Jonathan Meyer

photo of Jon Meyers

  • B.A. in International Studies and German (2015)
  • 2016-17 Fulbright Grant recipient serving in Germany
  • Peace Corps secondary school English teacher in the Kyrgyz Republic (2017-2019)
  • Obtaining an M.A. degree in Conflict Management at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC (2020-present)

My Profession

"After graduation, I began a Fulbright Association grant program in Hannover, Germany for about a year as an English teaching assistant. Completing that, I spent the next two years in the Kyrgyz Republic serving in the Peace Corps as a secondary school English teacher.

"Right now, I’m working on my M.A. degree in Conflict Management in Washington, DC and taking Turkish language lessons. My goal is to join the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service as a political officer, although that could change. I’ve also been thinking of working for a foreign policy think tank or at an international organization, with a focus on conflict resolution."

My Miami Experiences

"At Miami I really enjoyed my two capstone courses for my majors. The one for international studies dealt with shadow and black market economies. I was involved in a group project where we analyzed a problem and wrote a policy recommendation. It was a fantastic practice in crafting professional policy and confirmed what I wanted to do, as far as a career. 

"For my German capstone, I wrote a research paper in German about certain dialectical differences in the language, and that was a pretty good opportunity to use my German in a more academic setting. It was also a much longer text than anything I had done before. Both of those capstones were really good academic and professional experiences.

"I also gained a great deal from Miami University’s study abroad opportunities. I took part in Miami’s 2-month intensive language summer in Germany in 2013, and I spend the spring semester of my junior year studying abroad in Graz, Austria. I can’t stress enough the importance of getting an immersive experience abroad, regardless of your major, in widening your worldview."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

"A liberal arts education really helps to provide a well-rounded and wholesome education, even though I like the idea of focusing as much as you can on the topic you're interested in. Especially for a field like international studies, nothing exists in a silo. There are so many factors that play into any topic that it's good to have at the very least a base knowledge on a lot of different subjects. All of them in some way, shape, or form are going to play into that topic."

Advice to Students

"Look around to find different types of field opportunities, keeping your mind open to the different kinds of jobs that are out there. Even though my career interests seem a little obvious, in terms of foreign service and things like that, there are plenty of other opportunities, such as working for an NGO, a think tank, various international organizations, and much more. For example, there are a lot of peacebuilding organizations around the world. 

"Take the time, especially before graduate school, to get some of these field experiences, and through that you might be able to figure out more easily what your interests may be. Keep your mind open to the huge range of career options. Even though something like international studies may not seem to lead you along a clear and obvious career path, I don't think it's worth any less of your time."

[March 2021]

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