Serwicki: Model United Nations Forges Leadership Skills for College Students

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CSUF at the 2016 Model UN Conference in New York

Forget going to class!

Well, maybe going to class is still important for students. However, college students and high school students can jump light years ahead of their peers by using specific strategies. One of those strategies is joining a meaningful club that will increase their likelihood of getting internships, college admission, networking, and valuable experience.

One powerful club that students can join across the United States is the Model United Nations.

What is Model United Nations?

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN, is a simulation of the United Nations that students from various schools compete in. Students are exposed to international relations, world conflicts, diplomacy, and much more. Competitions are held across the continental United States in Model UN Conferences. These conferences are meant to test the students’ knowledge, originality, and communication skills. Often, awards are given to the delegates that deliver an outstanding performance.

Why Should Students Join Model UN?

Model United Nations is not an ordinary club. Participants actively discuss and debate current issues that affect us on the global level. Students in the Model UN Club participate in mock United Nations conferences that give them hands-on experience of how global politics work. Participants receive recognition based on their ability to deliver public speeches, negotiate, debate, and research. These awards can help students receive scholarships, internships, and employment. It’s a great resume-building opportunity for students interested in world affairs.

Employers recognize that members of Model UN are molded by competitive conferences and the preparation for them. It’s not just another club that you only learn theory in. Anyone that is seriously interested in being in the political world needs to join this club to learn leadership and practical skills that will apply to the rest of their career. Model UN is not for dabblers. This club will test you, and force you to grow and become a better person, and a global intellectual.

Is There a Correlation Between Model UN Clubs and Success In the Real World?

Yes. As an example, California State University of Fullerton has a Model UN Club with a great story. The school was able to receive three honorable mentions at the Harvard Model UN conference in 2006. Later, in 2008 the school secured the “Outstanding Positions Paper” award, and an “Outstanding Delegation” award. After a semester of hard work, CSUF attended the four-day Model UN Conference in New York that started on March 27, 2016 and lasted until March 31st. CSUF was able to secure 7 awards in total. Out of 10 Positions Paper submissions, 5 won an award. The school also managed to receive the “Outstanding Delegation” award, and the “Outstanding Peer” award. At the end of the semester, two of the club members were able to secure their internships in Washington D.C. Currently, the Model UN Club at CSUF is represented by the Prof. Charlotte Samuels. There are countless amounts of students from other Universities that were able to secure an internship thanks to Model UN, as well as High School students that were able to get admitted to an outstanding university.

Future of the Model UN

Model UN will continue to serve its members, and the members will continue to build a unique network of people and experiences.  It’s great that students can “play politics” to see if they have what they need before they enter the real world and make real decisions that affect real people. Simulations like Model UN are the future of learning and similar simulations will be adopted by other industries because they let members learn about themselves, as well as their potential career. Currently, model UN’s popularity is very steady in the United States, and is most popular in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

One of the biggest benefits that Model UN can offer students is a network of alumni that can come handy in the future when job seeking. As mentioned earlier, other benefits include building confidence, communication, teamwork, emotional intelligence, and much more. Anyone student that is interested in political science should join Model UN or at least something similar to it. The challenges that the Model UN club gives the participants prepares them more than the classroom can for internships, or their career whether it is in political science or a different discipline. If your school does not have a Model UN club, the United Nations Association made a great step-by-step article that can guide you along the way.

Matthew Serwicki is a mobile app developer that loves writing, and providing value for others. He also enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with family and friends. He writes articles about app marketing on his website, goviapps.com” 

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org