Look mum, I’m a diplomat!

Jeanette Nkrumah recently completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Relations; and Media, Culture and Communication. She also completed the Global Leadership Program, accumulating a whopping 260 experiential credit points – many of which came from her participation in Model United Nations (MUN).

“Over the past two years I’ve travelled around Australia, and to South Korea and New York, as a United Nations delegate for Egypt, India, Portugal, Dominica, Saudi Arabia, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Well… not in a literal sense! Let me explain.

I’ve been heavily involved in Model United Nations (MUN), holding two executive positions within the Macquarie University United Nations Society.

MUN allows students to engage in an academic simulation of the United Nations, taking on the role of diplomats and representing different countries. We prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the United Nations rules of procedure, all in the interest of mobilising ‘international cooperation’ to scrutinise international issues, argue, deliberate, consult, and finally develop solutions to world problems.

Model UN conferences are a great way to build networks with like-minded people, just as we’re encouraged to do through Global Leadership Program (GLP). With a diverse range of students participating from all sorts of degrees and majors, and the chance to meet delegates from other universities and countries, Model UN is the perfect blend of intellectual and social.

Imagine having the opportunity to assume the role of a delegate representing Yemen, discussing maternal health in the developing world. Taking on the role of a country that is different to my own and looking at pressing issues from a different point of view has taught me to think outside of the box and look beyond my own experiences to create effective solutions.

There are conferences all over the country – and the world – so get out of town! Whether you want to take a trip to the University of Sydney or UTS to experience a conference at a different uni, or go to Canberra, Brisbane or Melbourne, even Germany, the USA or Russia, there are dozens of different opportunities to explore the world around you through Model United Nations. I can say with confidence that I have gained a couch to sleep on in every continent through MUN!

Without the GLP and the encouragement of GLP staff I’m not sure that I would have taken initiative, or had the drive to get out of my comfort zone, stop coasting through my degree, create great experiences and become a better version of myself.”

The Global Leadership Program is an extracurricular program that can be undertaken alongside any Macquarie degree. It awards credit for any academic and cultural experiences with an international component and cross cultural focus.