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“Leadership is not being strong, but being vulnerable and attentive," say Parami students

Parami University undergraduate students were selected as OSUN Student Leadership Fellows. Over twenty student representatives from universities in the Open Society University Network, including Parami University, were chosen for this program. The cohort just started last week. The fellows will join a virtual training that will help them strengthen leadership skills and other capabilities and complete a community capstone project related to themes such as community building, intercultural communication, and project management. The student leaders will also have a chance to travel to Colombia in early 2024 to join the program in person.

Parami University Class of 2026 students Bhone and Eaint Thet Hmu had experience in a leadership role before joining Parami University. They shared that they could not successfully lead their projects due to their lack of self-confidence and knowledge in leadership.

With enough knowledge, experience, and confidence, both students are ready to explore their potential as leaders and ways to positively impact their communities and the home campus through the leadership fellow program.

Bhone no longer let his past experiences deter him from taking on a leadership role. He is determined to improve his skills through volunteering, starting his club at Parami University, and enhancing his knowledge through the 'Civic Engagement and Social Action' course provided by Parami's partner's institution, Bard College, last summer.

"Now that I have more confidence, I am ready to accept the challenge. I am trying to raise my bar. Challenges can help me improve my skills," Bhone said. "This opportunity came at just the right time for me. It's an excellent opportunity to apply the knowledge gained from the Civic Engagement course to my leadership project and connect with student leaders from other universities in the network.

As a part of the program, the student leaders will have a chance to travel to Colombia in early 2024. This opportunity excited Eain Thet Hmu as she has always dreamed of traveling abroad and meeting people from different backgrounds. As she becomes more confident in leading people, Eaint always seeks ways to improve her leadership skills. In her first year, she participated in a debate competition and implemented an educational project for the young children in her hometown.

Eaint Thet Hmu stated, "I am very excited about the in-person retreat. It's going to be my first time traveling abroad. It is going to be a new journey for me."

"Leadership is not about being strong or putting your name on top of the list, but being vulnerable, open-minded, and an attentive listener to team members," According to Bhone and Eaint Thet Hmu.

Apart from making the best of their academic journey, Parami University students are encouraged to develop into well-rounded individuals willing to improve themselves and the world through extracurricular activities in and outside campus, such as service-learning programs, student-led clubs, and exchange programs.

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