From September 6-9, GlobeMed hosted the annual Leadership Institute at Northwestern University. Co-presidents from chapters around the country gather to connect with each other and National Office, and to discuss the future of the GlobeMed network. Our chapter co-president Lexa Koenig shared her thoughts on her experience:
One of my favorite parts of GlobeMed is the catchy phrase that we like to use: “the power of the network.” The intelligence and passion of the delegates at my first Summit was mind-blowing. I immediately knew being part of this network was special. I thought that Leadership Institute was going to be similar to Summit and HillTop, allowing me to connect with other GlobeMedders and learning about how we can tackle global health and social justice issues. However, the size of LI allowed for more intimate interactions between co-presidents and National Office staff.
I was able to really talk to other co-presidents, get to know them and their chapters. Through workshops about everything from internal conflict management to monitoring and evaluation of projects, I learned about the strengths and weaknesses of each chapter, providing solutions to their problems while grasping at solutions for ours. We did not just think at the microcosmic chapter level; we thought BIG at LI. With the help of National Office, we brainstormed for the future of GlobeMed, helping to map out strategic priorities for the next three years.
Participating in these activities, talking with my fellow co-presidents, and listening to National Office presentations made me realize the intense responsibility that we have as leaders. As co-presidents, we have responsibility to our chapter members to make their GlobeMed experience as fruitful as possible; we hold responsibility to our partners to fund our project; and we hold responsibility to GlobeMed on the national level.
Although I had never thought about my role in this way, Leadership Institute gave me the confidence and the skills to take on these responsibilities. In just one weekend, the fervent energy of these people motivated me to be a true leader for the rest of my term as co-president. If one aspect of GlobeMed’s model is unique, it’s the emphasis on human relationships. I have experienced this with our chapter and with our partner, and now I have experienced that with the network. As tough as leading a chapter of over 40 students can be, as hard as it is to encourage a campus to support our cause, I know that there are 98 other GlobeMed co-presidents across the nation working towards the same goals with the same integrity. Now that I know most of them personally, it inspires me that much more to do my job.