1. In this day and age, the importance of thinking in a global perspective cannot be stressed enough. Since we are living in a society where the sharing of information has long surpassed national boundaries, any qualified candidate for future leadership opportunities should learn to solve problems in collaboration with individuals from around the world. Such candidate should also be prepared to work and grow in a diverse and energetic business culture. One is required to cooperate with people with different cultural backgrounds and come up with strategic plans that are designed specifically for different countries and regions. Such a global perspective and ability to adapt and adjust personal strengths is, as far as I am concerned, one of the most important lessens NUCB could provide for me.
The program offered by NUCB provides perspective candidates a great chance to develop and enhance their personal leadership skills in a diverse environment. Being able to work and collaborate with young potential leaders of all fields of career is a great way to learn from other individuals and exchange ideas and thoughts with one another. Such a dynamic setting will greatly enhance my communication skills and the ability to think critically. Immersing in a collaborative environment requires one to listen to, understand and learn from different perspectives, which is a crucial aspect of long-term leadership skill. A successful leader should always be open to different opinions and eventually formulate his/her own judgement regarding certain issues by way of integrating various standpoints. The program in NUCB focuses on the cultivation of all such skills and capabilities, which would certainly provide me with an opportunity to succeed in any future career.
2. The “frontier spirit,” as far as I am concerned, accurately depicts the responsibility and spontaneity of acting as a leader in a number of situations and demonstrate strong leadership skills. Leadership is a relatively broad term, and one of the most important concepts within leadership is one’s ability to discover opportunities. A person with frontier spirit is naturally keen on finding sparks among quotidian events and continues to pursue such opportunity until he/she reaches the desired goal. During the second semester in my sophomore year, some of my friends were injured in a sports event and had to miss several classes. I overheard them complaining the fact that they couldn’t keep up with the rest of their classmates in terms of class materials. A sudden thought came to my mind: is there an alternative way for students to not miss classes in such situations? Inspired by the business model of Khan Academy as well as other online education platforms, I came up with the idea of a “flipped classroom.” Just like watching an instructive video online behind the screen, students do not need to physically participate in the classroom discussion in urgent situations. Lectures can be recorded and put online for students to watch, and students can even participate in interactive discussions while watching the videos. Such idea of a flipped classroom is nothing new, but it is a difficult and practical issue in terms of actually applying it in a specific college setting. A lot of data has to be collected and analyzed in order for the evaluation and practicality of such a plan. I introduced my idea to a few friends, and we, as a team, began to conduct surveys regarding the feasibility of such teaching model that targeted at a broad range of audiences. I designed the survey for different student groups in my college regarding their opinions on the use of such model. Questions regarding the viewpoints of teaching faculties were also asked. After collecting the results, I led the group to analyze the initial investment of such a plan, the potential scope (i.e. what kinds of classes could be taught in this way) as well as the advantages and disadvantages regarding the learning efficiency and experiences. We eventually decided to introduce a flipped classroom model to an introductory psychology course as a trail run. My idea of such a model turned out to be a success, and school officials indicated that they would consider to incorporate such a teaching model to more courses. From a casual thought to a successful and feasible plan surely requires one to have an acute mind which discovers possible opportunities in the most quotidian events. Such a sharp instinct is, as I see it, a significant demonstration of leadership skills as well as a frontier spirit.
3. I used to think that offering help whenever someone is in need is an unquestionable virtue. After all, if every individual is willing to help each other even if such action would lead to some sacrifice of one’s own time and energy, the world would become a better place and we could also be helped in turn. With this belief in mind, I always kindly offered help to everyone on issues that I thought I was capable of doing. Covering up shifts of my colleagues, doing house chores when it was not my turn, preparing lunch for my neighbors even if they had not asked for such favor...I was confident that all of my actions would result in equally beneficial results for myself. I had to admit that such experiences were all quite time-consuming and even costly sometimes. The result turned out to be not what I had expected: although some have expressed gratefulness, the majority of the people I have helped have taken my effort for granted, and some of them eventually thought that these things were supposed to be done by me because I opted to do so. I was disappointed that things turned to be the other way around, and I myself did not feel the comfort and happiness from within. One day one of my close friends explained to me that always offering help to whomever is not always a good thing to do. One should only provide assistance for people who deserve such help and who have worked hard to achieve their goals, otherwise offering help would only become excuses for others to escape from their own responsibilities. I suddenly realized that voluntarily offering help might not always be considered as a virtue, which could, in fact, do more harm than good to others as well as to myself. The most important lesson I got from such experience is that I needed to learn to value my own time and energy and make an effort in situations that are necessary and appropriate. That does not mean that I would refuse to help others when they are in need; I need to differentiate between a true need and a mere excuse.