Virtual Summer Schools: Zack’s Placement

I have had the brilliant opportunity to complete the Global Leadership and Innovation Program with the University of California Berkeley (USA). This programme was truly enlightening.

The tools and awareness for intercultural collaboration and leadership that have been passed down will and have had a huge impact on my career and daily life. Being a part of this international learning community and having the chance to interact, share and build our understandings together was amazing.

I have witnessed that while our backgrounds definitely don’t define us, they are an integral part of the experience of our lifetime and we should embrace this. The Oxycontin levels where high as we discovered the neuroscience of sharing and the skill of appreciation, it was amazing to have the chance to share a similarity with someone who lives on the complete opposite side of the earth!

I was unaware of design-thinking before this programme, however it is a mindset/process of iteration and exploration that can be and has been implemented directly to my innovation. The principles for me are rooted in every-day life and career, for example applying ‘curiosity is better than judgement’ and ‘Learning by doing’ have allowed me to not be threatened by situations I would once find daunting. By viewing situations now as constructive rather than intimidating, it has allowed me to access so much more learning.

Learning about varying international leadership and de-escalation styles was vital because understanding someone else’s experience is so important in our current world. The Global Leadership and innovation programme has allowed me to access and utilise empathy of experience to create strong bonds and a successful, enjoyable working environment.

It has given me greater understanding of myself, the globe and individuality and I am so thankful to University of California Berkeley – International House Berkeley – Robertson Centre for Intercultural Leadership for this opportunity.

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