Tuesday, 13 September 2011

A New Start

We've changed our look.

It's been nine months since we launched this blog. Like midwives, we feel as though we've helped bring a new SAIS Bologna class into the world. The students of 2011-12 have taken their first steps and are beginning an eventful year.

The Old Blog Look
It's time now to turn our attention to the SAIS Bologna students of the future.

(For years while I was a student and even afterwards, my innate annual calendar ran from September to September. That was because my academic year -- right through graduate school -- started in the Northern Hemisphere's autumn. When I was a schoolboy in the United States, the radio would start playing corny "back-to-school" advertisements in late August, in time for the start of school which in that era always came after Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Now most U.S. schools and universities start in August.)
The New Blog Look

We've freshened up the blog's look and feel to inaugurate a new year of communication with prospects. I'm a big believer that change, when managed well, can be positive. We certainly hope this is the case with our blog.

Who is this blog for? Anyone considering studying international relations at the graduate level. Some prospects have a very good idea of what they want; others are simply browsing. All are welcome.

What can you expect? I would divide our content into three categories:
  • Posts about admissions requirements and procedures. This is the nitty-gritty. If you read these posts, welcome to the trenches.
  • An inside look at SAIS Bologna. We strive to give prospects an idea about what goes on here. To do so, we capture students, faculty, staff and alumni. The goal is to move beyond our website into our community.
  • General wisdom. Sometimes we cannot resist conveying our own profound experiences as we describe what SAIS Bologna can mean. If this veers into comedy, it's probably only half intentional.
How might you use the blog? Entirely up to you, of course. Here are a few thoughts:
  • Most of our readers check the blog several times a week. We plan to publish three posts per week on average between now and next May -- generally on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. If we break that pattern, we will tell you. (How many blogs have you read that have intermittent posts, and long, unexplained gaps between them? We don't want that.)
  • We would like the blog to be as interactive as possible. Readers can post comments at the bottom of entries. If you're shy, you can send an email to admissions@jhubc.it. You can chat with us on Skype (our handle = jhubc.admissions). Or you can call us at +39 051 29 17 811 (and ask for Admissions). Stay in touch.
  • To make sure you see our posts, you can (1) bookmark the blog, (2) click on the "Follow by Email" box at the top of the blog and enter your email address, (3) set up an RSS feed at the bottom of the blog, or (4) find us on the SAIS Admissions Facebook page.
Our next two posts:

Tomorrow: Thinking about graduate school?
Thursday: What makes SAIS different

Finally, if you have any thoughts on our redesign, feel free to share them with us. We like to get feedback.

Nelson Graves