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I noticed that most of the students lack good interpersonal and debating skills - SMU COX MBA app.

vincenm 11 / 26  
Mar 6, 2015   #1
The Cox School of Business seeks students who desire to become leaders with purpose - those who will positively influence the global business community, whether in a small way or on a large scale. What have you done thus far in your academic or professional career to make a difference? (500 word limit)

In my sophomore year I co-created a Model UN (MUN) conference, first of its kind to be held in the NITs, with a vision of starting a new community where students can discuss and debate global current affairs. We were well aware that our event wouldn't attract most students as it offered neither the geeky fame of tech events nor the glamour of the dance and fashion shows. However we took it as a challenge and made an action plan for how our event must grow over the next 3 years. I held focus group meetings where I invited students to gauge their interest and abilities.

But as a result of such meetings, I noticed that most of the students lacked good interpersonal and debating skills. This will affect the performance of students when they face participants from law and journalism schools, who have comparatively much better social and public speaking abilities, in the inter-collegiate version of the MUN event. Also if the students from other colleges aren't challenged well in the event, they will spread bad reviews and may not return the following year, thus killing our event before it can attain mindshare in the MUN community.

As the CMO of the MUN event, I decided to offer free MUN training to interested students with the aim of developing their knowledge of MUN and their public speaking capabilities. I marketed this initiative by spreading awareness that attending these sessions will not only prepare the students for MUN, but also prepare them to face interviews , handle group discussions and negotiate salary packages during the various recruitment events. This tactic worked as I was able to get many students to attend the training sessions. Through our sessions, we trained students in how to negotiate with other parties for the benefit of one's position. I conducted many group discussions where the students deliberated on diverse topics such as global current affairs, economy and tech industry. We trained them on how to effectively speak and debate in public, making sure they overcome any nervousness.

Over the few months, I was happy with the progress made through the training sessions. To test the waters we soft launched the event by only involving college participants. Impressed by the quality of the debates and discussions seen, we expanded our event to include other colleges.

As I was clear about the success and the social value of my initiative, we continued the sessions in the following years. As a result, participants from my college were able to strongly debate and discuss various global topics with experienced participants from across India, thus keeping the quality of our event very high. Additionally most of the students who got trained were able to pass the group discussions and interviews with flying colors during the various recruitment events.

I am happy that over the three years, my MUN event not only made significant achievements, as mentioned in my resume, but it also indirectly helped the participants develop their social skills and handle the intensity of the placement season very well. Just like the above initiative, I want to make sure that the many business developments that I will be part of as a manager will also have a social impact, even though I will not be working in the non-profit industry.

RorA_IDC 1 / 6  
Mar 7, 2015   #2
I guess being a good leader not only knows how to train his team members in different means effectively but also good at how to get along with them and collaborate with them.There is no way we will be able to resuscitate the event had the first edition failed to intrigue the students..I think this sentence is unnecessary,no need to tell others you have failed first edition but emphasis on what you have achieved ,what kind of chinages bring to you after launching the events.THE key point is the difference bring to you,just saying the huge difference bring to your MUN I guess is not enough.

--just my humble opinion.
dquinlan11 - / 16 7  
Mar 7, 2015   #3
Hello vincenm,
Primarily, I'd suggest adding a little more structure to your third paragraph so that a reader has an easier time navigating such a large body of text. For example:

1. Generating Interest
2. Activities to Increase Interpersonal/Debating Skills
3. End Result (basically, do you have proof that you improved the skills you set out to improve?)

Also, there are some sentences that I think need to be edited/removed to improve you conciseness. For example:

- "We were well aware that our event wouldn't attract most students as it offered neither the geeky fame of tech events nor the glamour of the dance and fashion shows." (this gives additional commentary that's not necessary to answer the prompt)

- You use the verb "make" and "made" frequently in reference to compelling someone to do something (for example, "I knew I had to first make the college students get interested in the event") this is unnecessarily forceful and just doesn't sound very good; I'd recommend using a word similar to "encourage"

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