The Story of Valentina del Castano – Delegation 2019|2020

As part of the 17th Delegation, I can proudly say that there are three major outcomes that shaped me personally and professionally after taking part of the United Netherlands’ “United Nations and Multilateral Diplomacy” course.

First, it is the academic challenge and outcome that the course presents. There are many diverse, very interesting and up-to-date, topics that help you make sense of the international relations among states. You get to learn not just the classic theories, but how do they apply into contemporary situation. This contemporary aspect is the reason why I believe is highly convenient for those who, same as me, already have a background in International Relations, but also for those who come from a different one. The challenge does not even lie solely into getting information, but also into learning how to search information. Preparing for a debate or for a diplomatic simulation of negotiation, really requires you to get in contact with deep knowledge about the state you are representing and the course provides you with methods for information gathering. Every deadline, every meeting, every class is in itself a great intellectual and academic dare, which I can guarantee you will feel highly satisfied with upon completion of the course.

This “upon completion” is a very crucial element within the UNMD track, which leads me to the second major outcome. There are times in which you might have felt like giving up, stepping down or surrendering, this happens not just within the course but in many other occasions outside of it. This is what the course teaches you not to do. It seems straightforward, but it is not. Personally, after the course and after experiences such as Harvard and Oxford, even the way I undertook the inevitably present duties and hurdles in daily life has changed. It is a process of self-esteem, of recognizing your strength, talents, but also limits and boundaries. It is a process of high personal development in which you get in contact with the fire that lies inside you and expand it into ways that you probably did not think were even possible. You get to transform and change situations in which you might feel tense, which goes from giving a speech in public into asserting your own presence in any personal and professional field. Yes, it is life changing fundamentally because the course will provide you with a totally different mindset and attitude.

Finally, professionally-wise, the competences and skills you will be able to gain have a wide range. From mediation to leadership, from crisis management to negotiation, from public speaking to smart solutions writing, to name but a few. These are the type of skills which are now more and more valued in any type of working sector you might be interested in. It gives you a value-added formation background, which you will be able to gain gradually and consolidate progressively and which you will be able to notice even in the span of a session-by-session.

If you are a person that likes to be challenged, if you are a person that cares about self-improvement, if you are a person curious and passionate about global events, the course is for you. I genuinely recommend it.