My name is Priscilla Haingo Plat and I am a second-year graduate student in the School of Diplomacy & International Relations at Seton Hall University. I am originally from Madagascar and France and nearly a year ago, after moving out of Paris, I started the M.A. program offered by the School of Diplomacy. I knew such an academic endeavor would be a crucial step in the right direction to help narrow my career path, develop leadership skills, and uncover unique professional opportunities.
Among these unique opportunities was a remote internship at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP). GCSP is an international foundation focused on building and maintaining global peace, security and stability. I joined the organization in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, assuming the role of Young Leader in Foreign and Security Policy, as part of their prestigious Global Fellowship Initiative (GFI). My graduate school specializations are global negotiation and conflict management, with a regional focus on Africa. Therefore, getting an insider’s view of a Geneva-based institution with 45 affiliated member states, which is recognized as one of the world’s leading centers for executive education, policy analysis and diplomatic dialogue, constitutes a dream internship experience for the political affairs specialist, policy analyst and diplomat that I aspire to be.
With GCSP I engaged in research, data collection, and leadership skills for activities surrounding climate change, migration, international security, foresight in Africa, conflict prevention, and the nexus between terrorism and organized crime in all its forms. Alternating between strategic anticipation and terrorism in relation to preventing violent extremism (PVE) essentially determines the work that I am doing with the Center.
A significant portion of the expertise I applied to the Center’s projects related to key security and peace policy issues that I acquired during my first year of graduate school. Courses such as Institutions of Post-Conflict Governance, Peacemaking and Peacekeeping, and the Art and Science of Negotiation, as well as various on-campus event organized by the School of Diplomacy, undoubtedly sharpened my knowledge and analytical thinking on foreign policy and international security.
Given the circumstances, performing remotely and coordinating with my colleagues who are based in Geneva, has caused me to develop more effective reporting methods and rearrange my daily schedule, keeping in mind that time difference is a challenge that has to be overcome in order to meet deadlines and reach individual, collective, and global objectives.
Not only does this fellowship program provide its participants with executive courses, conferences, seminars, workshops and the chance to participate in regional or issue-specific collaborative designs, but it also offers exclusive networking connections; notably, GCSP’s experts, executives-in-residence, associates, and doctoral and government fellows. I would highly recommend any student majoring in international relations apply and make the most of this fellowship program in the pursuit of a thriving career.