January 20, 2011
HEC Montréal BBA students certainly show leadership and commitment. In fact, 13 of them are hoping to take part in a unique experience that will take them all the way to Singapore, from March 14 to 18, for the Harvard World Model United Nations (WMUN). This would be the first HEC Montréal team to attend the event, and it should be noted that it is primarily a student initiative, driven by their desire to meet other international students in a wonderfully enriching context.
The WMUN is a simulated United Nations designed to train participants in international negotiations, aimed at promoting human rights, but also communication skills, international relations and diplomacy. Students play the role of ambassadors or External Affairs ministers, joining in simulations of international deliberations at the UN. The world-renowned event draws 2,000 students from over 270 universities in 65 countries.
The HEC Montréal delegation is being supervised by Assistant Professor Ekaterina Turkina, with the Department of International Business. Although the actual simulation lasts only a few days, students must prepare themselves months in advance so as to arrive perfectly ready for the conference. In the coming weeks, the 13 students will have to learn about the country they will be representing, i.e. Jordan. They will brush up on the country’s different positions on a variety of issues ranging from agriculture and tariff barriers in international trade to development rights in a globalized economy. The delegates will not only have to express themselves solely in English, but will have to draw on their negotiating and interpersonal skills and bear in mind their strategy in keeping with the team’s action plan. The simulation is much more than an exercise in diplomacy: it offers a chance to hone their knowledge in the areas of management, economics and politics, in an exciting and highly competitive environment.
Participating in this prestigious annual conference calls for a major financial commitment, of course. One aspect of their participation involves raising $20,000 to cover their travel costs. Several fundraising activities have been organized for this purpose, and anyone wishing to contribute can visit the sponsorship page of their website, www.hecworldmun.com. The students are counting on the generosity of the HEC Montréal community, and want to remind everyone that even small donations are welcome and can be made on-line with complete security. A great adventure has begun for a group of bright and motivated students. Best of luck to them!