PLACEMENT REPORT 8
During the recent days of my stay in college, my placement has been with the national union of the Kuwait students. The outfit focuses in the championing for the betterment of students welfare. That is from issues pertaining to accommodation insurance coverage to orientation in general. The union has at heart a desire to ensure a smooth sailing and acclimatization of the new students. On the other hand, the union serves as a unification front, which comes in quite handy for the purposes of socialisation and general wellbeing of the members. Since the onset of the electioneering period, I have been at the heart of the logistical department of the national union of Kuwait students. For instance, the leadership assigned me with a duty of overseeing all party communications and the rallying of support for our party in the Melbourne region. This took place as a strategy to win over the voters to our party affiliation rather than our rival party. The duty involved the organization of agenda highlighted during the various campaigns and the details that went into the planning of the events.
Apart from the planning and overseeing of the campaign operations, the union saw it necessary to allocate me the duty of ensuring the safe arrival and accommodation of new students from Kuwait. I oversaw this task with relative success attributed to my abilities to convince combined with the efficiency of social media platforms like twitter. This task also involved the soliciting for accommodation services on behave of the new students as they could hardly communicate fluently in English. Besides that, with other union officials we were able to negotiate for the up gradation of the health insurance coverage with NIBS and the Kuwait cultural office.
The intention of involving myself in the leadership and political positions was for boosting my leadership and public speaking capabilities. Moreover, the opportunity was a way of rejuvenating my negation and conflict resolution skills.
Generally, I acquired a myriad of skills and knowledge during my short stint in the leadership position. The campaigning period, for instance, came in quite handy in boosting both public speaking and negotiation skills. The fact that we garnered more votes over our rival party is reason enough to highlight my convincing and negotiation skills. The student crowds witnessed during the entire process presented another learning opportunity for me. As much as the crowd management was a challenge, the fact that at the end of it all I could manage to put across the much-needed message is prove enough of improved communication skills. As highlighted above the students were convinced that we had their best interest at heart and hence they voted us in. I was also part of the team which came up with the slogan “let’s make that change” one of the cornerstone factors which ensured that we have elections. We arrived at the slogan after much consideration and analysis of our rival party. One notable factor that gave us an upper hand was the fact that our opponents did not allow for much inclusive in their party. We took advantage of this factor and it worked for us. From this experience, I was able to nature my planning and strategy skills, an aspect which comes in handy in any leadership position.
My involvement in the negotiation for the betterment of our health insurance coverage between the NIB and the Kuwait culture office was another great opportunity to nurture my negotiation capabilities. The fact that we succeeded in this task clearly highlights the sharpened skills. By getting involved in tough negotiations with a well-established company gave me the opportunity to understand what negotiation involves between big companies. All through my leadership moments, the ability to take in what other members have in terms of managing the union and the meetings has been quite helpful. For instance, I was able to take into consideration the advice of one of our members a factor, which led to a huge success. Not only was the event successful but also received accolades from the Kuwait culture office. In line with this, I was able to develop consultation as a great leadership tool. Moreover, I have learnt the importance of listening to my superiors and taking in their instructions. Listening and taking orders is the strategic component that I can attribute to the whole process. Most of the action that I took were a result of listening and interpreting what my leaders put forward for me. This skill is necessary to have for anyone aspiring to venture into the leadership.
The experiences that I acquired during my placement period have vast similarities with those I acquired during my academic studies. As much as the two knowledge and experience acquisition platforms are varied, they have a myriad of similarities. The conflict resolution component, for instance, has been widely mentioned trough the academic platforms. Prior to my placement, I had learnt that the conflict resolution aspect was strategic for any leaders worth his salt. In line with this knowledge, I was able to come to terms with it during my leadership stints as an official of the national union of Kuwait students. In many instances, I had to come in between my colleagues in order to resolve their differences. As such, we were able to cover a lot of ground due to the strong bondage, which I inculcated in both the leadership and the membership segments.
Apart from the conflict resolution component, negotiation a strategic leadership aspect prominently figured during my placement period. Negotiation defined as the act by an aggrieved body to seek an audience with the aggressors in order to find a middle point for both parties concerned. During our experience with NIB and Kuwait culture office, for instance, we employed all the aspects of negotiations available to us. We used official letters as our primary medium to reveal to the two parties our desires and aspirations. Our goal as the national union of Kuwait students was to ensure the improvement of health insurance cover for our members. Both of the two parties involved (NIB and the Kuwait culture office) were not willing to yield to the demands we put forward. However, after much reasoning out and outlining of the challenges that our members faced without the health coverage, the Kuwait culture office agreed to increase their funding to the NIB. This was a great achievement on our part. On an individual basis, I came to the realisation of the Importance of negotiation as a tool in leadership.
My placement in the students’ union was marred with a myriad of challenges. The very fact that the party in which I was part of had never won any election in the past was a challenge in itself. We had to come up with a strategy of leveraging the latent potential within us. As such, we had to find a loophole in the campaigning strategy of our opponents. As much as they had occupied the leadership spot for many years, they lacked inclusiveness in their operations. We, therefore, resorted to coming up with a tactic, which would see to it that the voters saw a new and enthusiastic team of leaders. Our slogan “let’s make that change” resulted in the much-needed breakthrough and as such, we beat our opponents without trouble. Besides the winning strategy, my team had a hard time managing the budding crowds that attended our campaigns. I for instance in my position as the strategy organizer, had never managed crowds of over a thousand individuals. It was, therefore, my first moment. However, the moment inculcated in me the capabilities to address huge crowds and come up with clear agendas for addressing their needs.
The arrival of new students from Kuwait is another instance that resulted in many logistical challenges on my part. Primarily, the new arrivals could barely understand English the language of communication in Australia let alone speak it. As such, we practically give them the guidance for them to reach their intended destination within Australia. I, for instance, had to negotiate for their accommodation with the real estate agents. Moreover, the ability to understand my limitations led me to embrace the use of twitter in order to seek the help of my fellow students in order to orient the newcomers in the country. The various meetings involved in the whole campaign process presented another challenge on my part. Each event that my party organized I had to meticulously plan beforehand. The fact that it took place in different places meant that I had to incorporate new strategies. This in itself took a heavy toll on me as the main organizer. However, the ability to rely on the advice and guidance of my fellow members came in handy during such moments. A notable example is the last event before the voting day. One of our members suggested that I abandon my plans for that event and instead adopt his strategy. To our surprise and relief, the member’s suggestion resulted in our event being recognized by the Kuwait culture office apart from the fact that it was quite a success on our part.