Alumni Journey

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DANIEL AKINMADE EMEJULU

Executive Certificate in Environmental Governance
UN environment

« The course directors and faculty have also been immensely supportive advocates in my professional journey »

 

What were you doing before embarking on your executive certificate?
I worked as a Research Analyst at the World Economic Forum’s head office in Geneva, Switzerland. My team gathered iconic leaders from around the world into working groups that created initiatives to advance progress on key global challenges. I supported 8 groups related to environmentally sustainable development themes.

Why did you choose the Graduate Institute?
I graduated from a master’s programme at Duke University. A professor there confirmed the prestige of the Graduate Institute and it’s been on my radar since. Before embarking on the executive course, I was convinced about the school based on its highly esteemed alumni network and deeply interwoven connections with international organizations (especially in Geneva). The learning approach articulated in the curriculum interested me and the listed faculty on my course were formidable.

What was your experience like during the programme?
My fellow course mates were exceptional, thoughtful people and represented a wide spectrum of organizations. From NGOs and UN agencies to the private sector, it was clear our profiles were carefully chosen to ensure we could easily simulate the negotiation of an international convention.

The diversity of countries represented within the class meant that we could all gain insight and perspectives from every continent—regardless of the topic we covered. The mix of course instructors struck a fine balance between robust academic scholars and impressive practitioners who are leading current efforts to realize sustainable development.

How has the programme helped you in your career?
I’ve left with a more detailed and refined understanding about my field. Taking time off from “executing” the sustainability agenda to study its history, its inter-disciplinary links and its projected evolution – has made a considerable difference in my current ability think more “innovatively” and with a better framework. I’ve left with another community of like minds in the class mates who have become a rich and diverse addition to my life. An instructor from a UN agency delivered our first class, and the connection grew to the point where I ended up working with their office.

What would you say to someone considering joining the programme?
By choosing to invest in my career growth and to build on my technical knowledge, it has proven to be the best path I could have taken at that period in my life. I’m confident there will be more rewarding returns on this investment on many fronts in the future, professional and relationships included.