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Join MUN, it will help you develop the skills you need for your international career!But what is it actually that you learn at an MUN and how does it transfer into landing your next job interview, building your career, and most of all, give you a head start compared to other young professionals? Here is some of the skills (and how you got them) which are going to boost your career for sure!
You went to that meeting, didn't you? Or you read that article on MUN:Planet about starting MUN? Or maybe you listened to a friend, who was head over heels over this thing he called "International conference for students known as MUN"? Either way, you were curious to find out more, you wanted maybe to just know what this "MUN" thing is all about. And you still went on with it, after you were told this is an activity that required a lot of effort, preparation, and money. Your curiosity withstood all that you still tried something new and unknown.
You got it. You did apply to the conference, even though it meant taking a week off from school, from university, or from work. Maybe you even sacrificed a week of well-earned free-time in your semester break?
You got what it takes, and you take the extra step for learning more and for meeting new people - outside of your comfort zone. You are also not afraid to study hard, even for something that might not immediately relate to your study program. And of course, you are coming prepared to the MUN, showing that your drive is getting you where you want to be.
Soon after the opening speeches, you realized - you are in this with many more people, all having their own agenda. But passing that resolution is no one-man-show, but a team effort. Even though you stay in your role, with your objectives in mind, you are actively seeking for partners and cooperate on even the most difficult issues in solving the problem at hand. Your team might be big or small, you might be even organizing your own conference with your team and after such an experience, you are well aware of the perks of team work. With all its opportunities and challenges.
Public Speaking and Business English
This is a skill that is usually one of the most used selling points of doing MUN. And it is not surprising, because you will boost your English once you are confronted with resolution writing or putting together your witty speech in front the whole council. You were afraid to speak up in public? After one week of practicing at the conference, you will likely already be a natural, and if not, you have seen from more experienced delegates, how things are done. And latest at your second MUN, you will take the center stage and be the diplomat you set out to be. And even if you were worried about your English, MUN teaches you both at work and in your free time, because you are surrounded by the international crowd all the time - so it is all about learning by doing.
This may sound like the softest soft skill of them all, but in our international labor market with its many mobile workers, this skill is not to be underestimated. You might not know all the little rules and cultural differences in every country, but after meeting delegates from all over the place, you have great understanding that every person, their personal, and their cultural values differ. There is no such thing as "the" one type of person or culture. But what you learned is, that you deal with people from different cultures than your own in a respectful way. Also, your MUN experience will show that not only you are aware of intercultural differences, but you are also interested in getting to know more about them. And on top of that, you learn how cultural systems have influenced politics and international relations in the past, present and likely in the future.
Research and Analysis
If you are doing MUN right, you are by now an expert in research. And not that research that ends up on Wikipedia only, but in-depth research. Going through reports systematically, analyzing those legal documents. And most of all, you are not only searching and compiling newly gained knowledge, you are also able to make sense of it and use it to your advantage. You, as an MUNer, take your research a step further than many students do in classes - you are trying to turn what you read into actions and discuss those in the committee. Analytical thinking and ability to find information you need will turn out to be your selling points in the next job interview.
Have you ever had the chance to deal with a crisis simulation during an MUN? Then you are certainly aware of how flexibility is needed when working at a fully-fledged MUN. You are taken out of your routine and have to react quickly to sudden changes, all while keeping in mind the newly gained knowledge. And even if you have not yet had the pleasure, flexibility is what you prove every minute in session. This is not a one-man-show, your speech is not the only one being held today. You need to react quickly and in an appropriate way to what other delegates propose and to what the chairs or the Secretary-General might require. All that under time pressure and usually a lack of sleep. You have not gotten your dream position, but still went to that conference - you are flexible, you take up a challenge rather than backing out.
Maybe not at first, but during your MUN career, you will get to know MUN leaders, those that drive the debate, or experienced chairs who show you how to lead a big crowd of individual delegates towards a common goal. Become a leader is a long and rough path, but MUN can most definitely help you here - you are doing it already when you speak up in the session, demanding your voice to be heard. And you take it from there - heading your delegation or chairing a debate. This shows that you can deal with the pressures exerted on you as a leader, but also that it takes more than assigned role to succeed as a leader. Management skills, dealing with differences and still standing your ground will come in handy in the future - and all that you casually learn by doing: Being an active participant at that MUN conference.
What else have you learned? What experiences have you made on the local and international job market when you talked about your MUN life? Share it with us in the comment section!