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Life as a Student at IWP, with Jaad

We recently spoke with Jaad, a student in the first year of his M.A. program in Statecraft and National Security Affairs who is attending IWP with a Great Statesman Scholarship. A graduate of George Washington University, Jaad currently works as a Business Analyst for a local defense contractor, supporting a company-wide AI initiative and mission-critical national security and technology challenges.

Here, he tells us what life is like as a student at IWP.

Jaad Headshot

What is a typical day like for you as an IWP student?

As an IWP student, I have the opportunity to work full-time as well as take three courses as a full-time student. The flexibility offered by IWP allows me to not worry about not being able to work, or not being able to participate in outside activities that will boost my career goals.

Day to day, I go to work and go to class afterward, or I get home, study, and make sure that I’m getting my assignments in on time.

If you have a full-time job, professors are very understanding and will work with you on completing your assignments in a timely manner.

What are your classes like?

I joined IWP because of the way the classes are structured. They are small and intimate. The professor will engage everyone in certain topics for debate or discussion, and you are able to discuss your ideas with a smaller group of people as well as the professor.

What is it like to work while doing graduate school?

It is definitely very difficult to work while doing graduate school, but it is something that anyone can do. You have to get on the right schedule, be flexible with your time, and prioritize the right things that are necessary to expand your education while pursuing your career goals.

Are many of your classmates also working?

Many other classmates work full-time. Many are from the military, intelligence community, and overall national security/defense community, but there are also students from a plethora of different backgrounds – marketing, economics, consulting, etc.

Are you able to make friends with such a demanding schedule?

With the schedule, you have to prioritize what needs to get done in the moment. Whether you have schoolwork or professional work, you have to set aside time to have a social life and network with other like-minded individuals, especially within your school.

It is easy at IWP to make friends. You just have to show up and be there, and get involved as much as you can.

What extracurricular activities have you been doing while an IWP student?

I am a Student Ambassador through IWP’s Office of the President, as well as a volunteer fireman.

What do you think is unique about the IWP environment?

You meet people with diverse backgrounds. One day, you could meet someone who spent their whole life living and working in the U.S., and the next day, you meet someone from another country who is here to learn more about American culture and ideas.

Jaad with two IWP alumni at an IWP President’s Dinner
Jaad (center) with two IWP alumni at an IWP President’s Dinner

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