The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Catherine Good ’21 RGLP Reflection: More Than Just “Rolling with the Punches”

The Spring 2019 Rockefeller Global Leadership Program cohort spends a weekend in Montreal as part of their culminating experience.

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Each fall, winter, and spring, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) brings together 25 student leaders to increase their understanding of global leadership and intercultural competency. Through weekly sessions with speakers and a culminating experience to either Boston, Montreal, or New York City, the students are able to learn about themselves and cross-cultural leadership. The Spring 2019 cohort spent a weekend in Montreal as part of their culminating experience.

Throughout my experience participating in RGLP, I have fine-tuned a wide array of skills, on both intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. I have found myself reflecting upon my own biases and privilege quite often, usually in terms of being a student at Dartmouth, which affords countless opportunities to grow and explore no matter a student’s background, interests, or path in life. I have also learned to communicate more effectively in group settings and have realized the importance of being comfortable with discomfort in order to learn. 

Being adaptable is something that I always thought of myself being; however, RGLP has showed me that being adaptable is more than just “rolling with the punches.” Through RGLP, I have developed a deep appreciation for ambiguity, given that I have been provided with some additional tools on how I can be more adaptable, which has also heightened my enthusiasm for doing things more spontaneously! During weekly sessions with guest speakers and on our trip to Montreal, I often found myself starting with one point of view prior to a discussion or experience, only to end up with an altered, or sometimes a completely different perspective afterwards. 

To me, being adaptable also means being open to new ideas and ways of thinking. My perception of society and culture has changed since RGLP in that I have become better able to place myself in the shoes of others when contemplating pertinent and important global issues, such as racism, the refugee crisis, and overall social marginalization. My experience with RGLP has provided me with an array of cross-cultural experiences that have broadened my perspective on a variety of subjects, and I intend to use these lessons in future interactions with people dissimilar from myself and in my future career and adult life. By doing so, it becomes apparent that ambiguity in these settings should not be avoided.

Ambiguity has the power to make life and social and cultural interactions with others worthwhile and exciting! This in turn may lead to greater levels of trust, cooperation, and productivity in terms of the workplace and, on the larger scale, the world as a whole as it becomes increasingly globalized and interconnected each and every day. 

-Written by Catherine Good ’21, Spring 2019 RGLP Participant

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences