One could not imagine the kind of joy we felt, as we smiled from ear to ear when we were nominated by Study Townsville to attend the 2019 Queensland International Student Leaders Forum, on behalf of James Cook University, Townsville. This year’s forum was tagged, “Global Talent, Global Skills, Global Workforce”. During the pre-forum meeting, where we were reminded that there is need to manage the stresses of life by “breaking the pattern” of everyday activities, as variety they say is the spice of life.
We networked with other international student leaders, from various ethnicities and Queensland Universities, by participating in an ice-breaker exercise tagged, “Yes, and…!”. We were reminded that the most beautiful aspect of having multi-cultural connections with fellow student leaders is the memories and experiences shared.
The wealth of knowledge shared by the five outstanding speakers during the plenary session was indescribable. As Queensland Government has a vision to invest positively in the lives of international students, which will improve their employability skills, there is need for students to step-up and use these opportunities wisely. The reasons are not far-fetched as top global employers are looking for individuals who are well- mentored, courageous, have good inter-personal skills and ready to market themselves.
Finally, as our society evolves with technological advancements, powerful social media platforms like Linked-in, twitter, Facebook should be used in pitching our employability skills to the world. Furthermore, in an environment where everyone is occupied with his/her daily activities, the benefits of staying mentally healthy and looking-out for a friend could not be over-emphasised. It all starts with a conversation with that person as we remember that, “It’s OK not to be OK”. Indeed, Townsville City Council has shown immense efforts by creating a conducive environment to “break the pattern, shake it off and live healthier”.
Alessandro Froldi & Nnamdi Mgbemena