by Matthew Raab
For Bennett Stehr, research, baseball and business fit together neatly at SFS. In his third year at the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Stehr has worked to fulfill both his academic and extracurricular interests at Georgetown, which includes a spot on the varsity baseball team and a Krogh Fellowship.
You can really do just about anything you put your mind to, being in the SFS. The resources here mean that there aren’t many limits to what you can accomplish. Getting involved in the actual issues that you study is more than possible at a school like Georgetown and I really recommend it.
An interest in international security, law and business, and the intersections between those fields, helped drive Stehr towards pursuing research as an undergraduate.
“I’ve worked with a PhD student in the Government Department researching international investment disputes,” Stehr said. “It was a topic that I had been interested in since it relates to international legal proceedings but also the interesting economic and business relationship between developing countries in particular and the companies, which invest in them. In that way, it’s a really interesting subject for anyone interested in both business and politics.”
Stehr would eventually develop independent research alongside his growing interest in international security issues. Stehr credits SFS faculty and the resources available to him as an important part of that development.
“The list of those who have helped me throughout my time here is a long one, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve so enjoyed my experience at Georgetown,” he said. “My freshman proseminar professor, former Ambassador Allen Holmes, was very accessible and really helped jump-start my time as a student of International Security. I credit my Krogh Seminar professor Erik Voeten, with helping develop my research skills, a real necessity for any student.”
During his Krogh Seminar, Stehr drew on faculty support and his international security interests to make his own contributions to the field.
“I chose to focus on international intervention in ethnic conflict mainly because it’s an issue that is relevant for most security challenges around the world. It also helped that it was a very well researched subject area, but also one that had plenty of work left to be contributed,” Stehr said. “The research process itself was incredibly rewarding and I know that I am better off as a student today with that experience.”
On top of his commitment to research, Stehr has also been able to maintain a spot on Georgetown’s varsity baseball team, balancing the time and attention required as a Hoya athlete.
“The time commitment is definitely very difficult and there are a lot of late nights,” Stehr said. “The spring can be especially hard since we travel most weekends. At the end of the day though, it has definitely been doable and I wouldn’t trade it for any other student experience. It has forced me to find ways to best manage my time.”
Looking ahead, Stehr is open-minded about his career path. In the near term, will most likely bring Stehr to New York.
“I like to take it one step at a time, and focus on the task at hand without worrying too much about anything down the road,” Stehr said. “That said, I think I’ll probably start my career in New York working for J.P. Morgan, where I’ve interned in the past. The position is in Sales & Trading, which provides a very stimulating day-to-day job experience and a competitive environment that fits my personality really well.”
From there, Stehr is open to the possibilities, including a shift to government work, and he plans to keep his options open.
“I anticipate I’ll come to a fork in the road between choosing to remain in the private sector or getting involved in government,” he said. “When that choice comes, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do, but that’s the kind of choice I anticipate.”
For now, Stehr is enjoying the opportunities and resources available to him at Georgetown, and encourages other students to do the same.
“My advice would probably be to think of the coolest thing you can imagine yourself doing with your academic experience, and then go out and do it,” he said.