The skills outlined in global leadership are skills required by true leaders. This is to say that true leaders are not just leaders in a hierarchical sense, but are also true friends and teammates.

Global leadership competencies such as cultural awareness, learning from experiences, maintaining relationships, and communication are all traits that I have realized that I need to improve in both the social and academic contexts of Duke. I’ve realized that maintaining supportive interpersonal relationships in college is sometimes much harder than any class that I have taken. In terms of my professional goals, these competencies, processes, and challenges that global leaders must develop and address are essential in not only fulfilling my career goals in working towards ethical cross cultural inquiry in health-related research and communications, but also in fulfilling my personal goals of being a supportive friend, colleague, and family member. I think that I still have room to grow in developing all of these competencies, but I also know that I am beginning to build a solid foundation to continue to build upon.

I view the growth that I have experienced so far as a product of simply maturing. My all-or-nothing mindset that defined me in high school is slowly dissolving, and I have developed mechanisms to face ambiguity, communicate effectively and compromise when needed as a result. Especially entering college during the pandemic, I feel that I was forced to learn that things rarely go according to plan. There are wifi connectivity issues, new variants, new COVID protocols. These are maybe not my happiest memories, but they have come with the positive outcome of new perspectives that are perhaps more amenable to true global leadership.

I do hope to continue to build upon my leadership skills. I value my introspective nature, and I see it as a valuable asset to continue developing leadership skills. I think I also want to take more calculated risks in trying to incorporate these leadership practices into my life. Engaging in practices such as stakeholder dialogue has always been somewhat intimidating. I think that practices such as these benefit from trying new things and taking note of where there is room for improvement. I aim to strike a balance required of many global leaders to take risks, adhere to my values, remain open-minded, conscious of connections and similarities between people while celebrating differences. Perfection in global leadership is by no means something I think I can achieve in my two remaining years at Duke, but I consider global leadership to be more than an academic or professional goal that exists during my time as a Global Fellow. Instead, it is a matter of personal development that I hope to carry with me for the rest of my life.