Faculty & Students
Meet the Students
Name: Wilco Otte
Professional Interests: Conflict resolution, international economics, politics and human security.
Bachelor's Degree: B.Sc. in Human Geography and Urban Planning (minor in International Development Studies), Utrecht University, Netherlands, 2007.
Home town: Hilversum, the Netherlands. The last few years I have spent all over the world, but consider myself a World citizen, European and Dutch.
Dream job: Secretary-General of the United Nations
Quote: The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies offers a wide range of opportunities for students, in- and outside of the regular curriculum.
1) What made you decide to apply to the MA program at USD’s Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies?
First of all, our cohort consists of fifteen students, a very small group, so that we can establish close working relationships with our peers. Secondly, the School of Peace Studies attracts very interesting speakers from all over the world. Third, the school tries its best to provide scholarship opportunities for all MA students and is truly invested in the well being of its students. And of course, San Diego is one of the nicest cities in the U.S. The USD campus is very lively and is set in a beautiful environment.
2) During your first week here, what was one of the first things that impressed you?
Several things. The School of Peace Studies is located in a beautiful building. It also has a beautiful garden. The staff and faculty were so friendly and supportive in trying to help me find housing and guiding me through the university system.
3) What activities have you been involved in at the School of Peace Studies?
The School of Peace Studies together with the Institute of Peace and Justice and the Transborder Institute organizes quite a few events, such as the Distinguished Lecture Series with the former High Commisioner of Human Rights, Mrs. Louise Arbour or by the former UN Secretary for Darfur and former President of 60th UNGA, Jan Eliassion. But there are many more examples! In addition, as the cohort's representative I give input and output on issues of our importance.
4) How difficult is the School of Peace Studies? Is it more or less work than you thought?
The M.A. program is more work than I expected, because the program covers 2 years but it is fit into 1 year. Therefore, you spend a lot of time working on reading your articles and books or writing your papers! However, it will pay off in the long run!
5) What is the best thing that has happened to you here at School of Peace Studies?
There is not a specific moment that comes to my mind, but a couple of occasions have been really interesting, fun or nice. Discussing issues among peers in our small cohort. Being able to meet so many people in our field through the events. The people at the school and institutes are very helpful and friendly.
6) What is some of your previous professional experience? How did that experience help you decide to go to School of Peace Studies?
I used to work as the Youth Delegate of the Netherlands to the United Nations General Assembly; I have worked for Corporate Social Responsibility, Netherlands at the international department, and as a junior adviser at an urban planning firm, JongeHonden. In addition, I cooperated with several NGOs, such as the European Centre of Conflict Prevention and Womens Global Network of Reproductive Rights.
7) What advice would you give to a prospective student? What things might you have done differently?
Attend as many extracurricular activities as possible, because they are so inspiring and interesting. This M.A. program takes quite some effort to go through, in other words: a decrease of your leisure time from the moment you start. Therefore, my advice would be to try to balance your academic profession and your leisure time!
For a list of current students, please click here.
To meet our alumni, please click here.