Enid Portuguez on Finding a Common Thread

At first glance, my previous experience as an entertainment and lifestyle journalist seemed quite a departure from a master's program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. But while in the NECR program, I found a common thread between the two: They both relied on stories to reveal a greater picture.

With that in mind, I approached, understood and analyzed various conflict theories and case studies through the lens of storytelling. Whether a class drew from examples of interpersonal interactions, organizational dynamics or international relations, there was always a story that held a key to finding a solution or a path towards positive change. Along with pragmatic techniques in mediation and negotiation, the program strengthened my skills in unearthing those stories, whether it was through active listening during role plays or through the research process during Capstone. It has even helped me shape my own personal story by taking me through the journey of self-awareness as well as introducing me to passionate, dedicated people I now call friends.

My experience in the program now informs my work as the Digital Media Officer at the World Federation of United Nations Associations, an international NGO that educates and empowers civil society organizations in the areas of human rights, sustainable development, and peace and security. I'm tasked daily to find innovative ways to tell this organization’s story, and I feel more equipped to do that now than ever before.