Shweta Dhiman

I came into the program with a background in finance, business studies, and many questions about my life's essential purpose.

While it was my focused interest in corporate accountability that brought me here, it was the interdisciplinary nature of the program that enabled me to broaden my perspective and look beyond.

My broad-based studies in alternative dispute resolution, international law, and peace studies helped me better understand the interconnectedness of peace and security; sustainability; human rights and dignity. The program curriculum includes courses aimed at understanding the inner-self, and as a practicing Buddhist who firmly believes in the primacy of the inner life, I found this attribute holistic and humanistic.

Practical opportunities en route including a research associate position at Vale Columbia Center for Sustainable International Investments (a partnership of Earth Institute and Columbia Law School), and an internship at United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services, offered me valuable cross-reference with theory and enhanced my overall experience. My master's thesis on "Measuring the Impact of Organizational Conflict" done in collaboration with the Office of the Ombudsman for United Nations Development Program, was subsequently published in the Journal of the International Ombudsman Association. A year later, my study remains alive and I am working towards institutionalizing its findings.

I am currently a consultant at United Nations Ombudsman and Mediation Services. This semester I also serve as a teaching assistant in the NECR program, and find the experience particularly gratifying. The program continues to help me walk the middle path.