As an academic, I often meet people with successful careers who are contemplating a return to the classroom, such as to get an advanced degree – writing a thesis for an MA or PhD. For most, it remains a dream – but a colleague of mine – Désirée Miloshevic – who works in the Internet governance arena ‘did it’.
I met Désirée over 15 years ago as an academic interested in learning about Internet governance. She was working in the industry of names & numbers, and actively involved with the governance community that moves around the world from meeting to meeting. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Belgrade and is now living in London and working as the Senior Public Policy and International Affairs Advisor in Europe for Afilias, a global provider of Internet infrastructure and registry services. She always amazed me by how she could balance her life and work amidst the travel demands of her career. But she took the time to answer any of my questions about the people and issues tied to Internet governance.
A few years ago, when she spoke with me about pursing a Masters Degree, I thought it would be impossible. How could she take on another demanding set of obligations?
Well, she did it.
I just heard that in August 2015, Desiree was awarded distinction for her Masters thesis in the Department of International Relations at Malta University. The title of her thesis was ‘How is Trust Defined in Internet Governance Organisations?’ Or, she says: ‘Applied Ethics in Not-for-Profit Internet Organisations’. It was an empirical study anchored in a survey of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs).
Her reviewers noted that her thesis ‘focuses on these non-profit organizations in five global regions and aptly explores how these organizations embed the notion of trust in their daily activity.’ And she accomplishes this in a way that is likely to ‘impinge on future debates on Internet Governance’. The thesis completed her MA in Contemporary Diplomacy.
So when the next busy professional tells me that they want to pursue a higher degree, I won’t ask them why they want to do that – ‘You’re already successful’. ‘Why?’ Instead, I tell them about my friend Désirée.