Anna Goodman, The Civitatis International Global Thinking Summer School (2013)

Course: BA International Relations, Second Year.

Event: The Civitatis International Global Thinking Summer School (29 July - 02 August 2013)

This summer I was accepted on to a five day programme with the global policy think tank- Civitatis. The Global Thinking Summer School was aimed at future leaders, and was design to help prepare and equip us for a career in policy and politics. There were no more than 10 students per summer school and it was based in the centre of the City of London with one day on the 37th floor of One Canada Square in Canary Wharf (incredible views). We discussed, debated and presented on a wide variety of global issues such as peak oil, limits to growth, drones and international space programmes.

Every day each student would have to make at least two presentations to the group whilst being filmed.  This was part of our media training- learning to speak coherently and confidently without the presence of the camera affecting us. We would be questioned after our presentations, ensuring we knew our topic well and then be given feedback on how we could improve our speaking style and techniques. After doing this a total of ten times throughout the week, I had could address both the group and the camera with poise and clarity.

Another invaluable skill I learnt was how to write a briefing paper fit for any politician. We had a seminar that detailed the necessities of a good briefing paper and then given a comprehensive ‘How To’ guide. After this we were set our first briefing paper to be written on the Club of Rome’s report on the Limits to Growth and given a time limit of three hours. I found this the most challenging yet most beneficial part of the summer school. Following this we were set another two briefing papers in the week and the quality of my work had improved greatly.

Being surrounded by like minded people with similar career goals and discussing global issues intensely from 9am to 5pm every day confirmed my aim to become a diplomat and equipped me with important skills I wouldn’t have learnt otherwise that will set me apart from competitors in the near future.

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