Enterprise Model United Nations – If my professional career has taught me anything, it is that I never stop learning. My academic years have laid a foundation on which my professional experience gratefully build. Some courses were more applicable to what I was going to do than others, however I would never have found my professional direction without having access to the whole package.That being said, there is one foundation that I created myself, nurtured and excelled in, but was hardly build upon during my professional career.
This foundation is the ‘Model United Nations (MUN) conference’. This conference is an exercise where students from all over the world, and from each faculty for a short period take up the roles of ambassadors of the United Nations, and defend their given countries. I became a member of the team at the ‘Vrije Universiteit Brussel’, became head and led my team to Oxford, London and Brussels. The height of my presidency was during the Harvard World Model United Nations (WorldMUN) in Vancouver Canada where I directed my team to win seven Diplomacy Awards (more than doubling the previous record of three) and put my university in the top 10 of the world.
I learned a lot from MUN: diplomacy, debate, structure, perspective, posture, charisma,… the list goes on. However, what shocked me was that the structured and diplomatic pursuit of finding a solution to a common problem – the core of MUN – lacked in my professional environment. There was a lot of ego, blurriness of goals and almost no diplomacy. Where I initially thought that my colleagues would excel in these, I found that the reality was slightly different.
And this is why I believe that companies would do well to organise a weekend from time to time doing a MUN.