Where are they now?

Bilal Aurang Zeb Durrani

Country: Pakistan

Organization: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Position: Head of UNICEF Seoul Office

Study at ISS: MA in Development Studies - Governance and Democracy Specialization

Year of graduation: 2008

How did the study contribute to your career?

The study at ISS contributed a great deal to my career. First, it was an excellent learning platform where students (most of them already with professional work experience in the development sector) from all over the world brought an immense practical knowledge of realities and development solutions.

Second, ISS has a credible reputation in the development sector as it is one of the few academic institutions that focuses solely on development studies.

Third, and most importantly, the knowledge and skills gained throughout different courses were immensely useful, with the right balance of theory and practice, making it very helpful to implement on the job.

Would you recommend ISS to others interested in studying Development Studies?

Without a doubt.

What was your overall experience at ISS?

It was one of the best experiences of my life, especially because of the people that ISS managed to attract to the Masters programme from all over the world – creating a sense of community – like a mini United Nations. We learnt as much outside the classroom as inside the classroom.

Now I have friends all over the world and I have met them in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia.

Jie Zhang

Country: USA

Organization: Gartner Inc.

Position: Senior Director, Analyst

Study at ISS: MA in Development Studies - Population and Development Specialization

Year of graduation: 1994

How did the study contribute to your career?

The study exposed me for the very first time to a collaborative and critical thinking style of education. It eventually led me to my current job – an analyst in technology research and advisory for a global organization.

The diversified environment at ISS, with my classmates from all over the world and the unmatched open-mindedness and encouragement from my professors and advisors, was ultimately valuable to me, enabling me to become an international citizen and enjoy the lifestyle that brings.

Would you recommend ISS to others interested in studying Development Studies?

Absolutely! ISS is a unique academic institution located in a beautiful city. The school and faculty offer the most open and encouraging atmosphere, not only to enjoy a great education but also to give you the basis to set you up for a lifelong pursuit in knowledge and humanity.

What was your overall experience at ISS?

The knowledge I gained at ISS from the professors and my classmates is one of the most treasured assets I have. The experience is undoubtedly a celebrating milestone in my education and my life. I have vivid memories of daily biking to school through beautiful Den Haag and passing the International Peace Palace.

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