Jetwit.com, a site for the Japan Exchange and Teaching program alumni “freelance and professional community,” profiles one its members, Shannan Spisak of the Institute of International Education. Shannan describes her career since her teaching abroad experience and how she found her way into interesting international positions:
After I came back from JET, I moved to New York City with a friend and worked at a private Japanese company for 2 years. I decided to switch careers to move into the international arena; the United Nations in particular interested me. I went on a number of informational interviews with fellow former JETs working in the field and they all recommended graduate school. I decided to study Peace Education and International Exchange at Teachers College, Columbia University. In order to finance my education, I took a job working as Assistant to the President of Barnard College while attending classes part-time. During the process of completing my M.A., I realized I had grown more interested in the education component of my degree than its relation to UN work. Consequently, my focus shifted towards seeking a career in international exchange in higher education.
[Now] I work at the Institute of International Education (IIE) in the Global Scholarships Division. The IIE is a 90 year-old non-profit organization that runs over 200 programs around the world, including the Fulbright. I manage three international scholarship programs through the GE Foundation and the Chubb Insurance Foundation. I organize the review and selection of applications, notify finalists, award grants, and manage special components of the scholarships such as Leadership Development Seminars and Career Workshops. I also coordinate the global communication and program initiatives between our offices in each of the participating countries. Our programs serve undergraduate and Masters students in 14 countries, chiefly studying science and business. Right now, I’m looking into new ways of managing our student alumni network – which aligns with what I’ve been working on for JETAANY as Alumni Database Manager.
Jetwit also has job postings and other career resources for JET alums.