A Leadership Program for Duke Students with A Global Mindset

Month: April 2022

Final Intercultural Journal Entry

I have learned a number of things throughout my time in the Global Fellows Program, all of which have certainly helped me to further develop my intercultural competency. Namely, the program has allowed me to become a more effective leader in multicultural spaces, acknowledge cultural differences more constructively, and simply become a more culturally aware and receptive individual. I have explored the different types of leadership approaches and what renders each of them successful given contextual and scope-of-oversight differences. Through the program, my communication and teamwork abilities have been enhanced, as well. The experiences that have most significantly contributed to this are organizing events in the Leadership Track, my time with my language partners, and speaking with Rita Masese about topics related to global health and healthcare, more generally.

As someone who hopes to pursue a career within healthcare, intercultural competency is something that is absolutely integral to serving as an effective healthcare worker but is often overlooked in education and the workplace. In moving forward both professionally and personally, I hope to apply many of the things I’ve garnered throughout the Global Fellows Program and continue to work to develop my intercultural skills, communication, and leadership, and I would ultimately like to develop some sort of educational intervention to be used for pre-medical or medical students so as to enhance intercultural competency. I’m not entirely sure what that educational intervention would look like as of now, but it is something that I would like to work on throughout the next year. I think it would also be great to be able to work with future cohorts of Global Fellows and speak about my experiences with intercultural competency in the healthcare setting, in particular. This program has been amazing, and I would like to thank everyone involved for making it so fantastic!

Intercultural Journal Entry 4

The Global Fellows Program has helped me develop many of the soft skills that are often talked about in career development.

I built on my organizational communication skills with my team of Global Fellows throughout our efforts organizing Global Engagement Nights as well as cross-cultural communication skills through language partners and English Conversation Club. I’ve learned that communication must always come with a prerequisite of respect. And while communication implies talking and writing, I would argue that listening is sometimes the most important part of effective communication. As a Global Fellow, I’ve discovered when to center my voice in a conversation and when to take a step back.

Teamwork was especially relevant throughout the planning process for Global Engagement Nights. Distributing tasks according to individual strengths and bandwidth was central to the success of these events. Professionalism and technology skills were also essential to be flexible during the event and adapt to changing situations. For example, during our first trivia night, we had a higher turnout than expected. However, thanks to the diligence of our team, we were able to have a very enjoyable and successful night.

The NACE Competencies of a Career-Ready Workforce are far from separate from each other. Competencies like equity and inclusion are essential to incorporate into communication, teamwork, and leadership. Equity and inclusion in particular is a skill that is central to the Global Fellows Program. Centering this tenant of equity and inclusion was essential to build relationships, interact with meaningful conversation, and feel connected as a team and global Duke community.

I feel confident that the Global Fellows Program has pushed me to cultivate essential career competencies that I will continue to develop, refine, and apply throughout my Duke and professional careers.

Entry 4 – Intercultural Journal

The Global Fellows Program (GFP) has undoubtedly prepared me to be a more effective cross-cultural communicator and leader, and it has afforded me an excellence space in which I have been able to foster some important skills related to each of these things. Moreover, some of my experiences throughout the GFP have allowed me to identify fundamental intercultural competencies that are integral to my future career as a healthcare professional. In looking at the NACE Competencies for a Career-Ready Workforce, which include Career & Self-Development, Communication, Critical Thinking, Equity & Inclusion, Leadership, Professionalism, Teamwork, and Technology, I believe that the GFP most helped me to develop communication, equity and inclusion, leadership, and teamwork.

Through the various workshops and events organized during the Leadership facet of the program, I was able to form meaningful connections with others while enhancing my ability to effectively communicate with other members of my team. In planning events, in particular, my leadership abilities were furthered, and the GFP greatly readied me to be a more efficacious leader within multicultural spaces. Having various Language Partners throughout the duration of the program also markedly improved my communication abilities, and it allowed me to become more aware of my own orientation in regard to intercultural competency, as well as the areas in which I could improve. The aim of the program, more generally, worked to develop equity and inclusion within all Fellows, and this was applied in the events that we both organized and took part in. Participation in the GFP has rendered me more interculturally competent, and there are many things that I have garnered through my experiences in the program that I hope to carry with me beyond Duke and into my personal and professional pursuits as I move forward.

Entry 3 – Intercultural Journal

Though I was not able to attend the meeting with the international students and scholars, I later reached out to Rita Masese, an Associate in Research at the Duke School of Nursing, to discuss her international and professional experiences. Rita is a Kenyan native with a background in medicine from the University of Nairobi and a Masters in Global Health from Duke University, and she is primarily interested in developing and enhancing interventions focused primarily on mitigating disparities within healthcare. Being as I hope to eventually attend medical school and some of my extracurricular involvements have focused specifically on the topic of disparities within the American healthcare system, I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to speak with Rita about her experiences.

One of the things that stood out to me was a comment that Rita made on the limited impact that physicians have, which is something that I’ve considered quite extensively. She mentioned that serving as a doctor really only lets one impact the patient in front of them, but she aspired to have a much broader impact within medicine and healthcare, more generally; this is the reason for which she eventually decided upon pursuing a career in global health. Something else that we discussed was how the United States is considered to be the “land of plenty”, but it is not equitable in many ways, especially when it comes to healthcare. Fundamentally, people aren’t familiar with many facets of the healthcare system, and there are also more basic issues such as a lack of transportation to and from clinics or hospitals, which many individuals don’t even consider when thinking about the structural flaws of our system. Rita noted that she believed that one of the biggest issues pervading our healthcare system is that of insurance, and it is particularly salient because many people within the nation are living paycheck-to-paycheck. One can get anything that they want as long as they are able to afford it, but even if an individual is able to access various things, they must be able to continue to access them. The most basic things, such as insulin, are incredibly expensive without insurance, and continued access to such resources is crucial for the wellbeing of many individuals, but this is often overlooked and marginalized.

When speaking about how intercultural competence ties into healthcare and serving as an effective healthcare provider, Rita commented on something that is incredibly important to keep in mind. She mentioned that, although one may be well-meaning in the things that they do and genuinely attempting to help those in other communities, it is of paramount importance to make an effort to see the world through others’ eyes as opposed to how we see it from our own perspective. There are many instances in which groups of people may not actually want the help that you are attempting to offer, and healthcare providers should take the time to interact with and understand the people that they are serving. Rita told me that, “to be more culturally competent is to be more immersed in the culture, to further one’s capacity to be open-minded”, and I certainly agree with this. To put it succinctly, Rita stated that “the point is not to bring fish but to teach people how to fish.”

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén