Cornell University

FAQs

Does CIPA employ a full-time staff member dedicated to career services?

Millie Reed serves as the full-time Career Management Coordinator. She guides students through each phase of their career development from self evaluation, to researching opportunities, to networking, to executing applications and evaluating offers. Laurie Miller, the Service Learning Initiative Program Coordinator, also offers career management services on a part-time basis.

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What is the range of career services programming and expertise offered by CIPA?

Because of the diverse career interests represented at CIPA, we offer tailored career counseling to support internship and employment searches across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, as well as across all eight policy concentrations available through the MPA program. Services provided include:

  • Confidential Internship, Employment, PhD, and JD Program Counseling
  • Résumé and Cover Letter Review
  • Behavioral, Case, and Finance Mock Interviews (Videotaped Upon Request)
  • Clearinghouse for Internship and Employment Opportunities and Resources
  • Off-Campus and On-Campus Interviewing
  • Career Events
  • Workshops on Leadership, Networking, and Executive Skills Development
  • Alumni Referrals
  • Employer Outreach

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If I attend CIPA, will I be placed in an internship or job?

At CIPA, we work to empower our Fellows.  Rather than "place" you in an internship or job, we will provide you with the tools you need to conduct your internship and job searches:  access to an array of networks, professional development opportunities, and other career development resources. Please see the CIPA Career Development page for a full listing of resources.  Note that, while attending graduate school at Cornell will open a multitude of doors for you,  your academic and professional performance at CIPA will play a deciding role in your career success.

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Where have recent CIPA graduates found employment?

Graduates of CIPA fare extremely well.  Historically, 90% have found employment utilizing their MPA degree (or have gone on to further graduate study) within nine months of graduation. To see our most recent employment data, including a list of representative employers, median starting salary by sector, and job titles for full-time employment, please see our Annual Internship and Employment Outcomes page.

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Does CIPA have a Career Library?

CIPA, in conjunction with the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), has a full-set of Career Field Guides available for Fellows to peruse.

In addition, Cornell University has partnered with Vault, the world's leading publisher of career management information, to develop a virtual career library for students. This virtual career library features more than 90 Vault Guidebooks and Employer Profiles including: Accounting, Capitol Hill Careers, Consulting, Corporate America for Women and Minorities, Case Interviews, Finance Interviews, International Careers, Investment Banking, Résumés/Cover Letters/Interviews, Schmoozing, Government and Nonprofit Employers, and Internships. These guidebooks and employer profiles are downloadable in PDF form anywhere in the world, and are made available to current Cornell students free of charge.

Cornell Career Services also features one of the largest career libraries in the country, with 900 books and links to 300 websites. For more information on Cornell's career services holdings, please visit their website.

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Does CIPA Have an Internship/Employment Board?

Yes--CIPA Fellows have access to a proprietary internship/employment board for opportunities that are presented to the Office of Career Management by alumni and prospective employers. This board is only available to current CIPA Fellows and CIPA alumni, and is searchable by policy concentration.

In addition, Cornell Career Services offers an extremely valuable web-based system to bring you career-related information, job and internship postings, on-campus recruitment opportunities, and alumni mentor contacts. This site is strictly limited to use by Cornell students, faculty, and alumni. You will want to register for CCNet here.

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How important are internships?

Experiential learning is a key ingredient of our program: a practical experience such as an internship is required for students to obtain the MPA degree at Cornell. Internships provide you with an opportunity to put you academic experience into practice. The contact networks developed through internships may also serve as an invaluable resource when you begin to search for permanent employment.

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Where have recent Fellows completed internships?

For a complete listing of representative internships, including a breakdown of internships by sector and location, please visit our Annual Employment and Internship Outcomes page. 

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Does CIPA offer funding opportunities to support unpaid internships or independent research abroad?

Yes.  Given that many of the most challenging and rewarding internships in the field of public affairs are unpaid, CIPA has developed a competitive grant program that reimburses Fellows for economy travel and lodging expenses incurred by pursuing an unpaid internship. This funding opportunity, in conjunction with other opportunities such as the Einaudi Center for International Studies Travel Grant Program, effectively addresses the financial needs of our students. For more information on this Einaudi Center program, you may visit their website at: http://www.einaudi.cornell.edu/funding.

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Are there career fairs and conferences available to CIPA students?

Cornell University's Career Services and the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations both sponsor career fairs. In addition, CIPA offers two professional development conferences during the academic year: one in Washington, DC, and the other in New York City. These conferences enable you to network with alumni and human capital representatives from organizations that are unable to travel to Cornell for recruitment. Conferences include panelists representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The Washington, DC. conference features an additional panel on international development, and the New York City conference features a full day of briefings in the United Nations. Each event culminates in an alumni networking reception. Conference registration is free for current CIPA Fellows.

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Are career services limited to current students?

No. Alumni have access to all of the career resources and events that current Fellows do, including counseling. CIPA is also endeavoring to provide more continuing education opportunities and networking events for alumni in major metropolitan areas, beginning with Washington, DC, and New York City. We encourage alumni to continue to regard our program as a source of information, referrals and expertise as they take the next step in their careers.

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Can I begin career counseling before I arrive in the fall?

At the present time, the Office of Career Management is unable to assist students prior to their actual enrollment in the program. Because there are a variety of protocols associated with alumni referral and on-campus recruitment, these service are available to CIPA Fellows only after they have attended the career services overview during orientation. 

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