It is weird to come back to this section of the blog when I have already published my first internship post… but I did promise you poster symposium, policy brief and all the other end of year updates so here I am! In all honesty, I have really enjoyed writing for the admissions blog, and I honestly feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity. This was especially special for me in that one of the biggest factors that brought me to this spot was… the admissions blog from two years ago! The admissions blog is dear to my hear for that reason.
Done with the sentimentality and let’s get down to the post-CIES, last four pieces to the IEDP journey!
1. IEDP Policy Brief Symposium
Every year, about a week before submitting your policy brief, you get to make a poster about your policy brief and present it during the Policy Brief Symposium. You might be thinking “how am I supposed to present about my paper when I have not even submitted it yet…” And of course, most of us thought that as well. But what I have learned from this experience is that the Symposium could be a great opportunity to hear feedback from faculty members and cohort mates to make some last minute improvement on your final product. Well, that is assuming that you have already written good portion of it and thus can afford to potentially conduct some last minute researches, make revisions, etc.
Personally, upon hearing a few remarks from my academic advisor, I did add more contextual information in the country background section of my policy brief and consolidated my alternative policy options.
Unfortunately, faculty members are super busy looking at all the posters so your supervisor might not pass by yours. In that case, hopefully, one of the cohort mates can provide some constructive feedback!
Though my poster wasn’t perfect, and some substantial changes were made in my final product, creating the poster was a great way to get myself thinking about the final brief.
Also, those platters of food though!! How can one not love that?
2. The Actual Policy Brief
Yeah, that part that everyone kind of dreads about… By this point, you are sick and tired of hearing this, but once again for the last time (it will actually be the last time, at least for IEDP 18-19 year admissions blog!)
1) Organizing and working in advance and 2) managing your time are the key.
You are already familiar with what the policy brief is and how it’s supposed to be written, if you have been following this blog. (If not, no shame at all — here it is.) All the framework has to be established way before and after the symposium, most students consolidate their alternative policy options and maybe reframe some of the recommendations, which are the last two sections of your policy brief (at least, according to how we learned this year!)
Something that I did kind of overlook, despite all my effort to be on top of it, was that the formatting of the paper takes longer time than you think. Your policy brief will look different from all the other papers you have submitted because the final draft has to be in a format of a brief or a report you will download from webpages of international organizations. Choosing the right font, size, layout of texts and photos, etc. can take a while. I thought I would be well asleep by midnight but I actually ended up submitting it at 3 am…
3. Don’t forget — your other classes have finals too!
It was so hard for a lot of us to motivate ourselves once again after submitting our policy brief because the brief has been such a big deal, and it feels as if once we are done with the policy brief, we should be done with the semester!
The brief was due Friday but I had two papers and a presentation due the next Tuesday. I rarely had any time to celebrate jumping over the big hurdle and had to get right onto those tasks as, you can imagine, I somewhat have not prioritized them as I tried to finish my brief…
4. Clean, pack, and farewell for the summer!
Once you are done even with that, now you are good to go! Within less than a week of finishing my finals, I have left to Paris for my internship. Trying to do all the laundry, clearing out the room for the summer sublease taker, picking up the winter sweaters from dry cleaning, last minute administrative errands, etc. in just a couple of days was quite overwhelming. Most of my cohort mates were wise and took more time in between the finals and their internships.
And for some of us… it was the time to…
March like a boss!
It still feels unreal that I won’t be seeing some of our cohort mates this fall… Sad feelings behind, big congrats to the fabulous cohort mates who were brave enough to squeeze it all in a year and got that diploma!
And here comes an end to the IEDP 18-19 journey. Yes, some of us will be back but the first year of IEDP experience is so special in that this is the only time that the entire cohort is together on campus. It will definitely not feel the same. It indeed was an eventful year, and I can’t wait to see what our future holds!