It is now exactly a month since I returned from WorldMUN2012 Conference in Vancouver Canada, so I thought that with the benefit of hindsight, it might be fun to reflect a little on what I thought about the experience.
First thing that comes to mind when I reflect upon WorldMUN is how terribly I miss it all, whether it be the ability to go to lunch everyday with people from around the world and discuss what the Canadians think about Australian politics (yes some do actually follow the shenanigans of Canberra), to frolicking in the snow, to seeing pictures of moose everywhere, to constantly strategizing how to ensure the US benefitted from any decision that my committee made about what to do with the resource-rich Congo in 1885. So for those of you who are reading this and thinking that what I’m describing sounds kinda interesting, I would unequivocally recommend that you consider attending WorldMUN2013!
Furthermore, the idea of Model United Nations conferences has been around for decades (it actually precedes the establishment of the UN – there used to be Model League of Nations Conferences), so there are a whole plethora of established international MUN conferences around the world to choose from. For example in November I’m considering attending OxiMUN at Oxford University (our brothers in Sandstone) as I’ll be nearby on exchange. If you want to start small, there is also a MUN society on campus who organise even more MUNs.
I also wanted to write a little about why business students should come along to a conference that demonstrably appears to be for government/political science/law students, it’s called ‘Model United Nations’ after all. And yes, although the majority of students who do attend are from those backgrounds, the conference is also fantastically useful for business students. Not only are some of the conference topics about ‘business things’, think Europe and the Eurozone crisis for example, but once you are sitting in the conference room listening to other speakers, negotiating, debating, consensus-building and feverishly writing documents, it becomes a giant game of strategy and communication which train you on how to act in boardrooms and strategy meetings in whatever business you choose.
As an added bonus, MUN conferences give you all those experiences that employers like to ask about during those behavioural question-based interviews. So during your next interview at Macquarie Bank, if they demand you to ‘tell me about a time you worked together as a team to achieve a successful result’ or when you worked to meet a tough deadline, or had to work to solve a conflict you have a rather interesting answer at your fingertips.
Of course, there are downsides of attending a conference in March. The first lectures that I attended this year happened to be in week 3, so I experienced a few horrifying moments when I realized how much I missed, the worst being when I arrived late to an econometrics lecture to be confronted with a whiteboard full of strange looking Greek symbols interspersed with sigmas and matrix notation. But all in all, it was most certainly worth it.