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What is the Best International Affairs Oriented Organization for Young Professionals to Join?

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, Of Course! The organization provides its members with numerous opportunities to grow and network in the field. We caught up with Joshua Marcuse, YPFP’s founder, to learn more.

Overview of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) is one of the leading associations for young professionals who are interested in international affairs. YPFP’s mission is to foster the next generation of foreign policy leaders by providing young professionals with the knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships to tackle critical global challenges over the course of their careers. Members gain the knowledge to understand complex foreign policy issues, the skills to address problems effectively and the competencies to thrive, exposure to cutting-edge guidance and perspectives, and building bridges across multiple sectors and disciplines.

For jobseekers and career counseling, YPFP provides a service called JobLink, which includes a job board, a newsletter, and skills workshops on topics such as mock interviews, resume review, social media tips, and salary negotiation tactics.

History of YPFP

In 2004, Joshua Marcuse felt there was no outlet to channel his interest in foreign policy or community to share it with. Inspired by 9/11, he had a strong desire to tackle critical global challenges and obtain a job as a public servant focused on foreign policy. He knew the world was changing and he wanted to serve as a global citizen. After interacting with many young professionals in Washington, D.C., Marcuse noticed that many of them shared similar feelings.

“I felt that if society wasn’t going to prepare us for the leadership responsibilities that we were going to inherit over the next 20 years, we would have to do it ourselves,” noted Marcuse.

A group of recent college grads started meeting and holding events to talk about what was going on in the world. In about 4 months, the email list grew to over 500 people and YPFP was born. Over the next 8 years, the group grew to about 10,000 people in 75 countries. According to Mr. Marcuse, the organization has many extremely dynamic and engaging members in traditional foreign policy jobs, but also in the private sector, nonprofits, and all segments of society. Past guest speakers include ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, generals, CEOs, Nobel and Pulitzer prizewinners.

“It's really focused on looking at what we think is wrong with the world and believing in the potential of young people to fix those problems if they're given the right knowledge, skills, exposure, and relationships,” said Marcuse.

How Do You Become a Member?

It is incredibly easy to become a member. All you have to do is go to the YPFP website and click on “Apply.” You will be instructed to fill out an application and put in some information about yourself. There is also a $35 membership fee, which has not been raised in 4 years. “We try to make it accessible to young people,” Marcuse added. Becoming a member gets you invited to many events; however, you will also have the opportunity to get involved in some really cool skills development opportunities, such as the Leadership Laboratory – which is what YPFP calls volunteering for the organization. There also are discussion groups you can join about different topics to expand your knowledge and foster relationships. YPFP also participates in a number of public service activities throughout the year. It is really a great place to grow your network and get involved!

If you want to learn more about YPFP, check out their website: www.ypfp.org

To learn more about how to obtain an international job in government, check out our "Guide to International Jobs in Government."

What Do You Think?

What are some other great organizations with an international relations focus for young professionals to join?

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