“Experiencing the World Congress itself was what convinced me to continue my involvement in IAPSS”
In this second edition of the IAPSS Interview Series, World Congress 2019 Coordinator Niklas Goergens had a chat with Jennifer Yi, or Jenn as she is called internally.
Interviewer: Jenn, you are 22 years old and already the Vice President of IAPSS. When did you get involved?
Jenn: I first joined IAPSS as the Logistics Coordinator for the 2018 World Congress in Paris. At the time, I was an exchange student at Sciences Po and was excited at the prospect of merging my academic interests and background in conference management.
Interviewer: That’s incredible. What encouraged you to become actively involved within IAPSS?
Jenn: Whereas I enjoyed the months of preparation as part of a diverse and talented coordination team, experiencing the World Congress itself was what convinced me to continue my involvement in IAPSS. As I met people from all over the world, I discovered a community of passionate and committed young political scientists who sought to challenge conceptions of governance and grapple with complex societal issues. Whether I was listening to my peers presenting their research, hearing from renowned experts, or having a quick chat between sessions, I felt that I was engaging with a variety of worldviews that were informing my own. As a student of political science, I think that’s crucial.
Interviewer: What can participants expect from the forthcoming World Congress in Madrid?
Jenn: Aside from the vast intellectual and cultural exchange, I was in awe of IAPSS’ capacity to empower young students by connecting them to each other and giving them a platform to share their ideas. With the World Congress being the biggest IAPSS-event every year, you can get a first glance on what IAPSS is all about. When I was elected to be the Head of the 2018 Academic Convention in Singapore, I committed myself to reproducing such an environment of creativity and collaboration. Now that I am working as the Vice President, my goal is to extend these opportunities to students everywhere and improve our programs so as to better equip the next generation of political scientists.
Interviewer: What do you think makes IAPSS such a valuable platform for every political science student?
Jenn: What I appreciate most about IAPSS is the limitless potential. Beyond the opportunities to share your research through publishing and student panels, your experience really depends on how you choose to take advantage of the opportunities available. For example, you can grow an extensive network across borders and disciplines, engage with experts and diplomats, and even join the IAPSS team.
Interviewer: Besides working for IAPSS and studying, what are your hobbies?
Jenn: My hobbies include traveling, reading poetry, and learning languages—right now, I’m enjoying learning German!
Interviewer: Last question, what is your favourite thing about IAPSS?
Jenn: My favourite part about working for IAPSS is the supportive and open-minded environment: we’re all passionate about serving the political science community, so whatever contribution you want to make, there’s so much room to take ownership of a project and run with it.
Interviewer: Thank you for your time and sharing your experiences with us today!
Jenn: No problem. See you in Madrid!
Jennifer Yi (22) is the Vice President of the International Association for Political Science Students (IAPSS). She was born in Seoul and raised in Los Angeles. This month she will graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a BA in Political Science and minors in European Studies and Constitutional Studies. In the fall, she will begin her MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics.