What it is like to be a Leader of the Global Citizenship Organization







Sezim Altynbek Kyzy, Kyrgyzstan, Maryville College

Flexibility is the most proper adjective to define every finalist of Global UGRAD. From the first day at Maryville College, I was super curious about college life and I did my best to be active. During the third week there, I found out that the Global Citizenship Organization (GCO) had announced a competition among students because they needed two more leaders. The competition consisted of three parts: application, interview, and speech in front of all the international students and members of the GCO. To be honest, I really wanted to be a part of the GCO and I was not afraid of either the application or the interview. However, I was not aware of the speech. In fact, the GCO leaders came up with the speech part after interviewing all applicants because they were hesitant to offend the feelings of the competitors; therefore, they decided to let the audience vote and choose two from the three finalists.

It should be noted that I knew only a few people at that time. Our speeches and the style of them reminded me of political debates where we candidates had to urge people to vote for us. My friend from Northern Ireland decided to go first and it was obvious that she was already a winner. Her speech was clear, well-prepared, and her beautiful accent made it even more effective and strong. I decided to go second and for a minute I forgot everything that I had prepared ten minutes beforehand. I would even say that I forgot some of my vocabulary because of anxiety and the fear of being on the stage. However, I calmed myself in a second and I started giving my speech. I tried to be honest with my audience saying that I was nervous (which in my opinion wasn’t a good idea).

I said there were two main reasons why I wanted to be a leader of the GCO:

“Firstly, I want to learn more about International students and to be helpful for others. Secondly, if I will be one of the leaders of the GCO, I will be able to learn more about this organization.”

I also said that I used to work as a reporter at my university in Kyrgyzstan:

“I can make posters, take pictures, make videos and edit them. I can also write short reports, help with organizing events, and emailing students.”

The third candidate’s speech was very touching and had a strong emotional message.

After everything was done, the students voted and we were able to get the results after a week. I was extremely happy when the CEO of the GCO said that I won the election, that I will be responsible for the organization’s Instagram page, and that we’d have a meeting once a week in order to discuss the organization of all the events.

I can say that it was easy to get used to the members of the GCO because all of them were very welcoming. Only within four months our organization was able to organize more more than 15 events, including:

  1. Cultural Presentations every Friday of students from France, Northern Ireland, Venezuela, China, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, Pakistan
  2. GCO Launch Party
  3. Celebration of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas
  4. Homecoming Parade with International students
  5. GCO Panel: Love, Sex and Marriage
  6. International Education Week
  7. International Dance Party
  8. Board Games with Colombian Teachers
  9. Meeting and escorting 25 new students from Mexico

The best thing about being a GCO leader was to feel needed for others and to learn from my fellow members. I have learned how to organize different events and, most importantly, I was able to meet so many friends from different countries. I am going to continue being a GCO leader until the end of my program.

In conclusion, I would strongly suggest to the spring semester students of Global UGRAD to join the Global Citizenship Organization at your campus because it will be an unforgettable experience for each of you!

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