Spotlight: GLOA 305 Global Affairs College-to-Career, Spring 2023

Professor Jordan Kazemi

GLOA 305: College to Career (1 credit) works to help students launch into the global workforce. The semester-long course is taught live in in a virtual format by Professor Jordan Kazemi on Tuesday evenings from 7:20pm to 9:10pm Eastern Time (future times and dates depend on course availability and offering).

GLOA 305 supports and engages students in several ways. Instructionally, the College-to-Career course is primarily discussion based and student-led and is based on one critical principle: This course is designed to be an asset, not an additional academic burden on students.

Each class is stacked with prepared material discussing certain career resources. However, each class begins by giving students the opportunity to discuss some of their most pressing questions or concerns, whether related to the session's theme or not. Being flexible and completely accommodating to the students' inquiries and interests ensures that they receive the most meaningful return on investment in this course. Additionally, the last ~40 minutes of class are reserved as office hours to give students time for more private conversations with the instructor should they require it.

To ensure the integration of multiple instructional perspectives, GLOA 305 welcomes guest presentations from critical resources across the Mason community, namely the Global Education Office and Career Services, to add further context on ways students can leverage Mason's diverse and extensive resources and networks to advance their place in the global affairs profession.

GLOA 305 engages students substantively by first giving them the opportunity to complete the course's Interests & Inquiries Survey, the results of which directly inform how the course material in each class session is taught. Regardless, the College-to-Career course relies on making students literate and aware of how to identify, apply for, and thrive in jobs across the Global Affairs Career Landscape.

Career Landscape

The Global Affairs Career Landscape is a conceptual framework developed by current instructor Jordan Kazemi to help students understand the various domains and pathways through which students can obtain and sustain a global affairs career.

As a Mason global affairs alumnus, Jordan since developed and sustains a successful U.S. government global affairs career. His experiences navigating and even working in almost all of these domains directly informed the framework's development.

After acquainting students to the Landscape, GLOA 305 then helps students workshop each of there various application and career management materials to prepare to apply for various student or post-graduate positions (e.g., resume, cover letter, personal statement). This also includes answering questions and concerns about interviews, networking, and negotiating starting salaries.

Finally, the GLOA 305 course engages students substantively by emphasizing to all students that obtaining and working within a global affairs career does not end when you get the job, sign the offer letter, or even work there for a few years. When reflecting on the successes and failures of global affairs policy and activity worldwide, it is clear that political, economic, security, and socio-cultural decisions and programs in global affairs have often produced negative, unintended consequences for the people affected by them, even when completed with the best of intentions.

The course emphasizes to students that individual people such as them, and in particular as they gain experience and authority, can create consequential change with just one word, action, or decision and without entirely realizing it. In the latter portion of the course, GLOA 305 instills a call to action for students - as well as advice for how to meet it - to always work towards understanding their place in the global affairs system and how they can affect change, regardless of the job they take. Only then can the work of global affairs progress towards a more prosperous and peaceful future.