Sophie Zimmer
Master: International Security
Concentrations: Chinese and East Asian Studies, Project Management

The place(s) I call home


Prior to PSIA I was

I lived one year in Seoul as an exchange student and intern at the German Embassy to Korea.. and I was looking forward to new challenges.


My life at PSIA

I chose my program because when I lived in Korea, tensions on the Peninsula rose to an unknown height and even the North attacked the South. I wanted to be able to analyse the situation in my mother’s home country myself. Also conflict and crisis fascinate me in the way that they involve such a broad variety of aspects: from individual tragedies, cultures and beliefs, to international politics on the highest level.

What has been your most meaningful/fulfilling experience at PSIA (ex: gap years, internships, team projects etc.)? My most meaningful event was the participation in the “project collectif”. I was part of a fantastic delegation to represent Sciences Po at the National Model United Nations in New York in 2013. 7 months of preparation with our awesome trainer Anastasiya Shapochkina brought us closely together as a team, allowed us to excel at the conference and bring home the award of the outstanding delegation. My internship at the European Parliament in Brussels was also a great experience.

What has been your most memorable event at PSIA? I remember exactly the moment when I walked out of my Grand O. The feeling of relief and having accomplished the final step of my studies at PSIA was rewarding for all the hard work.

My objectives

What are your future career objectives? After graduating I gained my first experience in the private sector working as a country manager for Selectra, a French company that was once a Sciences Po Start-up. In December I will go to New York to intern at the United Nations Headquarter in the Situation Centre of the Peacekeeping Department. I hope that this will bring me closer to become a consultant in security risk and crisis management. What are your academic interests? In the near future I want to focus on UN peacekeeping and alternative peace alliances. The UN cannot step in everywhere, where governments fail to protect their people. As the occurrence of crisis and conflicts increases, other ways to intervene, to secure and establish peace have to be found.

My best tips

My most inspiring class so far has been: Working in Post-conflict countries with Emmanuel De Dinechin, because this class really gave us an idea of the harsh reality of working in the context of crisis and conflict. A series of guest speakers presented us possible jobs and showed us the two sides of the coin to live and work in a post-conflict country. While you can read and learn most things from books, sharing real experiences left a deep impression. My key to success at PSIA: PSIA demands an intensive commitment. So be ready to work hard, but don’t miss out on the great events with excellent professors and guest speakers and on exchanging ideas with bright fellow students from all over the world. An environment as vivid and international gives you so many opportunities that should be used to the maximum.

My life outside PSIA

Recent “study breaks” include: I tried to find free weekends to escape to the Normandy, its only 2 hours away from Paris and a walk by the sea really allows you to forget all the stress about exams and essays.

What do you like best about Paris: The 3-course menu at “Chez Françoise” J