Like many students, past and present, I chose PSU for economic reasons. And like many young people who slowly work their way through college, I secretly feared that this meant I wasn’t as talented or smart or as destined for success as my peers who had gone on to big-name universities. If it weren’t for the University Scholars' Program, I believe that that fear would have become self-fulfilling.
The USP gave me a home. It gave me programs that opened my mind and challenges that built my sense of accomplishment. It gave me peers and professors who stimulated me. It gave me opportunities to pursue topics that piqued my curiosity and to travel to places that previously had lived only in my dreams.
Mostly, the USP gave me the confidence that I could strive for the top. As a result, I went on from PSU to get a Master's degree at the London School of Economics, a Ph.D. from Harvard, and a teaching position at the Kennedy School of Government. I now consult for leading companies around the world.
The USP opened the door to that world.
Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun, author of Beyond Dealmaking: Five Steps to Negotiating Profitable Relationships (Jossey Bass, 2010), is an international negotiation consultant. Formerly a research director and lecturer on history at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Melanie has spent most of the past two decades assisting Western and Asian companies, NGOs and public agencies in improving their internal and external relationships through negotiation. Her list of over 50 corporate clients includes Deutsche Bank, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, the Boston Consulting Group, Siemens, Samsung, Hyundai, and Unocal.
Melanie has a Ph.D. from Harvard University, specializing in diplomatic history, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a B.S. with high honors from the University Honors Program (formerly the University Scholars' Program) at Portland State University. In addition to Beyond Dealmaking, her publications include a chapter on "Trust in Mediation" in The Asian Perspective on Mediation (Singapore: Academy Publishing, 2009), Decision Against War (Columbia University Press, 1988), and numerous articles on negotiation, mediation and dispute resolution. She regularly speaks to professional associations and business conferences around the world about negotiation and relationship management.
A native of Portland, Melanie has lived in London, Paris, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Indonesia and Singapore and has worked throughout Asia. She currently lives in Washington, DC. Her website and blog are at www.beyond-dealmaking.com.