Introduction

Self Discovery at OMWHO 2015

Self Discovery at OMWHO 2015

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully everyone’s winter break was amazing and semester 2 is welcoming you back with open arms!

The Ontario Model World Health Organization conference (OMWHO) has been my baby for the last few months, and this past weekend, I finally got to see it come to life.

For a bit of background, OMWHO is like a Model United Nations conference, except it takes the form of the World Health Organization general assembly. Delegates register and are assigned countries and the point of the conference is to provide a platform for students to debate and discuss global health issues!

My role on the executive committee of OMWHO was as the Operations Co-Director. The operations team handled the logistical aspects of the conference, such as delegate bags, the venues and the socials.

Api standing behind podium with standing banner next to her reading "Ontario Model World Health Organization"
It was also my job to look important (but not really)

 

The opening ceremonies and the first few committee sessions were held on campus at Koffler House and The Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Day 2 is where the real fun began: we were at city hall! Delegates got to do their committee sessions in the Toronto city hall committee rooms and then we moved to the council chamber for the plenary session, which is where all the delegates come together.

Image of city hall council chamber room with delegates in their seats
WE MADE IT

To give the delegates a break, we held two social events for them to have fun (What’s more fun than discussing global health issues and climate change though?!?!)

The first day social was held at the Park Hyatt hotel’s rooftop lounge, with an amazing view of the skyline. The second day social was a more informal event held at the Duke of York pub near campus where everyone got to just hang out and have a good time!

View of the Toronto City skyline lit up at night time
Amazing view!!

Overall the feedback from students was fairly positive! Being an executive member of an event like this was overwhelming at times, and I think that the last week was probably the busiest and most stressed out I have been in a while, but aside from bringing to life a successful conference, I gained a lot out of my experience.

I learned about my leadership style (hint: I’m a ruthless dictator). I also learned more about acting under pressure this past weekend than in my entire life.

Picture of Api sitting in Rob Ford's seat in city council chamber.
The key is to coping is to just sit back and relax in Rob Ford’s chair.

Unfortunately, anything that could have gone wrong did, but as a team we managed to take on any and all setbacks in stride and handled it with grace!

After the initial feeling of “I’m retreating into a hole and never doing this to myself again” I realized that despite the stress and craziness that comes with any role similar to this, I actually had fun. I spent three 12+-hour days with some amazing people and made some unforgettable memories. I got to meet students from several different Ontario universities. But, the best part was that many students actually told me that they genuinely learned and benefitted from this event! (I promise I didn’t force them to say that).

So tell me U of T, what have your extracurricular activities helped your learn? Let me know down in the comments or on Twitter at @Api_UofT

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