Student testimonial
07 December 2018

Umut Yüksel (Turkey), PhD in International Relations/Political Science

About the Job Opportunites Provided by the Institute

I am currently in the fourth year of my PhD in International Relations/Political Science (IR/PS). I was born in Ankara, Turkey, but I have lived abroad since my high school years in Helsinki, Finland. Before arriving at the Institute to pursue a Master in IR/PS, I completed my Bachelor in Political Science in Belgium, at Université catholique de Louvain. I have been a PhD student here since 2014, working on conflict and cooperation in the management of maritime boundaries under the supervision of Professor Cédric Dupont.

For the past three years I have been serving as a contributing editor to the Journal of Public and International Affairs, a student-run journal published jointly by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). As the Graduate Institute’s representative on the editorial board, my job involved promoting the journal at the Institute, guiding interested students through the submission process, and working together with my fellow editors to select the best articles for each issue. For the past six years, every issue of the journal has included one article from an Institute student, attesting to the quality of the work done by our students. I am excited to pass the torch to Mona Bieling, a PhD student in the Department of International History, who will be taking over as contributing editor.

Serving as a contributing editor has not only allowed me to meet and work together with people from other prestigious universities, it has also usefully complemented my academic pursuits. It has prepared me for peer-reviewing activities for scholarly journals and publishing houses, and made me aware of some of the important considerations that editors have in selecting articles. I am confident that what I have learned while serving as an editor will be of immense help for me as I send my own work out for review.

Apart from my experience at the JPIA, I have also had the opportunity to serve as a teaching assistant for the past four years, and have been involved in student affairs by being a class representative and Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA) vice president for PhD programmes.

My time at the Institute has been highly enriching and I am grateful for the opportunities provided by the Institute to work on behalf of the student community. I am looking forward to completing and defending my doctoral research in September 2019, after spending the last year of my PhD at Stanford University as a Swiss National Science Foundation fellow.

This testimonial was published in Globe # 22, the Graduate Institute Review.