Michigan State University UNA students in Times Square during their trip to Member's Day 2016.
Monica Watt, our UNA-USA Intern, tells us about her experience attending the event and provides a few tips for those coming to this year's Member's Day on February 17th!
I attended Member’s Day last year for the first time with a large group from my campus chapter. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my experience, it is that the excitement of being at the United Nations Headquarters makes it easy to overlook all the opportunities around you. Attending Member’s Day as a GenUN member is a fantastic opportunity to learn and engage with a UNA-USA community passionate about global affairs. Here are 5 things to take advantage of and help you prepare to make the most of your trip to the United Nations Headquarters!
1. The Humans of Humanity. The hundreds of people that will be there have one thing in common: dedication to the mission of the UN and a better world. Meet someone new! Every person I’ve met since joining GenUN and UNA have incredible stories. Even fellow students who have world-changing aspirations. These are the people you want to surround yourself with and get to know.
2. The Accessibility of Information. You’re going to hear a lot of people talk with remarkable, first hand experiences and you’ll want to take notes. Remember that the discussion topics and panelists are listed on the agenda so you want to take a glance and think of some good questions to ask when you get the opportunity. You want to ask questions only the panelists might know the answer to then you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.
3. The Free Time. Especially with long panel discussions, you want to take advantage of the microbreaks to get a good stretch or meet some people. Make sure you don’t miss out on any networking opportunities during lunch or after all the scheduled events are finished. It’s best to grab a quick lunch and maybe debrief with your peers about what was discussed or go over your notes. Reflecting on site is great tool to get clarification on what was said and retain the information better!
4. The Action Items. When I attended, they had us text our congressman/congresswoman about various UN related issues. Be sure to participate in these advocacy moments! It’s important to feel like you made an impact at Member’s Day. There will be many ideas from panels on activities or information you want to bring back to your chapter.
5. The Photo Opportunities. There will be photographers and places to take nice photos. As a former chapter leader and Director of Public Relations, this is a great opportunity to get group pictures and show the world that there are plenty of Americans of all ages who support the United Nations. In the end, you want to look good, feel good, and help the UN.
UNA-MSU Students filmed their weekend at the United Nation's Headquarters in 2016. Watch the video to get a sneak peak at what's to come for Member's Day 2017!