View Full Version : Odd situation

This Justin
05-15-2006, 01:01 PM
Hello all, this is my first post so be kind...

I've been lucky enough to lead a semi-charmed life and went to a very good school and double majored in International Relations/German studies. I had applied for the Fulbright grant to go back to Germany to go to a masters program and study migration issues. This was all supposed to lead to a rosy little PhD and a nice little life.

Well, things took a bit of turn and since I wasn't so enthused about the masters (it's a masters of european studies - not terribly useful in the states) I didn't get straight a's and pulled about a 3.2-3.3. Not bad, but not good enough to get into a PhD or do any of the standard stuff one does with a IR masters.

So here's my paradox:

1. I've found out that I'm not really all that wild about working in academia and so I'm trying to find career paths that would allow me to use the skills that I've picked up along the way. Unfortunately, all my "skills" are purely academic and completely irrelevant to the work-a-day world.

2. I never really liked the masters, it's just something I'm doing because I'm here and I wanted to have something to show for my time. My grant is ending and it's going to be difficult for me to get the cash together to finish out the second year, so I'm debating whether or not I want to finish it at all, given that I don't really like it all that much to begin with.

3. I have zero idea what I would/could do in the real world. zilch. so continuing this master's is difficult because I feel like I'm wasting energy and time.

4. I went straight from undergrad into this masters so I have no idea of what it's really like in the real work world and I wanted to ask you guy's opinion.

Q: Is a foreign masters in this sort of field with a less than stellar GPA going to simply limit my options in breaking into business or is simply having a masters going be an asset, regardless if it's terribly relevant or not?

I want to say from the get go that I know that I don't have it that bad, and in the scheme of things life could be much more difficult. Life is relatively charmed, but I'm still sorta stuck in the situation of being highly qualified to do nothing in particular which is almost more frustrating because I've worked so hard for so long for no particular point.

Thanks for listening and I'd appreciate any advice!

05-15-2006, 01:15 PM
Work as a translator for a German company that does business with America.

I have friend from Denmark that works for a Danish company in Houston and does nothing but translate meetings all day for the Danish executive in Denmark.

I have another friend that works in Dallas for a Swiss company, and translates English to Swiss German for the managers there.

They both get paid really well, and they both have degrees like yours.

05-15-2006, 03:32 PM
Your skills/interests may be applicable in the State Dept./Foreign Service. The entrance procedure is complicated, but a background in international relations would be pretty useful in gaining admittance.

This Justin
05-15-2006, 04:10 PM
Thanks for the input!

So the consensus is to stick with the masters then?

I just feel like because it's from a foreign university in a field no one really cares about directly that I'm just going to get a bad shake out of the deal....

I dunno...

I thought long and hard about the state department, but the success rate in applying is somewhere around .01 literally (they hire 200 per year, 14k take the entrance exam) - so that's not anything to bank on by a long shot :sad: