UCD Business students first Irish recipients of Model UN Best Delegate Awards
Jessica Toal and Eimear Hickey were awarded the highest prize out of 3,500 students in front of the UN General Assembly
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School MSc International Business student Jessica Toal and UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business Commerce student Eimear Hickey, received the Best Delegates Award at the international Change the World Model United Nations (CWMUN). The event is the largest and ultimate Model UN competition bringing together over 3,500 students from around the world to competitively debate major issues on the international political agenda. Presented in front of the full UN General Assembly in New York City, Jessica and Eimear were the first ever Irish students to receive the prestigious award.
Similar to the United Nations, CWMUN divides students into themed sections. Jessica, a Raheny, County Dublin native and Eimear from Thurles, County Tipperary, were designated to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and their team’s topics included natural disaster risk mitigation strategies for vulnerable countries and ocean conservation. To encourage research on foreign policies and international relations, all students are assigned to a country other than their own which saw the UCD Team representing Sweden.
The event chairperson commented that Jessica stood out in terms of public speaking skills and her ability to ‘capture the room’ by making the audience truly care about the issues. In addition, she exhibited high diplomacy skills in all of her communications.
Jessica and Eimear travelled to New York as part of a team of seven students from the UCD Investors and Entrepreneurs Society, including Cameron Dorlas, MSc in International Business ’19 who was the team’s MUN Coach, as well as an active participant. Cameron, an Enniskerry, County Wickow native, received the ‘Honourable Delegate’ award for his ability to discuss climate change in reference to world health issues.
On winning the ‘Best Delegate’ award, Jessica Toal said: “This award means a lot to me and has given me an experience I will never forget. Speaking at the podium of the UN General Assembly Hall is surreal enough, let alone actually winning. The award and this experience have improved my self-confidence and public speaking skills and I now know that I can speak in front of anyone and just about anywhere without feeling daunted or insecure.
Working with such a magnitude of international students was a fun and unique experience. My class at UCD Smurfit School is comprised of students from around the world and while working with all of those nationalities can be quite challenging at times, that atmosphere fully prepared me to feel comfortable and confident in this situation.”
As coach and awardee, Cameron Dorlas said: “I’m focusing on my Master’s degree, pursuing the highest grade achievable, while improving myself in every aspect. The projects I’m exposed to during this degree are incredibly practical and educational.
In the future, I aspire to work in diplomacy or civil service, with a desire to work in consultancy, too. Thanks to the CWMUN, I’ve gained practical experience in diplomacy and global education to further build and develop a career in these fields.
I was elated to receive an award, and it was a proud moment individually to represent my university and my country in the UN HQ in New York. It was a once in a lifetime experience and created a unique learning platform to develop my personal and global acumen.”