coming up with a final deliverable. All of this, in an intense team setting; with classmates at Yale, and partners from the client. The practicum even included a field trip over winter break.
What do you want to do once you’ve finished the program?
To build upon the interdisciplinary, analytical, and interpersonal training that Jackson provides, I intend to join a consulting firm after I finish the program. I'm excited about solving difficult problems faced by our corporations, institutions and society.

Tamara Grbusic

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Class of 2019
What did you do before you came to Jackson?
I was a Research Analyst at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C.
What do you like most about the M.A. program and the Jackson community?
I love the flexibility of Jackson’s curriculum and the program’s appreciation for both academic and practical aspects of graduate education, both in terms of exploring the world’s most pressing issues and preparing students to become exceptional professionals in their chosen fields. One of the main reasons I chose Jackson was its tight-knit, small community of dedicated, curious, hard-working people who are all committed to making the world a better place, yet doing so from diverse angles. Coming from around the globe and having worked for all sorts of different organizations, my classmates continuously widen and enrich my perspective as much as the program does. 
How have you customized your curriculum to match your area of focus?
I have taken classes at the School of Management and the School of Forestry in addition to Jackson courses. I also try to take advantage of the multitude of talks, workshops and conferences that are continuously happening around campus. All these opportunities allow me to tailor my curriculum to study exactly what I want, which is truly unique, as well as expand my perspective and hone a variety of both practical and academic skills - from statistics and finance to leadership and research. 
Any particular experiences that have really stood out?
It’s difficult to choose, really! Here are some: the Orientation trip to the Berkshires with my cohort; attending a conference on emerging markets in London through Jackson; researching possibilities for widespread adoption of solar energy for a class; developing an international social enterprise for another class; attending the Global Affair (bi-monthly discussions where a classmate talks about a topic related to their area of expertise/interest: discussions ranged from Middle Eastern politics to Internet governance). 
What do you want to do once you’ve finished the program?
Save the world, of course! Just kidding. I would like to work in international development, researching ways to sustainably alleviate poverty, especially by leveraging public-private partnerships.