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

Matt Beroza '22 RGLP Reflection: "A Global Mindset Centered on Compassion and Understanding"

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The Rockefeller Global Leadership Program is unique in the fact that most, if not all, leadership programs around the country in various universities fail to address the cultural differences that could inhibit true effective leadership, yet this program’s main objective is to educate and train participants to identify and work with these differences in order to become a more effective leader. I, as a participant, can attest to the mission of the program and its value in helping me become a more open-minded and collaborative leader. Specifically, I wish to address how the program through a visit by three refugees helped me have a more global mindset, centered on compassion and understanding.

            Three refugees from three unique African nations visited the cohort in one of the sessions. They spoke about the challenges of a refugee, specifically living in refugeeing camps and assimilating to their host’s culture while maintaining their own identity. This session truly expanded my own perspective through an in-depth description of the process they had gone through. They had to leave their homes, their belongings, and, in some cases, their family in order to reach for a better life, where fear of violence was non-existent. But through this process they were compelled to leave part of their identity behind. Struggling through this adversity, they persevered. Through the long travel and upon reaching the United States they were able to maintain their African culture and heritage, meanwhile working their way into American life.

            These stories, for me, highlighted the differences in peoples’ life journey and how this can affect one’s perspective of the world. I believe, though this understanding, that I can be a better leader by understanding that those who I work with have gone through hardship and have come out better and their perspective is, at least, as meaningful as my own and their experiences can be used to craft effective strategies that would have been worse off without their unique understanding.

            This program has taught me that people come from everywhere in the world, but at the end of the day we are all one in our own unique ways. And understanding this can better ourselves to create a more harmonious and efficient society.

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