ESIA Alumni Share Their GW Experience with New & Prospective Students

Professor Sean Roberts (right), International Development Studies program director, speaks with prospective graduate students at a fall open house.

Professor Sean Roberts (right), International Development Studies program director, speaks with prospective graduate students at a fall open house.

When it comes to choosing a graduate school, many prospective students want to do one thing: talk to alumni.

In response, GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA) offers the Admissions Ambassadors program, which allows ESIA alumni to get to know prospective and admitted students.

The program, which began in Fall 2010 features a pool of 100+ ESIA graduate alumni volunteers—a number that’s grown 35% since 2012.

Alumni from around the country participate in the program, sharing their GW experience with prospective graduate students and their families.

Volunteers do everything from attending open houses or admitted student receptions in the DC area, talk with prospective students over coffee, call or email interested students anywhere in the world, represent GW at graduate school fairs and refer prospective students for an application fee waiver.

“These opportunities provide students with the personal insights they need to make their grad school decision, while also providing alumni the chance to share their experiences and advice with the next generation,” says Elaine Garbe, ESIA MA ’08, associate director of Elliott School Alumni Programs. “No matter where they live, the alumni enjoy the chance to stay connected with GW and the Elliott School through these student interactions.”

In the last year, 53 alumni participated in admissions activities 80 times. This includes 30 alumni who networked with students in DC and 15 alumni who hosted coffee meetings with 40 admitted students in New York, Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.

Seven more alumni connected with students via email in London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Hong Kong and Sydney. These email exchanges, which now take place in the US as well, provide valuable insights to admitted students as they prepare for their grad school experience.

From the second a new student is interested in or admitted to the Elliott School, GW alumni are on hand to offer advice, guidance and friendship–helping to create a unique GW experience from the very beginning.

Are you an ESIA master’s alumnus/a who wants to get involved? Contact Elaine Garbe: egarbe@gwu.edu.

More information about the referral program is available here.

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