Interview with our Newly Elected Student Body President: Ben Karp
I decided to study at GSD because as I was seeking for a place where potential solutions to world problems are investigated and analyzed with real-world implementation in mind, and GSD prides itself on its academics and global perspective. I believe this outlook will help change the world and social policies for the better.
I chose the field of international relations hoping to explore ideas connecting cutting-edge technology and refugee care, such as the feasibility of delivering medical supervision via cellular data, the role of software training and placement for aid workers, and prospect of channeling social impact funds to help in assimilating refugees into their new countries. It is of first importance for me that they be conceived and refined within an informed framework of public policy.
From orientation day, networking benefits have been continuously preached and stressed. From my previous work and volunteer experiences, networking has been a key element in getting things faster and more efficiently. I am looking forward to many networking opportunities during my time at GSD.
The GSD teaching method with its Aristotle approach and their small class size remind me more of my boarding school experience rather than my college experience. In boarding school, the classes were small around seven to ten in each class and it focused more on engaging the students. The pursuit of intellectual curiosity was highly valued….just like at GSD.
As newly elected Student Body President for 2019, I am looking forward to working with the other student ambassadors and the school administration to create even stronger school comradely and pride through potential activities, events, and trips. Also, I would like to help gain answers to problems fellow students have. I would also love to initiate a “fireside chat” speaker series where we could bring in talented and successful individuals from the local agencies. So, for a few hours, these speakers could talk freely off the record in a casual atmosphere around a fireside about pressing issues as they see them unfolding.
Studying in the most diplomatic neighborhood on the planet has been amazing experience! Few places, if any, come close to having so much power and influence in such a small geographical area. With diplomacy and international relations being challenged by leaders around the world, it is even more imperative that Geneva with its diplomatic agencies continue to be a beacon for peace and humanitarianism among all nations.
Life in Geneva is wonderful and special! It is a city that combines sophistication with subtleness, and beauty. Yes, life in Geneva is much more low-key than the nightlife vibe in New Orleans. Quite a change from being below sea level in New Orleans and listening to Jazz in the French Quarter to living so close to some of the tallest and beautiful mountains in the world. One of my favorite activities, when I am not studying, is to sit on a bench under a tree near the Jet d’Eau, overlooking Lac Leman, and read an exciting and engrossing novel.
I would absolutely recommend the GSD experience. Not sure if there is any place in the world where one is a stone’s throw from the United Nations, ICIRC, and numerous other governmental, non-governmental, and private sector organizations. What a wonderful opportunity to challenge oneself intellectually, interact with fellow students around the world, and network. One never knows who one might meet, and what doors it will open.
Reading and intellectual curiosity have been my beacons to unlock my so many questions regarding life, death, and human frailty.