Building a top travel team requires recruiting top talent, retaining members, and developing their Model UN skills. Here are three ways to develop talent:
1. Deliver top-notch training and development. One of the best ways to recruit and retain top talent is to invest in their development. Provide training sessions in all the five key skills every Model UN participant should know: research, public speaking, team building, writing resolutions, and debating. Run a mock session so that delegates can understand how it all goes together in an educational environment. High schools can also bring in Model UN participants at local colleges as guest speakers on delegate strategy or even on how MUN helped them get into college.
At the college level, bring in professors who are experts on certain topics of interest or on the country that your school was assigned. College students will also look at development beyond Model UN i.e. how Model UN can help them get a job or get into grad school, so it is important to organize or partner up with pre-professional organizations to host info sessions on recruiting for jobs and applying for grad schools.
2. Set up a mentoring system. Mentors can have a significant influence on the development and retention of top talent. Pair up every new member with a dedicated returning member, paying particular attention to pair up high potential delegates with the team’s current best delegates. Give mentors responsibilities and challenges to help augment the team’s training sessions with their own advice and teachings. At the very least, seasoned veterans can help novices with basics like overcoming their fears, making research easy, or knowing what to say. Some schools even send the mentor-mentee pair into competitive conferences as co-delegates so the newer delegate can learn from the advanced delegate in action.
If your team hosts a conference, you can also get members to shadow your Senior Secretariat team. At UCLA, we would have an Undersecretary-General lead a tour of the conference logistics during our BruinMUN high school conference for new members who wanted exposure into the conference organizing side of Model UN.
3. Offer leadership opportunities. The high potential delegates tend to want to break into leadership roles within the club, and creating this funnel will strengthen the long-term growth of the team. Offer open board meetings to help interested candidates understand what being a club officer or being a part of a conference’s Senior Secretariat (the conference organizers) entails. Better yet, offer substantive internship opportunities that allow the interested member to work alongside the club officer or Senior Secretariat member on a specific project.
Clubs can also designate advanced members as senior teachers or assistant head delegates that help the advisor and head delegates with training sessions. Also as previously mentioned, the most experienced members can also be designated as mentors and be paired up with a mentee so that they can share their knowledge with them.
How do your advisors and head delegates prepare the newer delegates? Let us know in the comments!
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