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