After working at the United Nations for over four years, I decided to go back to school for my doctoral degree. In my thesis I aim to focus on migration and the ongoing discussion on whether it challenges the sovereignty of nation states or not. Since this research did not necessarily fit with traditional migration studies, I was looking for a program with an interdisciplinary nature that would allow me to further specialize in migration while also looking at the conceptualization of nation states and how it has evolved. DGA is one of the few global affairs programs that offers classes that address both aspects of my research. Beyond the academics, I also chose DGA because of its faculty and their interesting research and the proximity to New York which enables students to easily get in touch with international affairs experts at the UN and other organizations.
My desire to pursue a Master’s degree from the Division of Global Affairs (DGA) arose when I was on my last deployment to Afghanistan in 2013. There, I realized how the pragmatic complexity of policymaking and economic development could intertwine with the process of creating order from chaos. After researching several schools of policy programs, I chose the DGA program at the Rutgers University-Newark, New Jersey. There are several reasons I wish to pursue this program from Rutgers—one of them being the faculty members—who are well-versed in geopolitical studies of different regions of the world. Moreover, the program teaches both theoretical and empirical analysis of domestic and international policies. Besides its requirement to speak or learn a second language, the Global Affairs program design encompasses different areas of concentration. My academic discipline is global governance, a concentration that spans general areas of study including political economy, international relations and the rule of law. As a former U.S Army Special Operations-Civil Affairs analyst, I have served in multiple overseas assignments including South Korea, Iraq and Afghanistan. Thus, the decision to acquire an advanced degree in global affairs was a no-brainer. My experience of conducting missions in these locations has inspired me towards becoming a leader, whose efforts will make society a better place. The academic knowledge I have acquired thus far from DGA has given me the confidence to lead and an inclination to pursue a permanent career in governance and development. As a Nigerian born and bred, the cultural diversity of Rutgers-Newark has been a great experience. I learned the differences, as well as the similarities, between cultures, beliefs, and languages. With a degree from DGA, I plan to work as a political analyst, helping nations expand their capacity in governance and development.
“Three key considerations affected my decision to pursue a doctorate in the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers University: its interdisciplinary perspectives, the faculty and staff, and also scholarships. I am interested in broad topics of human rights, domestic politics, and foreign policy. I am aware that a comprehensive analysis regarding those issues will need more than the merely traditional approach of International Relations and Political Science, particularly in our global environment that is more intricate with regards to the problems and actors involved. I really appreciate the opportunity to enroll in classes within different departments such as politics, law, economics, business, sociology, and health during my study in DGA. Also I benefit from learning and cooperating with outstanding professors in different fields of study as well as sharing experiences with fellow scholars from different corners of the world. It is truly a global environment!”