“As a teenager, I had a desire to learn as much as I could about the current events and history of far-away places,” says Michael de Vulpillieres, reflecting on his decision to enroll in the Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs (SGPIA) at The New School.
After graduating from Virginia Tech in 1999, he took several jobs in marketing. “It was not until I joined the American Red Cross and ultimately transitioned away from marketing that I found a field—communications—and a sector—nonprofit—that really suited me. At the Red Cross, I developed media relations, writing, photography, video, and podcast skills, and I’ve really enjoyed the work.”
His desire to add an international focus to his work led him to enroll in SGPIA in 2019. “I had been thinking about applying to graduate school to study international affairs for several years, to better equip myself for communications work dealing with more global crises,” he says.
Michael is grateful for the support that his friends and professors extended to him during his time in the program. “I could not have asked for a better first professor—Professor Manjari Mahajan, who taught my Global Flows class. She really set the tone for the rest of my time here. So many elements of this foundational class came up in other coursework. She did a great job!”
Now a communications officer for the American Red Cross in Greater New York, Michael works with local and national media and helps develop content for the organization’s digital platforms. “My most meaningful experiences at the Red Cross so far have been in complex disaster settings, developing stories—through words, images, and video—of the work of the Red Cross and of individuals affected by these ever-increasing emergencies, particularly the most vulnerable.”
Reflecting on his experiences at the university, Michael says, “The New School does such a great job reframing international affairs, placing the underserved and the most vulnerable at the center of the field. My time at The New School has helped me better understand the economic, political, and social contexts behind so many of our time's armed conflicts and humanitarian crises.”
Asked if he has any parting thoughts for new students, he says, “Even two and a half years go by very fast. Make the most of your time here with your professors and fellow students. Actively engage with them.”
Visit the following web pages below to read Michael’s writing: