Where are you from and what is your background?
I come from Ghana, West Africa, where I was born and raised. My undergraduate programme was a combined major in political science and French from the University of Ghana (UG), Legon. After school, I worked with the University of Ghana Careers and Counselling Centre for a year, executing tasks like sponsorship prospecting, report writing and events organising, to mention a few.
Why did you choose to apply to the Graduate Institute?
Having been exposed to introductory courses in international relations such as “International Politics” and “Foreign Policy Analysis” in my undergraduate programme, I developed a genuine interest and a passion that would propel me to inquire further into international affairs. What is more, having served in various leadership capacities throughout my academic journey, I developed basic problem-solving skills, which I desired to hone to enable me make meaningful contributions to global peace promotion in future.
I therefore shared my aspirations with almost everyone – family, friends, former colleagues and professors. Through one such engagement, I learnt about the Graduate Institute and looked up its website. While the interdisciplinary nature of its Master in International Affairs programme caught my eye, it was not until I discovered its influential host of alumni, as well as its renowned faculty and academic research that the “this-is-it” moment actually hit me. At this point, I literally envisioned myself as a part of the Institute’s diverse environment as one of its valued international students.
How did this scholarship make a difference for you?
Although I was passion-driven and yearned to be a part of the Institute’s community, the question: “how could it happen?” constantly clouded my vision, as I inched towards this end. My mum had single-handedly sponsored my first degree, and thus my pursuit of higher education soon afterwards was a weight she could simply not bear. A scholarship offer was therefore going to be the deciding factor for me. Thankfully, the Graduate Institute granted my request for funding! To say the least, that set me on the path to pursuing my long-held ambition of building bridges across strained international relationships, for which I am very grateful.
What is the focus of your studies at the Institute; on which topic do you plan to write your master's thesis?
I will focus on global security with environment, resources and sustainability as my minor over my two-year stay at the Institute. I am motivated by a personal desire to foster peaceful co-existence in the midst of diversity. I look forward to researching more in depth inter-religious cooperation and international peace promotion and expect to be able to help forge strong relationships across religions, while mitigating the effects of hatred and extremism going forward.
What are your plans for your professional career after your studies?
After the Graduate Institute, I envisage a life-long inquiry into religious and cultural conflicts, geared towards improving relations along those lines in Africa, the Middle East, and the world at large. I anticipate working with UN agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM as well as faith-based organisations and inter-religious networks for global peace promotion.
Do you want to support a student who is following in your footsteps at the Graduate Institute? Why not contribute to an alumni scholarship? Find out more here: https://graduateinstitute.ch/alumni-career/alumni-community/scholarships-and-prizes