Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend a global conference on the governance and management of natural resources, such as oil, gas and coal, in Lima (Peru). I was part of a group of six students and two lecturers who were sponsored by the Global Leadership Initiative
Looking back on it now, I can truly say it was an invaluable experience and really helped to develop my knowledge of this crucial issue. I was able to actively engage with government representatives and other state officials as they discussed the role of relevant legislative bodies. It also allowed me to put the theory I had learnt in class into practice. I learnt more about public policy in a two-hour workshop than I probably would have in half a semester of classes! It also helped in ways I hadn’t even imagined before, such as improving my time management (juggling coursework with pre-conference reading and research wasn't easy!) and teamwork skills.
Part of my sponsorship agreement with the GLI was to write a short summary and blog piece on what I learned from the conference, putting my writing skills to the test in two very different ways. And they must have been good, as they were published by the Global Policy Journal – a well-known publisher amongst policy analysts and scholars. You can read the pieces here.
I would encourage all postgraduate students to look out for such opportunities throughout the year. Besides the academic and transferable skills you’ll gain, there are also the practical knowledge and the opportunity to network, travel and see the world as well. It’s also a great opportunity to appreciate diversity amidst academics. I believe education is not only taught in the classroom, but that the best classroom is the world…... Let’s get out there and learn!
Winfred Syombua, MA Governance and Public Policy