Current Students

Gulo: A taste of diplomacy at Harvard

Jaya Gulo, better known as “Gulo”, is a Northwest Community College Initiative (NWCCI) participant from Indonesia  studying business at Edmonds Community College. In this post, he describes how getting over his fear of public speaking has brought him closer to his new-found dream of becoming an ambassador. If his performance during his busy year in the CCI program is any indication, Gulo is well on his way to becoming a great ambassador! 

image-11-04-16-05-12-1Since college life in 2008 to date, my work experience in customs, finance, and business has led me to a precise purpose in my life. I have thoroughly improved my skills in preparing numbers into a financial statement, refining statistics into a ready-to-publish report, and initiating a project until finalizing it. Even though I am passionate about international relations and diplomacy, I have never received a basic education regarding global studies. Yet, I love studying global issues, and my goal is to be an ambassador. I always follow current world affairs and attend Model United Nations (MUN) in order to combine my economic and diplomatic knowledge. This is how I will reach my goal.

I remember my first MUN conference as if it was yesterday. Standing before me were intelligent, diplomatic delegates that made me feel scared and nervous.

Before it was my turn to speak, I always drank a little water to calm down. When I got up to speak, I read off of a piece of paper. As I began to speak, I started shaking and couldn’t make eye contact. I wasn’t only embarrassed about shaking the paper I was holding, but also nervous about the lack of quality of my speech. From the nervous Gulo I was at my first MUN conference, I have grown as a delegate. I have delivered speeches in front of a mirror, conquered my fear, and joined multiple public speaking chances, particularly Model United Nations.

Now I can speak with ease in front of large crowds. MUN has made me into a confident person in the committee, in the classroom, and in every public speaking stage. The Model United Nations experience was a turning point in my life.

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On February 11-14, 2016, I joined the 62nd session of Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. I committed to the unique opportunity of addressing both the challenges and resolutions of international negotiation, and diplomacy in one of the oldest and most prestigious conferences. The conference lasted for four days and had over 3,000 delegates, making it the largest Model United Nations in the world. Delegates participated in an educational simulation and an academic competition that consists of writing a position paper, researching and debating topics concerning current world affairs, drafting resolutions, and serving as mediators between different sections during committee sessions.

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Assigned to the Supervisory Committee of the Nigerian Constituent Assembly 1977, I represented Richard Akinjide as a Senior Advocate to discuss the role of the Nigerian military in the 1970s, the supreme military council, and the problems with military and ethnic cleansing. During the first session, the committee voted for the first topic and the debate started. The speed of the debate and the process of drafting resolutions in HNMUN is a lot more challenging than any other MUNs I have previously participated in. During the first hour of the debate, delegates started sending notes and gathering outside to negotiate. In the process, the delegates found others with the same perspectives; they then began to write their ideas into a draft resolution. Towards the second day, it became clearer which major groups made it to the third day to merge papers and ideas to create bigger groups. As one of the few groups who succeeded in merging with another group, we were able to gain broader support for our paper before it was presented to the committee as a draft resolution. In the final voting session, our paper was voted on and passed.   

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The most valuable insight I learned from the Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) conference is that diplomacy is a powerful and peaceful tool that can bind the world together and save the lives of millions of people on Earth.

Model United Nations hasn’t only revived my faith in the human spirit but also has shown me a way we can bring  change and together envision a better world. It did not make me a new person, but made me discover my hidden self. I am no longer shy of speaking in public and my voice is no more a shout in the dark. I can fight for people and be a voice for those who don’t have one. My voice can now be heard and I can be the change I wish to see in the world.  

“Thank you for Harvard National Model United Nations.You have definitely opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and my mind to a myriad of possible solutions to solve the world’s most pressing problems.” – Gulo.

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US Dept of StateThe NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the student bloggers.

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