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How to use the GLP to diversify your university experience

Ali is a GLP student in his final year of a Bachelor of Medical Sciences. This year you might see him out and about on campus or at one of our events in his role as a GLP Student Representative.

My GLP experience so far has been very rewarding, an immense learning experience that has helped me shape my identity and grow from my experiences. I’ve learnt valuable skills from the Innovative Leader Series and and colloquia. My Experiential Credit activities have given me new perspectives and an appreciation in considering different sides of a story.

When I first started in the Program, I heard how people undertook the GLP to complement their degree. However, I always made sure that my academic studies and GLP activities were separate. I believe that there is little benefit in doing extra-curricular activities that only focus on one experience. This is why, as a science student, I didn’t do a single science activity for my GLP (sort of…I did take an online course in climate change).

This wasn’t because science and GLP aren’t compatible, but because I wanted to truly maximise what the GLP had to offer, independent of my coursework. Though this may sound difficult, I found it surprisingly manageable. Here are some tips and tricks that I wish I had known at the start of the Program:

  • Ask, ask, ask

  • Set up meetings with your advisor

  • Read the GLP fortnightly newsletter, Upcoming Opportunities

  • Always look for opportunities

Ask, ask, ask The amount of emails I sent my advisor and the GLP team asking if something was eligible, or if I could do “x” instead of “y”, or if an activity would be applicable for some code was huge, and I got a reply to every single one. If I wasn’t sure if an activity was applicable after checking the Experiential Credit Table, I would ask my advisor. Asking these questions before I undertook an activity ensured I maximised my limited time in my busy degree.

Set up regular meetings with your advisor I set up regular meetings with my GLP advisor to discuss my GLP progress. Sometimes the GLP can seem like a daunting task and I would think that there was no way I could finish it. Talking to someone about it helps put the multi-faceted program into perspective. In fact, as I am typing, I am looking at my calendar to find a suitable date to meet with my advisor! In all my meetings, my advisor and I would go through the Experiential Credit codes I had acquired, those that I am currently applying for, those that I am currently in the process of completing and those that I would potentially like to complete. Then my advisor would make suggestions for activities or where to look for other opportunities, providing me with a boost in confidence.

Read the GLP weekly newsletter, Upcoming Opportunities The GLP Upcoming Opportunities is an awesome tool that helped me complete my Experiential Credit. My WriteWISE mentoring, community service, a conference in International Humanitarian Law and refugee and human rights seminars were ALL listed in Upcoming Opportunities. This newsletter, along with the Facebook Group, is in part responsible for 90 of my credit points! So be sure to fully utilise this resource!

Always look for opportunities It is also essential you keep a look out for opportunities. The almighty Google has everything. In my search for GLP activities, I found myself two internships and an on-campus job. Though they weren’t eligible for points, I have given myself an advantage in the job market, by taking initiative and being a leader of my own success. By keeping one eye open, I found many opportunities to gain valuable points and experiences.

I would like to conclude my ramblings by sharing some advice I gave to students at an orientation for the Global Leadership Entry Program last year.

The GLP awards initiative.

The GLP awards the organised individuals who show initiative and strive for success. Organised initiative is taking carefully planned steps to ensure triumph. This is different from unorganised initiative- random applications here and there and hoping for the best. I used to be an unorganised initiator. That leads to using time and energy which could have been aimed towards success. Now, I choose organised initiative by asking for help. I choose organised initiative by meeting my advisor. I choose organised initiative by being on the lookout for amazing opportunities. It is because of these organised initiatives that I am awarded by the GLP.

So my dear GLPers, please take the leap. Choose organised initiative and plan for success. I promise the GLP will reward you with friendships and experiences. Dare yourselves to achieve something great.

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