Carnegie Mellon University

IPS Professional Development Series

The Institute for Politics and Strategy Professional Development Series provides opportunities for IPS declared majors and minors to network, to learn about internships, and to build valuable skills to help prepare for life after CMU. 

Sessions are held throughout the academic year, and each will focus on a different topic. Please email the program manager to learn more.  



February 5, 2020

Intelligence and Government Career Expo (during Encompass from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., on the 2nd floor of the CUC)

Intelligence Community Panel (featuring panelists from the CIA, DIA, FBI, NGA, and NSA, and will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
February 25, 2020

Visit from Sarah Bast, campus recruiter for the National Counterterrorism Center.

Agenda to include individual meetings with students interested in careers in the Intelligence Community, as well as an analytic simulation, which will be a race against the clock as students evaluate intelligence reports, determine analytic lines of effort, brief their findings, and assess how new developments impact their assumptions and prior analyses. 

April 1, 2020

Documentary and Discussion with Professor Kiron Skinner

Students joined Professor Skinner for a remote group viewing and discussion of the Oregon Public Broadcasting documentary “1968,” which detailed the tumult of that year in American history.    

April 6, 2020 National Security Agency and the Law with Paul Richelmi (DC 2004), Cyber Security and Data Privacy Attorney, NSA

Mr. Richelmi discussed how Carnegie Mellon helped him on his career path, provided advice for a career with NSA, and detailed how COVID-19 has impacted his job and the agency.

Mr. Richelmi spent twelve years in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the Navy before joining the NSA. He shared three things Carnegie Mellon gave him as he entered the workforce: Hold yourself to a high standard; seek diversity of opinion and background when collaborating; and “If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.”

“I think that’s really applicable to what we have now,” Mr. Richelmi said. “… It speaks volumes to how resilient Carnegie Mellon is to have these events and pull these together.”

April 14, 2020

Fireside Chat with Dan Gilman (DC 2004), Chief of Staff for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto

Majoring in Ethics, History, and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon taught Dan Gilman two important skills: How to write, and how to think critically. Gilman, a Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences alumnus, uses those skills in his role as Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. During a virtual fireside chat with the Institute for Politics and Strategy on April 14, Gilman recommended that CMU students take courses in Philosophy, which he found beneficial, and suggested studying Computer Science, which he wishes he had done.

During the talk, Gilman discussed Pittsburgh’s response to the spread of COVID-19 and its ripple effects on healthcare, infrastructure, and food insecurity. He spoke of the tireless efforts and collaboration of city officials nationwide to mitigate risk and plan for the future. And he ended with a light-hearted window into city government: “Parks and Rec,” he said, “is hilariously accurate.”

April 22, 2020

IPS LinkedIn Workshop with Dietrich College Career and Professional Development Center

The Dietrich College CPDC team presented a LinkedIn workshop where they discussed the best search strategies to find alumni and other professional contacts, how to create an effective profile, and how to use LinkedIn for job searching. 

April 24, 2020

Zoom Town Hall with IPS Director, Professor Kiron Skinner

Professor Skinner and IPS Deputy Director Emily Half hosted an IPS Town Hall on Zoom. During the meeting, students had the opportunity to talk with Professor Skinner and Emily in an open format and remain connected during the time of physical distancing.

April 27, 2020

Information Literacy with IPS Professor Dan Silverman


Real news, or fake? Professor Silverman discussed how to leverage insights from political psychology to become an informed citizen, seek out balanced perspectives, and navigate ever-increasing disinformation. He provided examples of stories both real and fabricated and discussed ways to tell the difference. 

April 29, 2020

IPS Virtual Social Hour: Follow-Along Baking Class

Students and staff followed along with IPS Program Director Alli Frymoyer as she demonstrated how to make browned-butter crisped rice treats. 





Date TBD

Networking 101 with Juan Acosta (DC 2015)

Learn best practice and tricks of the trade to make the biggest impact at your next networking event -- whether it's virtual or in person.

Date TBD

Etiquette Dinner and Networking Reception with Natalie Bencivenga, SEEN editor and digitally syndicated AskNatalie advice columnist, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dates TBD

Alumni Webinar Panels: Think Tank/Research, Non-Profit/Advocacy, Private Sector

Date Title
September 11, 2019 Resume Workshop with Kristin Staunton from CMU's Career and Professional Development Center
September 23, 2019 National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Internship and Career Session with Jessica Branch, NGA Campus Recruiter
October 17, 2019 Foreign Service Internship and Career Session with Tiffany McGriff, Diplomat-in-Residence
November 20, 2019 Writing Workshop with IPS Professor Ignacio Arana


IPS Students talk with Diplomat-in-Residence Tiffany McGriff