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Reflecting on My Journey in the Global Leadership Program

By Liam Weir, Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) with the degree of Bachelor of Speech, Hearing and Language Sciences

My journey within the Global Leadership Program started as most memorable experiences do, with a spontaneous decision. While in the midst of submitting a flurry of university applications, I came across a pathway to get into Macquarie University through the Global Leadership Program. Having nothing to lose by applying, I applied and was accepted. At the time, I was overwhelmed with joy and relief at having been accepted into Macquarie and the GLP faded into the background.

As the years passed in my degree, my thrive account sat; lonely, unused, and neglected. By the time my final semester rolled around, I had submitted a grand total of 0 credit applications and had only done 5 of the required colloquia. Little did I know that in this, my final semester, the GLP would reemerge from the shadows to become a source of much consternation, excitement, and ultimately a profound sense of achievement.

As with every good journey, preparation is key. First and foremost, the GLP guidebook. This document was my number one resource which acted as an invaluable roadmap while completing the GLP. I constantly referred to the guidebook, scouring through its pages to find the experiential codes I was interested in and which I thought were possible to complete in the limited time I had.

Second, the weekly GLP emails outlining upcoming opportunities. This is another fantastic resource that I took full advantage of, as it provided a plethora of opportunities. These emails provided the relevant links and information for activities aligned with experiential codes, making finding activities that much easier.

Last but not least, the GLP advisors. At many points during this semester, I felt unsure of what to do and felt like I might not be able to complete the GLP. Whenever these doubts crept in, I would contact the GLP advisors and they would go above and beyond to help me with any questions I had. Without them and their dedication to the program, I doubt I could have completed the GLP.

Having charted my course with a combination of all these resources, I set out to earn as many experiential points as I could in the limited time I had. Looking back on this last semester, there are two activities that encapsulate my experience within the GLP. These were the Cultural Insights Day to Chinatown and Thai Town, and the online Coursera course ‘An Introduction to Global Health’.

The Cultural Insights Day to Chinatown and Thai Town reflects the Global Leadership Program's ability to immerse you in new and exciting experiences. Starting with a walking tour from Soul of Chinatown and followed by a briefing from the City of Sydney, I was able to learn about Chinatown's rich cultural history and the challenges and opportunities facing the area in the future. After this, we had lunch, participated in a mock Amazing Race, and had a lesson in Kung Fu. Ending the day in the Chinese Gardens, we were able to reflect on the day and develop a deeper understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication and foster a more global perspective.

While the Cultural Insight Day reflects the program's potential for adventure, the Coursera course ‘An Introduction to Global Health’ reflects the flexibility of the program. Like many of the activities you can do, this course was completely online. This provided a flexible and self-paced learning experience which allowed me to complete the course without sacrificing other commitments. In addition to this, the ability to choose activities that align with your personal interests while still fostering the GLP core values of leading for self and others, innovation, social and environmental sustainability and a global mindset is a significant benefit of the program.

Now as I stand at the summit of my achievements and look back on everything I have done in the program, I cannot help but feel a deep sense of fulfillment. When I started this journey, the odds seemed insurmountable. Despite the challenges and setbacks I faced, I persevered, and I know now that every ounce of effort was worth it in the end because it has paid off in ways I never could have imagined. In stepping out of my comfort zone, I have experienced a new side of university life, growing and doing more than I ever thought was possible.

So, if you are sitting there reading this and debating whether the GLP is worth the effort, I can wholeheartedly say that it is. Not only is it something extra you can put on your resume at the end of your degree, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that you are capable of more than you know, will have made more than a few unique and unforgettable memories, and will leave the program as a more experienced and well-rounded graduate with a global outlook that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.


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