Over the course of the Humphrey Seminar, we’ve dissected a lot of social, political and cultural questions. From this, I’ve tried to distill a way to succeed in personal and professional goals.
Dialogue was probably the overarching lesson I got from the seminar. We all came from different backgrounds, and Kunal and Shabbir even talked about overcoming their own perceptions of each other’s countries.
That’s both powerful and productive. My global view definitely changed as we all reconciled the strengths and challenges of our countries. I thought our debates about the expectations of a global brand were equally compelling, and helped sort out what we can expect from ourselves and what we should share with others.
The US Presidential election was hard to cover and sometimes even harder to follow. Journalists and civilians alike had trouble anticipating the results. Our international fellows, however, brought unique insights to the process by discussing their country’s politics.
Leo talking about Alexander Lukashenko, for example, is an entirely different view of government than a lot of us have here. The fellows looked closely at but were not too close to the election, and that kind of perspective is valuable.
Claude, Laura and Connor and I come from different backgrounds and different professional inclinations. Discussing sustainability and moral challenges is a different way to get to know each other than most experiences, but it worked out. Delegating amongst ourselves and playing to our strengths resulted in really interesting conclusions and ideas.
Bringing in the Murrow Fellows, different guest speakers and even Dean Callahan, helped us stay fresh and not keep our ideas insulated. All this goes to show the value in effective teams, but also the importance of opening those teams up.
I wasn’t sure I’d have time to do the Humphrey Seminar, but I found time in my schedule, recognizing the value this course would bring. Surrounded by prestigious international journalists and other Barrett students, it would have been easy to feel intimated and be under-involved. However, I did my best participate every time I had the chance. Needless to say, even though it’s hard to make specific plans for the future, even though we can’t anticipate the challenges, we can set ourselves up for success.
Learning all this has been a sincere pleasure, and I anticipate the lessons to be a consistent advantage as I move on to the next challenge.