Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SAIS Concentrations: Energy, Resources & Environment

Today SAIS Bologna student Fiona Skinner tells us why she chose Energy, Resources and the Environment (ERE) as her academic concentration. This is the first post in a series on the MA program's concentrations.

Choosing a concentration was never really an issue for me. In fact, the Energy, Resources and Environment concentration was the main reason I applied to SAIS.

Fiona Skinner
My undergraduate degree in Land Economy broadly covered Economics, Law and Environmental studies. Although the three fields are undeniably complementary, by the end of my first year I found there was a missing link.

By allowing me to examine energy and environmental policy through the broader lens of international relations, I believe that the SAIS MA will provide me with continuity to build on what I learned during my undergraduate studies: how to bridge the divide between theory and policy with a sense of purpose and practicality.

Due to the diversity of our backgrounds, ERE concentrators are required to complete an online Basics of Energy course within the first three weeks of term. This fall semester, I’m taking Energy and Climate Change, and look forward to classes like Politics and Economics of International Energy and Renewable Energy: Markets, Technologies & Projects in the spring.

Fortunately, concentrating in ERE doesn’t preclude students from taking classes in other fields of interest, allowing me to take courses outside of my concentration next semester, such as Contemporary Russian Foreign Policy and European Economic Integration.

I’m convinced that taking these courses will allow me to gain deeper insight into resource issues, which are inherently interdisciplinary and deeply intertwined with international relations.

At this point I can’t predict whether my choice of concentration will lead me to work in an international organization or to seek private sector employment as an analyst or consultant, but it is my sincere commitment to contribute to a more sustainable energy future.

With the breadth of expertise at SAIS, amongst staff and peers alike, I am sure I will be equipped with the tools to achieve just that.

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