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SIM Scholar Prashant ‘Represents’ Cuba At Harvard’s Mini-UN

SIM scholar Prashant ‘represents’ Cuba at Harvard’s mini-UN - 1
Prashant representing the SIM delegates at the Harvard mini-UN conference, “representing” Cuba

SIM Global Education sent a team of 8 student delegates to Harvard University’s week-long Model United Nations conference held in Boston, MA, in February 2013.

“Representing” Cuba, the seven SIM students were led by Prashant Kumar (SIM-University of Birmingham, BSc Hons in International Business).

“I helped put together and led the delegation,” says Prashant who graduated in March 2013 is now back home in India planning to start a small yogurt business.

“When we arrived, we were greeted by one of the harshest snow storms that Boston had faced in 50 years. Weather aside, I had the unique opportunity to meet, network and interact with over 800 delegates from 48 countries.”

Amazing learning journey

It was an amazing learning journey for the SIM students, says Prashant. They interacted with under-grad and post-graduate students, learning to overcome language and cultural barriers and set in an environment that taught them to respect diplomacy, dialogue and international relations.

“As one of the few students pursuing a business degree I believe I was able to add value at the conference and offer a unique perspective while learning a great deal from students from other disciplines such as Law, Public Policy, Government, Philosophy and Engineering.

“SIM ‘represented’ Cuba in the World Health Organisation’s conference, and we debated over issues such as ‘Sexual Violence in the areas of Armed Conflict’ and ‘Healthcare in Prison Systems across the world’. Other global issues included the crisis in Syria, the use of predator drone planes, and the state of the world economy.

“We also had a chance to sit in on lectures and panel discussions involving professors from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law. Our delegation performed extremely well, managing to co-author three resolutions that were adopted,” he adds.

Birmingham’s rich education heritage

After completing his Diploma in Management Studies at SIM Global Education, Prashant Kumar found himself at the crossroads having to make a choice from the many degree courses offered by prestigious universities through SIM.

He chose the University of Birmingham because of its rich culture and heritage, and more importantly, its programme structure with 50 percent of the assessment based on exams and the rest on assignments, presentations and group work.

“I believe the experience of working in cross-functional teams and in groups with the opportunity to interact with people from various nationalities and backgrounds is what enriches my learning experience,” says the 25-year-old scholar from Bangalore, India.

Student life at SIM has been an eye-opener for Prashant who joined the Toastmasters Club and became Best Speaker of the Year in 2011. “Being a Toastmaster not only helped me overcome my fear of public speaking but in the process made it a passion for me.”

Another skill he picked up at SIM is journalistic writing, with his works published in SIM GE’s VIBES magazine. “I enjoy crafting out a story and love spending my time playing with words that articulate the situation best.”

“I felt safe and comfortable studying in Singapore. And my class mates were not just Singaporeans but others from Germany, India, China, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, and more. This cosmopolitan mix opened my eyes. I learnt to appreciate different cultures, different ways of thinking and different ways of doing things.”

As an SIM GE scholarship recipient, he helped launch the Scholars Network in late-2012, and was the driving force in producing a book profiling the scholars.

After graduation, Prashant is back in India. He says he hopes to start a business importing yogurt. He is also thinking about pursuing an MBA programme in a few years’ time.

Prashant’s favourite maxim is the frequently quoted one from Adam Smith: “On the road to the city of Skepticism, I had to pass through the valley of Ambiguity.” Expanding on what the father of modern Economics theory means, Prashant says, “Take the time to understand yourself, this may involve re-evaluating yourself several times over, but don’t be disheartened. Think about what Adam Smith wrote and don’t settle for anything less that what makes you ‘truly happy’.”

Posted on April 2, 2013. Prashant’s profile was taken from the SIM GE’s Scholars’ Network publication, March 2013.

SIM scholar Prashant ‘represents’ Cuba at Harvard’s mini-UN - 2