IMAGINE BEING the first leader ever to participate in
an international event. Here's a woman, Joo Soo-yeon (Sr., Dept. of Political
Science & International Studies), who has done just that. Last March, Joo
participated in the Model UN Conference as a leader of the Yonsei team, the
first Korean team ever. The Model UN is an international event which takes place
annually at the UN Headquarters in New York and involves around 213 universities
from 100 countries. The Annals fortunately seized a chance to hear this unusual
Annals: Why did you decide to participate in the
Model UN Conference? Also, how did you become the leader of the
first decided to participate after hearing from my senior, who is studying in
France, that he had an amazing experience as a member of the French team. My
friends in my department and I were driven by his advice and formed a team to
join. We also had to choose a leader who could keep in touch with the NCCA
(National Collegiate Conference Association), an organization that conducts the
Model UN. I was selected as the leader because my English was the closest to
that of a native speaker due to my sojourn abroad for nine years.
Annals: What did your team do in the Model
Joo: Our team had to act like representatives from Uruguay, the country
assigned to us. At the conference, we were required to pass resolutions related
to the agendas such as "AIDS and Its Prevention" with other countries in South
America. The process was exactly the same as the real UN conference.
Annals: Did you have any special responsibilities as
Joo: I had to take care of the academic and financial matters
which included organizing all the team meetings and schedules to prepare for the
conference. However, managing the financial part was definitely my hardest job
because most Korean governments and companies did not know about the Model UN.
For effective fundraising, I formed a separate team, which focused on getting
sponsors. Meanwhile, I was also in charge of dealing with all the media
Annals: What do you think is the most important
ability for a successful Model UN experience?
Joo: Good communication skills
are absolutely the most important. Our team needed them in order to persuade
others to support us, which we clearly lacked. For example, although our team
and the German team had similar English abilities as non-native English
speakers, the German team was much better than us because of their perfect
diplomatic mindsets and excellent communication skills.
to study more about my current major in graduate school and hopefully work at an
international organization for the Third World.
While interviewing Joo, my writing hand had to move
faster than ever to keep up with her enlightening stories. Already a pioneer as
a mere university student, I expect that she will bring another groundbreaking
story to keep my hand busy in the future.
Sr., Dept. of Political Science & International
Leader of 2005 Yonsei Delegations for
Model United Nations