Student Feature: Nikunj Beria, GHD'18

Q&A with student nikunj beria

Nikunj Beria, GHD'18, reflects on his past three semesters in the Global Human Development Program.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about where you’re from and your background?

A. I grew up in Mumbai, India and moved around India to pursue various academic and professional interests. My academic background is in Electronics and Communication Engineering, however I moved into the education sector as a Teaching Fellow for primary school students right after graduation. I have worked for different development organizations like Teach For India (TFI) and the think tank Centre for Civil Society.

Q: Why did you choose GHD? 

A. GHD was a relatively new program compared to other programs that I applied to. Its location in the School of Foreign Service coupled with the individual attention that students receive in the small program drew me to accepting the offer from this school.

Q: How has GHD allowed you to pursue your academic and professional interests? 

A. At GHD, I’ve gained an understanding of subjects like development economics and impact evaluation and developed skills that can be used across industries. In addition to that, the interdisciplinary classes through School of Foreign Service have given me the opportunity to broaden my horizon in politics and business.

Q: Are you involved in any groups or activities on or off campus?

A. I'm involved with several organizations on campus including the Beeck Center and the GU India Initiative. Previously, I was involved with the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at the McDonough School of Business, the MIINT Impact Investing Competition and the GU Impacts Fellowship Program at the Beeck Center.

Q: What have been some valuable insights you’ve gained so far from the GHD Program?  

A. Much of my experience before coming to GHD was centered on India and less international. In my 15 months at GHD, my most valuable learning experiences have come from the global perspectives of my fellow classmates.

Q: What is an interesting thing that few people know about you? 

A. Generally, I'm associated with all things food, which is absolutely true, but few people know that I love going on days- or week-long motorbike rides.