Saad A. Saad

Graduation time is approaching us, and Rashun Miles sat down with Saad Saad to catch up with him to discuss a few things: life after graduation, reflecting on the time at Columbia and the NECR program, and advice for incoming students. Here is a snippet from the conversation.

Since Capstone, what from the program has remained or "stuck" with you?

I would say what "stuck" with me the most is an enhanced knowledge of conflict analysis and a refined approach towards its resolution.  Adopting a framework for understanding conflict has helped me respond to conflicts more effectively by being more patient, controlling my assumptions, and responding reflectively rather than reactively.          

Which tools, if any, have you gained from NECR that you utilize in your day-to-day or professional life?

 The majority of my time after graduation has been dedicated to working with a small and fast growing Management Consulting firm.  I've taken on a role that encompasses facilitating the development of the company, and the tools that I use the most day to day compromise both communication and mediation skills.  The growth of the organization often presents conflicts, and NECR prepped me to be able to leverage the multiplicity of perspectives that manifest themselves in our organization and use them constructively for the benefit of all those involved.  Facilitating and contributing to discussions that helped us analyze and understand our core, and then operate from that core has really assisted our organization in working together more cooperatively and more effectively.

Why NECR at Columbia University?

I chose NECR at Columbia University because of the network that I knew I would be a part of during and after the program. Being a student at this University and living in a city where a lot of international NGO's operate from, I knew I would have the opportunity to build relationships with individuals who would assist me in achieving my career goals and objectives.  This was enough incentive to guide me in making the decision to chose the NECR program at Columbia University as home.

What advice would you give to students entering their first semester of the NECR program.

I have two recommendations: Take ownership of your degree, and be proactive in finding opportunities both at Columbia and in NYC.  The program will be as applicable to your personal and professional as you make it. Take ownership of your learning, and be sure you are a driving force in facilitating your own education.  Both NYC and Columbia University are great places to network and find opportunities applicable to your interests. Be sure you are proactive in seeking opportunities and becoming involved in those relevant to your career and personal development.