18 January, 2023
With over 10 years of experience in international relations, Ashley Barlow, a current student in the Master of Arts in Global Risk (online), sought a graduate program that would allow her to expand her career prospects by developing her technical skills. In the Q&A below, Ashley highlights how the MA in Global Risk is helping her achieve her goals and is presenting her with more opportunities.
You can also view a video where Ashley details her program experiences.
Why did you choose the MA in Global Risk (online) program?
The MA in Global Risk is a really flexible program. It offers working professionals the opportunity to engage in a course of study that is quite demanding and develop their intellectual capacity, while also meeting the demands of their careers.
The program is wonderful as far as flexibility and being able to attend classes from all areas of the world. There are many people in the program that live in different countries, including Bulgaria, Germany, Japan, and South Africa. It is definitely a global cohort.
Why did you decide to study at Johns Hopkins?
I had become aware of risk as a field quite a few years ago, but there were limited options to formally study risk. Johns Hopkins provides a world-class education: It is a reputable institution and is very well known not only in the Washington DC area, but globally. I wanted to make sure that I was intellectually challenged, and I feel that goal is being met.
What skills have you developed so far?
There is a very strong quantitative aspect to the program. At first it was a little intimidating, and it’s very challenging if you don’t have a math background. But the professors have been so amazing, and they’re all working professionals. Their knowledge has allowed me to develop quantitative analysis skills in global economics, macroeconomics, and statistics, which is wonderful. It is a multidimensional and multidisciplinary program.
What stands out the most during your time in the program?
I’ve enjoyed the continuous collaboration between professors and students. The cohort is large — 28 people as of right now — but it feels very small and approachable. Everyone is very professional and positive, and most of all everyone is engaging. There is a lot of collaboration and group work. And there is a lot of emphasis placed on making sure that everyone understands the material, which can be quite challenging at times with the eight week courses.
How is the MA in Global Risk helping you achieve your professional goals?
My professional experience is centered very strongly on international relations — specifically, Russian relations. I’ve lived abroad a lot, so I really wanted to add a program that had a technical component to my resume to bridge the gap between my experience abroad so I can pursue new career opportunities and career paths.
What is your overall impression of the MA in Global Risk at JHU?
I am very happy that I chose the online global risk program at Johns Hopkins SAIS. It has been a positive step and will afford me many opportunities in the future. The professional coaches at the career center are amazing people. They are very helpful and engaging. They always go the extra mile in terms of helping current students, whether it is formatting your resume, helping you write a cover letter, or even giving you networking opportunities and suggestions for connections on LinkedIn.
The mentorship component of the program is amazing and affords lots of opportunities, especially in terms of making connections with people on LinkedIn and opening up different avenues that otherwise would not be available. This has been one of the highlights of the program.
About the Master of Arts in Global Risk (online)
In the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) MA in Global Risk (online) program, students gain a thorough grounding in quantitative and qualitative risk management tools, modeling, and decision-making frameworks. Our cutting-edge curriculum focuses on the specialized knowledge and research skills to analyze complex situations, mitigate dangers, and take on leadership roles.
Featuring a faculty of groundbreaking researchers and experienced leaders, the Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a supportive environment that encourages collaboration and ongoing improvement. Our students participate in two in-person residencies and have opportunities to expand their professional networks. Johns Hopkins University ranks among the top 10 national universities and top 10 global universities, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report and was named one of the best schools for international relations by Foreign Policy Magazine.