unCOVered interviewed four students about their experiences with the GLP. In the third of four articles the team discuss what lessons they learned from the Global Leaders Programme.
Celine Ke Haung is from China, currently studying Accounting and Financial Management. She began attending GLP events in December 2014.
Liz Drake is from the UK. She is completing a Masters in Communication, Culture and Media. Liz has been attending GLP events since September 2014.
Maria Ximena Weiss Maldonado is from Columbia. She completed her MSc in Oil and Gas Management last year and attended the GLP events throughout 2014.
Ha Thu Nguyen is from Vietnam. She completed a Masters in Advertising and Marketing this year and attended the GLP throughout 2014.
What did the GLP teach you?
Ha:I have a learned a lot about the cultural differences between Asians and Europeans, between the UK and other European countries and the differences among Asian countries. The lifestyle and values vary enormously from one country to another. For example, the UK is an individualistic culture while some European countries have a collectivist culture – the same as most Asian countries. But when it comes to communication, the UK share some characteristics with Asian countries, both use high-context communication whilst other European countries like France, Italy and Spain use low-context communication.
I have learnt a lot about religions as well, it’s interesting to understand the power of religion on people and how it can influence their beliefs and behaviours. I am now more open-minded and tolerant with those who are different from myself and my culture. I think the GLP has helped me become a better person.
Liz: During GLP events there would often be a multitude of different cultures in one room. For instance, in one workshop there were 17 different nationalities present! To be able to mix together and share our experiences of our respective countries has been extremely beneficial in cementing my understanding of this increasingly globalised world.
Maria: I learned that each culture has different beliefs and thoughts; neither are wrong or right, they are just ways of thinking. I feel it is important to increase my cultural awareness, I learn more each time things are implemented in a way that is completely new for me.
How did the GLP help you in terms of your future career?
Celine: The lectures and workshops enhanced my knowledge; I know a lot of things now that I didn’t know before – like crisis management. If I do a management job in the future I would know what to do in a crisis situation. I have also learnt how to lead a team and how to consider all the details before dealing with an enquiry.
Maria: The GLP has provided me with skills different to my academic ones. It taught me how to be an excellent leader with the confidence to face different challenges. I learnt how to be patient in difficult situations and how to deal with them professionally. Finally, I learnt how to believe in myself and have confidence in my skills.
Liz: Having spoken to professionals outside of Coventry Uni, it is clear that the GLP is well regarded and will be taken seriously by prospective employers. I am confident that this will give me an advantage over job candidates that have not completed the programme.
Ha: The career-related workshops were extremely useful to me as they provided me with tips and skills for CV writing, interviews, UK assessment centres and the UK business culture. Through the GLP I was able to complete an internship and gain some hands on experience of working in the UK.
The placement meant I could improve my knowledge and skills, this will defiantly help me become a more resourceful professional and it will be a great addition to my resume. The GLP has inspired me to change my thoughts about leadership, now I believe it is something we can learn, and improve in, rather then being an inborn quality.