College tricks

Neville Robateau is a recent graduate of Whittier College. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a Minor in Theatre and Communication Arts. Neville is currently studying for the LSAT to prepare for law school Fall 2015. In his free time you can find Neville in the music studio recording music, on stage at a local community theatre or as an extra on television shows and movies.

Finding where you fit in during your first year of college can be a little overwhelming. There are many clubs and organizations to choose from, some of them sounding fun and others not so much. There is one club that is out there that looks both good on your CV after graduation and is tons of fun while making unforgettable friends and memories . I am talking about Model United Nations. I am going to tell you the top 10 reasons why Model United Nations should be on the top of that list of clubs to try out. 

Understand Current International Events
    Model United Nations covers many subjects ranging from the situation in Syria to combating deforestation. Each delegate is assigned a country and committee to research and brainstorm on ways to improve the country’s position on the subject.

International And Multi-Cultural Exposure
    A Model UN delegate experiences international relations in a student-directed simulated international organization. You will learn and understand the culture of your assigned country through your research and get to meet other students from all over the U.S. and abroad at one of the estimated 400 Model U.N. conferences held annually worldwide.

Develop Public Speaking Skills
    If public speaking is not one of your strong points, Model U.N. is a way to brush up on those skills in a unique and fun way. Working with your fellow delegates from your assigned country you will be writing speeches on your country’s position on several topics of international importance. Within your Model U.N. club or class you will gain the confidence of speaking on your position and even look forward to the next conference where you may find yourself saying your speech in from of an audience of 200+ people.

Learn How To Negotiate With Opposition And Conflict
    Many countries do not get along and they have the track record to prove the fact as well. As a simulated program on a actual situations most of the delegates embody the role of their assigned country. The delegates for Russia, North Korea, Israel, United States and United Kingdom for example are some of the countries that other delegates like to oppose whenever they are trying to get a resolution approved. The job of a delegate is not only to give a speech on the position that your country stands on a topic, but also to negotiate with the other countries finding similarities in wants and needs to gather enough sponsors to pass it as a resolution. By the end of your Model U.N. experience you will negotiate like a pro.

Learn To Think Outside The Box
    Being a delegate for Model U.N. is a learning experience. As mentioned in reason #5 countries sometimes have conflict with each other and will make it difficult to pass resolutions in the favor of that country. This situation is the toughest thing for most first year Model U.N. delegates. Seasoned delegates and smart first year delegates learn to think outside the box. There are many different political maneuvers to play in the committee sessions as well as on other delegates to get what your country wants or at least part of what you want. 

Develop Leadership Skills
    Participating in MUN exercises many of the leadership skills invaluable to the college experience. You will be actively learning while developing career oriented skills such as research, public speaking, negotiating, and teamwork.

Walk In The Shoes Of A Diplomat
    As a MUN delegate you are taking on the role of an ambassador for a specific country. It is an opportunity to forget about yourself for a while and step into another person’s shoes from another country and a different culture. The best delegates embody this and carry themselves out how they would perceive such a delegate would in the committees that they are assigned. In the real United Nations for example, you most likely would not see the delegates of North Korea and the United States working on a resolution together with any real progress. Every school wants to be the “good guy” countries but the countries that shake things up a bit such as Russia are just as exciting.

Travel Out Of Town
    If you don’t play a sport in college, it is more than likely you don’t get out of the area much with some of your fellow students. Participating in MUN you will go out of town at least once for that school year to one of the many MUN conferences held annually. I have heard of some schools that have gone to three conferences in a school year. Traveling with a group of people that you have spent countless hours with working on a goal builds a bonding friendship that will give you a real sense of camaraderie.

Looks Great On Résumés
    Make your résumé impressive by joining MUN. Not all extra-curricular activities stick out to employers after college, but MUN is an eye-catcher and a conversation starter about research, leadership and teamwork skills. 

    The best reason to join is because MUN is FUN! Yeah it’s sort of a international relations geeky type of fun, but fun nevertheless. My college participated in the Model United Nations of the Far West conference involving over 500 college students all staying in the same hotel near San Francisco. At these conferences you will work hard, but you can play hard as well. By day you will be giving speeches, negotiating at caucuses and attempting to pass resolutions but at night you may find yourself in the hot tub with the delegate of Djibouti or out with a group of delegates until 4 am in the morning. Regardless of what you do the conferences are an excellent way to make friends with delegates from other schools and also networking with future politicians, lawyers, and ambassadors. I encourage you to see what all the excitement is about and join your local MUN chapter. 

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