Sarah Gilbert came to the Julien J. Studley Graduate Programs in International Affairs after spending more than a decade in Europe’s financial sector. She led software implementation projects for European banks and insurance companies, but after the financial market crash in 2008, she wanted to change her professional trajectory and focus more on international affairs.
“The MS in International Affairs at The New School was exactly what I was looking for,” says Gilbert, who graduated from the program in 2011. “I was searching for a master’s degree program that valued my professional experience and took consideration of people that wanted to live their lives but still wanted to pursue a higher degree.”
Gilbert said was attracted to the MS in International Affairs because it took her extensive work history into account and allowed her to focus her studies in Development. The faculty encouraged her to use her professional background to guide her studies, while opportunities such as the International Field Program offered hands-on skills abroad.
“I would recommend the MS program for professionals that know what they want to do and want a higher degree to leverage their work experience,” she says.
With support from The New School’s Career Services, Gilbert landed an International Development Fellowship at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), where she she supported the implementation and management of CRS projects in the sectors of health, livelihoods, good governance, and inclusive education in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Shortly after her fellowship, she accepted a permanent position at CRS as an Emergency Specialist where she provided support to emergency response and recovery activities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Philippines, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
Gilbert is currently the Head of Programs for CRS operations in Turkey. In her role, she manages a multi-sector team in the implementation of over $19 million of agriculture, psychosocial support, non-food items and shelter programming, funded by USAID, and Catholic International Development Charity.