A Leadership Program for Duke Students with A Global Mindset

Author: Ashley Bae

Final Intercultural Journal Entry

The Global Fellows Program has been one of my favorite parts of Duke. Not only have I learned a lot, I’ve also met incredible people. I’ve had the privilege of being introduced to a wonderful community at Duke, and for that, I am so grateful.

The Global Fellows Program has reminded me of the value of being able to meet new people. Although there are many parts of this program that may have been altered to adhere to COVID guidelines, being able to meet my language face to face, going to English Conversation Club in person, having trainings while eating food was a highlight of my semester. It was a small part of the overall program, but I am so glad I was able to engage in-person.

The Global Fellows Program has taught me that there is reward in taking my time. Being an undergraduate at Duke, there is so much to rush through. We have to rush through our T-reqs, get a summer internship, and figure out our majors. In taking my time to get to know my language partners, people at the English Conversation Club, I have built relationships I will value for the rest of my life. Taking my time to be genuine and listen earnestly is a strength. I hope to continue to remember that slowing down is not always a negative thing. There is so much of my life to rush through. Slowing down always comes with its own kind of rewards.

While the Global Fellows Program has introduced me to a wonderful, diverse community at Duke, it has also pushed me to become more in tune with the challenges Duke’s global community faces. It has taught me that care cannot be superficial and it must come with the commitment to back it up. I hope to continue supporting the global community at Duke, especially in my new role as an IHOP for the upcoming school year.

The Global Fellows Program has helped me find an amazing community at Duke. I am so grateful to Ling, Hal, all IHouse staff, and the rest of my cohort for welcoming me as a Global Fellow. It has truly been an honor, and I wish it didn’t have to end so soon. I wish next year’s Global Fellows the best of luck!

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.

Intercultural Journal Entry #3

Going into the conversation with international students and scholars, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I found this conversation to be one of my favorite things I’ve participated in at Duke. I think because I was born and raised in America, I struggled to be critical of the institutions and practices surrounding me. I always figured that the people who created these systems, ran our governments, wrote my textbooks, knew better than I did. Hearing from these international scholars made me realize that there are many shortcomings to the American status quo.

From this conversation, I saw American education from many different perspectives. I got a better grasp on how constructions of race are much different in the U.S. than in other nations when Rita described her realization that her identity as a Black woman meant something very different in America than in her home country of Kenya. I gained insights on the power of applying yourself and your passions in Selena’s experience as a woman of color in engineering was enriched by her resilience and persistence to pursue high achievement. I realized that sometimes, luck plays a large role in our lives through the experiences of Alan and Rohan.

These experiences were all something that I felt connected to. I struggled to find my sense of belonging at Duke. I came from a relatively homogenous community in racial, gender, and socioeconomic identities, and there were many times I realized that my identities at Duke are very different from what they were at home. Even today, I continue to struggle to fit into the “effortlessly perfect” Duke student archetype, academically and socially.

Hearing these experiences of international scholars was incredibly important to me. It’s sometimes easy to become trapped in the Duke bubble and obsess over issues that may not have as lasting of an impact as I may think. From this conversation, I can honestly say that I want to re-think my approach to my academic and career goals. I’m beginning to realize that the pre-planned journey that I had laid out in my head, with awards I want to win, graduate schools I want to attend, is not essential to true success.

I want to thank Dohwon, Rita, Carla, Maria, Alan, Rohan, and Selena for sharing their stories. Sharing these struggles and successes is not always easy, but thanks to them, I have learned so much.

Protected: Intercultural Journal Entry #2

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Global Leadership Journal Entry

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.

A Letter to Jassar

Dear Jassar,

I remember when we first met, you told me you were surprised to receive a language partner that did not have any native exposure to Arabic. As a Korean-American, I imagine I was far from your expectations of a language partner. From our first meeting, I discovered that we live in a very small world. I thought we could not be more different in our backgrounds, and yet, you once lived near my hometown in Virginia. We frequented the same restaurants. We may have even passed by each other in the mall one day and not even known it.

I can’t tell you my exact reasoning for choosing to learn Arabic other than the fact that I found it interesting. Arabic culture and the language were both incredibly foreign to me, and I was excited to learn about what your culture meant to you. With my lack of Arabic language and culture, I wanted to build connections between our cultures, to find something familiar. I look back on these early meetings, and I wish I had listened more deeply, rather than searching for minute details I could relate to. I hope I wasn’t so eager to draw connections between us that I made you feel less like yourself.

This semester was too short for me to fully know you the way I have known my friends for years, and I wish that I could. But from this semester, I also know for a fact that you are an amazing teacher and friend. Thank you for being so patient and sharing everything you could with me. Thank you for surfing Google Earth with me. Thank you for sitting down and talking to me every week. Most of all, congratulations on graduating; I’m rooting for you!

I’m not fluent in Arabic. I’m not even close. But from our first marhaba to our last ma salama, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. Come by Virginia often; you will always have a friend here.

mae ‘ajmal al’amniati,

Protected: Intercultural Journal Entry #1

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén