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GLP in the times of COVID

By Swazi Sharma, Bachelor of Medical Sciences

I came to Macquarie University because it offered something that none of the other universities offered - The Global Leadership Program!

I got an offer via the Global Leadership Entry Program (now known as the Macquarie Leaders and Achievers Program). Having come from regional NSW, I wanted to take the time to settle in. As a result, I did not explore the Global Leadership Program (GLP) in my first year. At the start of 2020, we experienced what most of us haven’t in our lifetime – THE COVID-19.

COVID-19 meant that I had to complete my Global Leadership Program online. If I am being completely honest, I did not think I’d get a lot out of completing the program online. But I was wrong. Though I have not had the opportunity to attend a face-to-face Colloquium or a Cultural Day, I have had plenty of opportunities to gain the leadership skills required in a globalised world. The online Colloquia I have had the privilege to attend have been really interactive and worthwhile. In addition, I have been provided with opportunities to hear from very inspiring people during the Foreign Affairs Speaker Series and Innovative Leader Speaker Series. Every single person, be it a presenter or a fellow student, that I have heard from has given me a better insight into global challenges, motivated me, and inspired me to do better and become a global citizen. Thus, despite having to complete the majority of the program online, the GLP has given me the opportunities to undertake many experiences and activities that I would never normally have the chance to be a part of.

With that being said, I have also been a part of a few but incredibly rewarding face-to-face activities as well. I served as an executive for Macquarie University Exchange Society (MACEX), where I have had the opportunity to meet people from various backgrounds. In turn, this has improved my cultural understanding and communication skills. The incredible team of staff running the GLP have provided me with endless volunteering opportunities, allowing me to become involved in fundraising programs for charities and organisations I am passionate about.

I will soon be starting the final semester of my undergraduate degree, and I think my university experience would not have been so holistic had I not been a part of the GLP. I decided to do the program because I thought it would help me stand out from the crowd and become the well-rounded individual that employers want to hire. But the program offers so much more than that. Despite having to do the program in the times of COVID, the GLP has helped me develop skills and networks that I will need to advance, not only in my professional life but in my personal life as well. The Global Leadership Program has made me a conscious global leader and citizen.


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