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Diplomacy grad students share a ‘peace’ of their lives

Seton Hall diplomacy graduate students shared what inspired them to pursue their master’s degrees, their experiences as a graduate student and future plans.

Hamilton (right) wants to pursue his Ph.D after graduation and Oshai (left) finds her graduate student life exciting. Photo courtesy of Michael Hamilton and Cheryl Oshai

Michael Hamilton, a second-year graduate student, is in the dual degree program that combines a Master’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Diplomacy and International Relations. He also is a graduate assistant for the Stillman School of Business and said he loves being a full-time graduate student.

Hamilton said he spends his time in the trading room and doing research on game theory and behavioral economics while also helping the undergraduate finance students in their stock picking and presentation skills.

“I have presented at multiple conferences on the U.S.-China trade issue, all thanks to my dual understanding of international relations and international business,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton described his coursework as “all over the place.” He said he mainly takes finance and international security related classes. He explained that the finance courses are more math-intensive while the diplomacy classes are more writing-intensive, which he calls a good mix that broadens his ability to do research.

Hamilton shared his love for debate and expanding knowledge and said he chose diplomacy because it is an interdisciplinary field. He takes note of its weakness in some areas like how it is outdated in things like foreign policy analysis, however. He said there is a lot of opportunity to change how one thinks about foreign policy and strategy issues.

“I want to focus on a new thing called memetic warfare, which is essentially propaganda warfare through social media, or what I like to call mind control through internet memes,” Hamilton said. “It’s what the Russians and Cambridge Analytica did during the 2016 election, and I believe it is a cool underused tool and area in international security that is becoming increasingly relevant. After that, I hope to be some kind of advisor or corrupt the youth even more with memes.”

Cheryl Oshai, a second-year graduate student, said she finds her graduate student life really exciting. She said it was overwhelming in the beginning because she earned her undergraduate degree in Nigeria, but eventually got used to it.

Oshai earned her undergraduate degree in International Law and Diplomacy and said she did not want to divert from what she already knew, but instead broaden her knowledge. She also said that since she was young she’s had an interest and passion for diplomacy.

Oshai said that her coursework helped her figure out her path. Her functional specialization is in Post-Conflict State Reconstruction and Sustainability, which she said is about how countries are going to economically develop after a conflict has happened, and what they will do to recover afterwards.

Also, Oshai said that her regional specialization is in Africa.

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“I picked Africa because most of the sub-Saharan countries right now are the ones that suffer the most, and I really want to know more about it, what can be done about it and how to move forward,” Oshai said.

In the summer of 2018, she had an internship at Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations (TIILO) in New York City.

Oshai spoke of the importance in the balance of school and life by stepping away from the books, which she does through yoga, positive mind thinking and going for a walk.

“If I were to give any advice, just take one step at a time,” she said.

"Eventually everything is going to be alright, don’t overthink it or stress yourself. Do the best you can and breathe.”

Oshai said her post-graduate interests are in the Peace Corps to gain international experience, international development organizations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Kristel Domingo can be reached at


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