What My First Week at MUNI Taught Me

by Kaitlyn Hammond on December 20, 2017

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In the days leading up to the Model UN Institute, I was terrified.  I had no idea what to expect from this camp, I knew nothing about Model UN, and I didn’t know anyone in the Diplomat program. That all changed the second I got there.  After a week, I was able to step away with a plethora of new knowledge: not just about MUN, but about the world.

Prior to MUNI, I thought I knew all there was to know about public speaking.  I thought all you needed to do was stand up straight, make eye contact, and speak convincingly.  I was wrong.  

In the first hour of class, I learned that public speaking is an art form in and of itself.  It has structure and depth, it evokes emotion, and it requires elements of performance.  I was shocked to realize that there was more to public speaking than what I thought. But my experience at MUNI didn’t just teach me about public speaking.  Learning how to properly deliver a speech taught me my own capabilities.  

I learned that it’s easy to feel confident, as long as you have the right tools.  I was terrified to speak in front of the other delegates on the first day, but my fear didn’t last for long.  After a lesson on public speaking, it almost felt like second nature to deliver a speech in front of my peers. I learned how to prepare for speeches, to give them structure, and to look confident while doing it. These tools help me to this day.

The greatest thing I learned at MUNI, however, had nothing to do with public speaking.  While researching for my first simulation in the Diplomat program, I was surprised to see that I was actually interested in my country’s policies. As I participated in more simulations, I realized it wasn’t just one country’s policies I enjoyed researching; I was interested in the policies of every country in the UN, how other countries perceived the policies, and the dynamics between countries based upon their policies.

My newfound love for international politics and global affairs made it clear to me that I had been ignoring how other countries’ policies affect my own life.  While I paid attention to politics within the United States, I had never taken those of other countries into consideration.  I had always thought knowing my country’s policies was enough, but MUNI proved me wrong, and made me expand my horizons in order to stay informed.

The knowledge I gained at MUNI changed both the way I think and act.  If I had never participated in the Diplomat program at the MUN Institute, I would not be the same person I am today.  

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