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

Hwikeun Kim '22 RGLP Reflection: Being prepared to face the “unprepared”

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The past eight weeks participating in the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) allowed me to reflect on my own personal cultural values and grow to understand what it means to be a global cultural leader in the era of fast-changing technology and globalization. Before participating in the RGLP, I was tied to my own comfort zone and was afraid to engage in things that were beyond my own cultural background or something that I was not prepared to face. I think it is easy to be “super-prepared” and be ready with multiple solutions to when faced with a problem at Dartmouth. However, I believe the true global leaders should be ready to face the “unprepared.”


It is often hard for us to face ambiguity, and we demand details of every situation to find a “perfect solution.” Yet, when we are so focused on the details, we lack the adaptability to see the bigger picture and our ability to understand the cultural differences. At our culminating trip to Boston, we watched a movie called We Are Little Zombies. The movie was something that I was not prepared to face. The film, in my opinion, dealt with multiple societal issues that made me uncomfortable being in that theater. However, after watching the movie and reflecting on it, with Deputy Director Sadhana Hall, I realized that the most crucial part of understanding other cultures is to be able to face what is “unprepared.”


I define a global cultural leader as a person who can be flexible in accepting the unknown as it is without prejudice and judgment. A global leader should be able to understand others even when they are not prepared to interact with them or their culture. They should be able to take uncertainty as an opportunity to find a creative and collaborative solution. I thank the Rockefeller Center for sponsoring RGLP and allowing me to define my own definition of a global cultural leader.

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