Alumni Experience : Nora Yahiaoui – ULB MUN 2010 & 2011

My name in Nora Yahiaoui and with my friend Tihana Vujatovic, we were the first Head Delegates of ULB MUN.

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We launched the project five years ago. It all started as a joke. She saw an ad in the H building and asked me if I wanted to join her at a Model United Nations. I said yes, not knowing what to expect, neither did she. We went to The Hague and participated to the World Model United Nations organized by Harvard University. Being overwhelmed by this experience, we decided to compose our own team and participate to the National Model United Nation in New York.

The first year was though; we had to start everything from scratch. Nobody knew us or what a Model United Nations was. We built a business plan, held interviews to compose our team, tried to raise funds, booked fly tickets, booked the housing and about a million other things. And besides all that, we had to manage the team of 15 people and prepare them to being real diplomats, through public speeches training sessions and rules of procedure sessions. We were lucky enough to find amazing people to help us in this journey.

Surprisingly, we won an award the first and the second year.

This experience taught me so much. First I’ve learn to build a project on my own and to manage it. I’ve learned to manage a team and mastered in crisis management. I’ve learned to right a speech and to speak in a crowded room. But first and foremost I’ve learned to never give up, to tackle challenges one by one and to work in a team because as the saying goes: “United we Stand and Divided we Fall”.

This experience helped me to get an internship at the Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations in New York. I was assisting two Belgian diplomats, one at the Security Council and one at the Peace Building Commission. When I got back to Brussels I had the chance to get a second internship at the international Think Thank, Carnegie Europe and a last one at the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where I was working at the policy planning department.

I’m currently working as a Political Adviser for Fadila Laanan, the Minister of Culture, Audiovisual, Health and Equal Opportunities and working on her campaign as Assistant Director.

This experience gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t even dreamed of. And I’ll be always grateful to the people who believed in us and helped us through this project. I’m so proud to see that the legacy lived on beyond us.

Good luck to the next generations !

In the words of our delegates

 

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Christian Zamundu

If I had to describe the NMUN experience in one word, I would not be able to do it. It is so much more than a professional experience, that tests your capacities and pushes you to surpass yourself. It is socially enriching, eye-opening, and it is so, much, fun! One thing that will remain about my NMUN 2014 experience, is that we started out as acquaintances, and ended as a family. The "Outstanding delegation" award, is only the peak of the iceberg to this extremely human experience.

 

 

Caitlyn Wilson

Being a part of MUN was something I had never imagined for my year here in Brussels on exchange. MUN has helped me grow as a person and has opened my eyes to careers I hope to pursue. The improvement of my public speaking, confidence level, knowledge of foreign affairs, negotiation skills as well as making friends have been a direct result of being part of the ULB team this year. The conference was an experience I will never forget filled with long days, tough negotiation, and teamwork. As part of the UNICEF committee we worked collaboratively and accomplished things as a committee I couldn’t have dreamed of. Led by three incredible head delegates I was proud to be a part of a delegation who received the highest honor of “outstanding delegation” in New York this year. Coming from a business background I felt that I had a lot of catching up to do when it came to learning about the UN and foreign policy, but it was an exciting challenge every meeting and on to New York. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything, and I’ll treasure the places it has taken me (NATO HQ, Seeing President Barack Obama, New York, UN HQ) and the places it has inspired me to go. I hope to not soon forget the electrifying feeling of speaking the words “Honorable Chair, fellow delegates”. I plan on taking my new found passion for MUN back to Canada and continue on my journey there.

 

Anthony Sutterman

The MUN experience simply cannot be described with words. We had been training every Monday night for six months, researching our topics, mocking conferences with other international delegations, meeting with former ULB MUNers… but once in New York City, I realized that there was so much more to it than expected.                             This year was my first NMUN. And when I finally walked into that room at the Sheraton Hotel on Sunday night, where I was going to spend the following few days acting as a delegate from Norway to the Peacebuilding Commission, I was both excited and anticipating. Indeed, it was not a piece of cake at first to interact and negotiate with other overly-prepared delegates who had participated in NMUN conferences two or three times before. This being said, I was confident that our HDs had trained us effectively. I knew what I had to do and I was determined to do it right. So was the entire ULB MUN team, actually. It took some hard work, passion and dedication; but it was not in vain, because after four intense days in nerd heaven, as Ambassador Samantha Power put it, we received the Outstanding Delegation award. When you finally hear the name of your school called out within the walls of the UN Headquarters, you feel shivers running down your spine and your eyes get watery. But most of all, you feel overwhelmed. You feel proud. You feel thankful. And you feel honored, to be part of a team made up of extraordinary people who have become friends. Only then can one understand what being united means.

 

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Danielle Curtis

This year I had the absolute honour to represent ULB on the Model United Nations team in New York.  The experience overall enmeshed life experience with academics, a realm very rarely explored by students. It presented a multitude of opportunities and goals both educational and personal.  It defined and made my Erasmus year, engrossing me fully in a multicultural educational background from the get go and furthering it even more so in New York.  The hands on training approach by the head delegates are what encouraged us to be diplomats as well as leaders in our field of research whether it was humanitarian assistance, chemical weapons or the issue of child soldiers.  I personally gained a global perspective on issues surrounding us all. Standing alone in a General Assembly and managing to be recognised with a personal award for my work and research on my position paper is one of my proudest moments to date.  MUN has sincerely changed my life in many ways, allowing me to tackle my most inner fears whilst managing to consolidate current goals and dreams and providing me with new passions.  MUN, has become a compelling world in which I have no intention of leaving.  I now truly see that you can be the change you wish to see in the world and there are a myriad of opportunities and solutions out there waiting to be discovered, discussed and negotiated upon.

 

A piece for two Outstanding committees!

Congratulations to these talented delegates who have won individual prizes!

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Thanks to her diplomatic skills, Sophie Leclercq has been elected by her peers as an Outstanding Delegate in UNAIDS. Congratulations!

Hard work and great research pays off! Congratulations to Danielle Curtis and Thomas Mamakis, who have won the best Position Paper Award, chosen by NMUN Staff, in GA 4.

Hard work and great research pays off! Congratulations to Danielle Curtis and Thomas Mamakis, who have won the best Position Paper Award, chosen by NMUN Staff, in GA 4.