My Experience As The SAF President
Can you imagine being elected to lead a team of ten and actually enjoy it?
I have worked in many diverse teams over the past 3 years and I have seen examples of high, but also low performing teams. After having such great role models in leadership during my internships and my time at school, I thought I would be ready to lead a Student Ambassador Forum team, formed of 10 people. In addition, I was also studying a Human Resources Specialization and the SAF was an appropriate environment for practicing what I learnt in the classroom at the same time.
It was a fruitful experience where I was testing my leadership skills, but it came along with many unexpected challenges. I wanted to build a team that enjoyed what they were doing, whilst still being effective. This is why we started off with team building activities, events and dinners to get to know each other better.
I believe that people reach their best potential when they are left to take responsibility for their assigned tasks and initiatives and by having their own control in the process. This is why I decided to use a ‘Laissez-faire’ leadership method and it worked well with most of my teammates. I could see how their confidence improved and adapted well on how things worked in HIM, in collaboration with the operations and academic staff.
I always encouraged my team to reach out for help if needed and to be there for one another. However, the most important and difficult thing to manage was the need to be consistent with what we were doing and how we communicated.
HIM student An Nguyen shares her experiences on being the SAF President this Summer Term. Leading a team of ten classmates they faced obstacles along the way but continued to work together to achieve even bigger successes
Did everything go as planned? Definitely not! I am really glad that I faced conflicts that taught me how to improve in the future. I realized that you definitely have to change your strategy on how you address issues when you have strong differences in opinion and that you must understand where the motivation of others comes from if you want to get results and find common ground. Obviously, we had moments where it was not easy to get what we wanted and we would stumble upon obstacles. I had days where I was also losing motivation, going through high levels of stress or when I was sick and my teammates took over. For all these things I am deeply grateful and this is what we should learn: although we will go through hard situations, we still need to be there for each other and be able to deliver what we promised to ourselves.
Our biggest achievements included; creating an environmental picking up trash activity in Montreux, we organized an acoustic concert with an Italian artist, collected money for charity for children in Zimbabwe, reduced the usage of plastic in school, contributed with our school’s social media platforms such as covering internal events and much more! Furthermore, we showed commitment every Friday of this term in delivering successful theme nights for fellow HIM students.
Finally, I can say that I had the lucky chance to work with a motivated team and together we managed to deliver projects that helped our students’ lifestyles at HIM, within our local community and our environment. I look back on my experience with pride as I know that we went beyond our duties and responsibilities, to create memorable moments and friendships.
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