"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." - Vincent T. Lombardi
Three students from SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University) represented India, at the Harvard National Modal United Nations (HNMUN) 2012, happened in Boston from February 16 to February 19, 2012. Nikhilesh Ravi, the final year student of MBA and the head delegate lead the 3 member team to this prestigious forum, accompanied by Ashwini Balasundaram, a first year student of MBA and Ram Nitesh Jaldu, a final year engineering student from SRM. The students were guided and mentored by a faculty member, Prof. Ponniah of the Department of Business Administration
HNMUN is the largest, oldest, and most prestigious conference of its kind, bringing over 3,000 students and faculty together from colleges and universities around the world to simulate the activities of the United Nations. HNMUN offers a unique opportunity to experience the challenges of international negotiation and diplomacy. Student delegates gain insight into the workings of the United Nations by actively participating in the resolution of important global issues. Participants not only work with hundreds of other motivated college students with the common goals of furthering international awareness and building consensus, but also work within a lively social setting.
The four incredible days of MUN that allows the exchange of spirit, passion, and knowledge each participant brings to the table, is truly inspiring which further paves way for a productive debate on world issues. The students were assigned as representative delegates of Angola, an African country. Each of the students was aligned to specific world councils from where they will have to debate, negotiate, present bold and creative solutions to some of the most pressing global crisis. While Ashwini represented Social, Humanitarian and Cultural committee under the General Assembly, Nikhilesh represented the World Health Organization (WHO) and Nitesh was a part of Political and de-colonization council.
The students returned back with the natural and inevitable confidence and the knowledge that comes along with an ultimate international experience such as HNMUN. An early exposure to the world affairs, the varied rich culture that each of the participant brings along, the team spirit, the art of appreciating fellow mate, the spirit of diplomacy and camaraderie are just few of the values that gets imbibed with the result of team work.
The whole process of applying for the conference, writing abstracts and the rest of the ground work involved for the selection process, the joy of getting to know about the approvals, the travel process, the research one has to undertake in order to come to speed with the economic, social, and the cultural dynamics of the representing country - Angola, the public speaking experience to a target audience that comprised international student community and representatives from worldwide institutions, the learning from the mistakes committed, the motivation and encouragement such recognitions received, have been the important take away's for the students, as quoted by them.
A few of the highlights of the delegation:
The opening ceremony of the conference was started off with a video collage made from varied video clippings. It is worth mentioning that amongst the thousands of videos that were submitted to the HNMUN council, only a select few were played to the audience. It indeed was a moment of exhilaration to see the video shot at the SRM campus being one of the select few to be screened to the entire delegation.
The crowning glory of this successful trip was certainly the "Special Recognition" for the SRM student delegates for their wonderful performance on their representing country Angola. HNMUN extends five special recognitions to the participating teams in recognition for their overall performance. To be selected as one amongst the 155 participating nations is certainly a matter of pride for the students of SRM.
The energized and the successful team of three have not only brought laurels to SRM in particular, but have made India proud through their participation and contribution in this celebrated forum. We hope to see the rest of the students' community of SRM to draw inspiration from the team.
It is important to note, the period of education is the threshold of one's life and it is important to focus and channelize your energy towards positive participations and contributions such as these, because opportunities are all around, there is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it.