Recent graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Ian Cameron, has always understood the importance of international issues. Now he's on his way to George Washington University to study public policy!

Ian Cameron graduated from Southeast on May 14 with a Bachelor of Science in economics with minors in German and global studies. Hoping to pursue a career in European affairs, Cameron originally came to SEMO to earn a degree in both history and political science. 

As his time as a Redhawk progresssed he learned his interests where centered around international and regional studies and therefore decided to change his field of study to economics. Ian stated that he became aware of how crucial economics is to understanding international issues but also wanted to gain more knowledge on global cultures and German. 

After spending a semester as a intern at the United State Embassy in Warsaw, Poland, he became inspired with public service. Following this passion, Cameron will begin working on his master's degree in public policy at George Washington University. He hopes that with his education from SEMO along with the knowledge he will gain in political dynamics and security issues, he will be able to find a career focused on policymaking for international relations.

Coming out of high school, Southeast was an appealing option due to its strong combination of affordability and academic opportunities. I was confident that I would be able to explore a variety of fields and paths without having to take on the burden of debt.

Ian Cameron, Southeast Alum

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How does it feel to be graduating from Southeast?

It feels simultaneously a little wistful but also very good to be moving on to the next chapter of my life. SEMO has provided me with wonderful opportunities and experiences that I will always remember, and I will miss the campus and many parts of my life here. However, I am ready to take what I’ve learned into my graduate career.

What inspired you to pursue a career in economics? As well as minors in German and global studies?

While economics is a key part of the field I hope to work in (European affairs), it is only one part of my career goals. I have always been interested in history and politics, and I came to SEMO as a double major in history and political science with the intention to learn German. As I worked deeper into those fields and my interests turned more and more toward the international sphere and regional studies, I decided that I wanted to buttress my academic background with a minor in economics. As I increasingly realized both how interesting economics is as a subject and how crucial it is to understand so many international issues, I decided to turn it into a major. German and global cultures also came as natural offshoots of my preexisting interest in history and the international sphere and grew into a major focus as I tightened my focus on Central and Eastern Europe and spent time in Germany, immersing myself in the language and the culture.

After graduation, I understand you’ll be attending a nine-week Russian language course at Indiana University this summer – what inspired you to learn another language and continue that education after graduating?

I already speak fluent German, which was one of the most difficult and most rewarding goals I’ve ever set for myself, and Russian felt like a logical next step both career-wise and as a personal goal. I’m very professionally interested in the region, which makes reading knowledge an extremely useful skill. I also simply enjoyed learning German and the opportunities and benefits that come with a second language, so I wanted to try my hand at another one once I had reached fluency in German.

I also understand this fall you will be pursuing your master’s in public policy at George Washington University. What inspired you to continue your education after Southeast, and what are looking forward to in this next step in your higher education journey?

During the spring 2021 semester, I did an internship with the United States Embassy in Warsaw, Poland. That experience inspired me to pursue a career in government and public service, which I think will be aided by graduate study at George Washington University. I decided on this degree program so I could really build out my knowledge of regional political dynamics and security issues and go more in depth on the policy and policymaking aspects of international relations. I’m very much looking forward to moving to Washington DC and being in a program of students with similar interests.

Do you have any other personal or career goals after graduation?

After finishing my master's degree I hope to go into the State Department, preferably in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Personally, I want to get my Russian language skills up to functional proficiency, and in line with that I would like to travel some in the Russophone parts of Central Asia.

How have your experiences at Southeast prepared you for a career after graduation?

At SEMO I’ve been able to pursue an extremely multidisciplinary program of study, which has allowed me to build a strong foundation for pursuing graduate education and approaching my career with a multifaceted perspective. I’ve also been able to develop close relationships with my professors, who have helped mentor and prepare me to progress on to the next stage of my education.

Learn More about Ian's Major and Minors

Ian graduated with a major in economics with a minor in German and global studies.