PPIA Program

“Diversity & Leadership in Public Service”

Building Relationships that Shape Your Future

Posted on January 29th, 2015

Kim, StephenStephen Y. Kim
2009 University of Michigan PPIA Junior Summer Institute Fellow
2015 M.A.L.D., The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

Six years have passed since completing my PPIA Junior Summer Institute at the University of Michigan. However, upon the eve of my graduation this May from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, I am reminded constantly of my days in Ann Arbor and the experiences I shared with my wonderful cohort. PPIA, more so than a fellowship, is a community. Twice a week in my Human Rights course at Fletcher, I sit next to my dear friend and fellow PPIA Michigan classmate and chuckle at how small the world really is. Throughout the rigor of the Ford School’s JSI, I found a group of people who became role models and will remain colleagues of mine throughout my professional life.

Stephen Kim 2PPIA affirmed my desire to pursue a graduate program and career in international affairs. The most memorable event during my JSI was the graduate school consortium fair hosted by the Ford School. There I met a representative of the Fletcher School who for the next three years, engaged with me constantly on everything from Fletcher to career paths. Through my ensuing experiences as a Fulbright Scholar in South Korea and a manager of the Fulbright program in Seoul, I wanted to continue my learning process in a graduate program designed for global thinkers. The Fletcher School was ideal. I could build upon the foundational courses I took at Michigan but could also delve into electives on microfinance and North Korea, all from my first semester. The school was also very flexible in allowing me to take a gap year off to pursue a David L. Boren Fellowship abroad in the middle of my program. Now as I graduate, I will be working as a global recruiter for international organizations and nonprofits seeking complex staffing solutions for senior positions across the world. I am thankful for the opportunities PPIA afforded me and will always advocate on its behalf throughout my career.