Claire Kilpatrick, a Business Management student from Queen’s, recently took part in our Global Leadership Programme in Hong Kong. Here is what she learned.
Recently I travelled with 25 other Queen’s students to Hong Kong for the Global Leadership Programme. We explored the city, networked with businesses and undertook a leadership challenge.
Hong Kong is described as the place where East meets West. Here, diverse cultures collide and produce a distinct atmosphere that makes you feel at home yet in a different world. It was therefore the perfect place to learn about culture and leadership.
The entire trip was an eye-opener in so many ways, here are a few things that stood out…
Lesson 1: Networking can be fun
Previously my feelings toward networking were pretty negative. In fact, I hated it. I felt it was an awkward, intimidating and boring exercise. However, over the course of the trip I found that networking can be natural, interesting and even fun (although that may have been the free wine!).
Most importantly I learnt that networking begins at home – reaching out to fellow students is just as important as meeting new people. The diverse group of QUB students made this trip an excellent opportunity to connect with people I may never have met throughout my time at Queens, and I value that opportunity and my new friendships greatly.
Lesson 2: Everyone is a leader
As a business student I think about leadership a lot. Typically, the word tends to conjure images of a single, powerful person who has all of the answers. The Global Leadership programme helped me understand that I have the opportunity to be a leader in all situations, just in different ways. I learnt how to lead through times of uncertainty, something relevant for everyone and not just business students.
Lesson 3: Cross cultural experiences are a path to growth
Whether it be an internship in Madrid, volunteering as an international peer mentor or through a Global Leadership programme, learning happens best when we are out of our comfort zones and our minds are more open to new ideas and ways of thinking. While it may sometimes be difficult, it will almost always be worth it!
Lesson 4: I’m hungry for more international experience
Next year, I will study International Business in America through the Study USA programme. I can’t wait to experience a new culture and I’m full of anticipation for all the new lessons this year will bring!
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