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Model UN AMA Episode Two: Addressing Challenges and Strategies in Model UN

Written by Frank Pobutkiewicz

I'm the founder/Managing Director of the All-American Model UN Programs! If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. Happy MUNing!

February 22, 2024

Model UN AMA Episode Two: Addressing Challenges and Strategies in Model UN

In the latest episode of MUN AMA, a Model UN Coach podcast segment, hosts Frank Pobutkiewicz and Gabby MacKay delve into a rich discussion, offering invaluable advice to the Model UN community. This episode, brimming with expertise and anecdotes, addresses common concerns and provides strategies for students, parents, and teachers involved in Model United Nations.

The conversation starts with a light-hearted exchange, setting the stage for a deep dive into Model UN strategies. The hosts tackle questions ranging from sustaining energy at conferences to standing out in a crowd, regardless of physical stature.

The Marathon, Not a Sprint

One standout question comes from Nicole, a high school junior from Pittsburgh who loves Model UN but struggles to maintain her initial energy throughout conferences. Gabby McKay emphasizes that Model UN is a marathon, not a sprint. Her advice? Start your energy at a “seven and a half, eight,” ensuring you have reserves to reveal more tricks up your sleeve as the conference progresses. This approach, coupled with constant self-check-ins, helps prevent burnout and maintain a competitive edge throughout the event.

Finding Your Voice, Regardless of Stature

Michelle, a parent from Massachusetts, raises a concern about her daughter finding her voice in Model UN, particularly as one of the smaller individuals in her group. Sharing from personal experience, Gabby underscores the importance of self-advocacy and inclusivity. Tactics such as calling for space adjustments in debates can empower oneself and others who might feel marginalized. Gabby’s insights highlight the importance of strategy and confidence over physical presence.

Competing Against Powerhouse Schools

Ted, a teacher with 15 years of experience, seeks advice on overcoming the dominance of “powerhouse” schools. The hosts suggest a two-pronged approach: analyzing successful delegates to understand what works and spending more time observing committee dynamics. This strategy is about evolving and adapting, ensuring one’s coaching and competing methods reflect the most effective practices in the ever-changing landscape of Model UN.

Transitioning to College Model UN

The episode offers a glimpse into the collegiate Model UN scene for students like Owen from New Jersey contemplating continuing Model UN in college. College Model UN, as described by the hosts, is more individualistic and style-driven, significantly emphasizing networking. Gabby McKay notes the experimental nature of college committees, advising incoming students to be prepared for new structures and topics.

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