I arrived to Geneva on a flight from New Zealand in 2016. Winter was setting in. I was lacking suitable snow boots but hopeful about the journey I was embarking on.
GSD offered me a structured programme that included both foundational topics as well as deep dives into the most pressing international relations issues of the day. I relished the opportunity to answer questions made by professors, expert academically and in practise. I quickly learnt about the importance of strategic thinking in diplomacy.
As a self-proclaimed introvert, the GSD Masters Programme encouraged me to be more outgoing, charismatic and professionally resilient. I learnt to enjoy networking, as it was key to finding an internship. When I exceled at that, I learnt to be an innovative problem solver, resolving practical problems for a fully-fledged diplomat, working for the wellbeing of their country. High stakes in any case.
I now work for an Embassy as a Policy Adviser. I apply the lessons learnt at GSD frequently. I am aware that my GSD experience was a crucial stepping-stone in my professional career.