Laureate Education sponsorship to the Clinton Foundation has allowed, among other things, the attendance and participation of several of the students from the Laureate International Universities’ network to the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative or the university-oriented version of the event. This year, I was one of the three lucky interviewers and live presenters that represented over 1.000.000 students from over 80 universities in 28 countries during the live broadcast of this year’s CGI. This is why I believe this experience has been (and will be) very valuable for me.
What did I have to do at CGI 2015?
For a nineteen years old undergraduate International Business and International Relations student from Spain, being able to attend a big and worldwide-known event like CGI annual meeting held in such an attractive city like New York is a dream come true. Not only because of the possibility of meeting several of the world leaders that participate, speak and create commitments during this event, but also because of the very professional and international nature of the experience itself. Not doubts about it: it was a learning experience since I landed in JFK airport.
My role while CGI was taking place in the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel was to work with a wonderful team of over 15 people from all over the world to make it possible for students at their home university to get a good insight of what was taking place over there. In short, we had to bring CGI to their university, and that included the interviews and the plenary sessions, alongside some discussion about the topics with the participation of the students using the so-popular-now social media. Without a question, my role was very relevant as I had to face the spectators and bear a great responsibility in the smooth running of the broadcast.
During these days I have grown both professionally and personally
During these days, I have grown both professionally and personally, if they can be distinguished clearly one from the other. I have had to face a lot of pressure with almost impossible time management and learn verbal and non-verbal communication strategies during restless nights. A pressure that also came from interviews that were prepared literally five minutes in advance because they arose very much spontaneously. Imagine being told you are going to interview a former US Secretary of State in three minutes. That actually happened to me. And, lucky me, I managed to have the situation under total control. Learning is also knowing how to face important challenges like that.
I believe the experience has also been very valuable thanks to the need of having to face a camera. To be honest, I had never had to talk to the lens of a camera and this experience made me have to do it non-stop during four days. Certainly, I have confidence that this broadcast has given me a lot of experience and confidence in myself that will be really useful in the near future. I also think we were able to bring our energy, passion and our best know-how to the several thousand of viewers that were following the event online from all over the world. From the dozens of comments and feedback I have been able to get, we added value to the broadcast and were able to make it more interesting for students. I can only be proud about it and willing to keep improving with other similar experiences.
How I got to attend CGI?
I have always wanted to attend an event like this before finishing my undergraduate studies. I believe it gives students a good insight of how international events are managed and provide very good contacts for the future. If you are able to stand out among so many people for this world leaders your career may take a big step forward with internships and opportunities. I have been able to do it in the very beginning of my second year of studies. That, by itself, is also a big step forward.
I applied to participate in this year’s CGI with a true willingness to be selected as Student Anchor but with few expectations that I would get such a great opportunity. After all, there were a lot of applicants from all the Laureate network. After completing several written interviews about what I do and why CGI would be valuable for me, a video explaining why I had to be selected and several tough online interviews, I finally got the final confirmation message stating that I had been chosen as one of the only three Student Anchors that will attend the event.
It has been a tiring but enriching experience that allowed me to gain practical experience
Since that moment, I have been researching about the event, the participants, watching videos from previous years and preparing the most probable interviews. It has been a tiring but enriching experience that allowed me to gain practical experience in preparing and doing interviews but also a lot of confidence in myself and my possibilities. I have been told it was the passion and willingness to do my best at the event that I showed in the video that made me get selected. I hope that passion I have for what I do, alongside the needed technical skills, can drive me to a good future in the area of business and international politics.
Who I had the opportunity to interview at CGI?
We scheduled several interviews throughout the days of CGI, but many other interviews just popped up during our broadcast in the special booth that we had in the ballroom in the second floor. Some of the most remarkable interviews I was able to perform included the Former Secretary of State in the US Madeline Albright, Clinton Foundation board member Chelsea Clinton or the Former US Representative and human rights activist Jesse Jackson.
I also had the opportunity to interview Yang Lan, one of the most popular asian journalists or very well known actor like Ted Danson whose work raising awareness for oceans conservation is still unfortunately unknown. I also value greatly the opportunity of meeting and interviewing the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Laureate Doug Becker.
I have no doubt that my participation in this event and the responsibilities I have had to face will help me become a better professional international affairs and will open me a door to a better future. That alone has made the experience worth all the effort. I believe the world needs ambitious people to overcome the challenges that will come in the close future. For that, I will put all my work and strengths, as I am already doing, to be part of that very small group of people that leave a trace in the future with their actions. This was a very big step, no doubt about it, but it was only one of the several that will come.