My experiences with SIBC have been formative and eye-opening. From consulting to international to social entrepreneurship, each division has taught me something new about leadership, collaboration, communication, presentation, and research.
I know some may look at SIBC’s motto - peace through commerce - and find it cliché. It’s too idealistic, they say, no substance really, just a resume builder. How could SIBC projects be a pathway to peace anyway? My experiences, however, prove the opposite to be true. Of course, the pathway to peace is an arduous, complex one, but the international division taught me critical collaborative skills. I learned how to work cohesively in a team to deliver a final product, how to see diverse perspectives as a strength to be utilized and not an obstacle to overcome.
The international division has quite literally broadened by horizons. Experiencing the social, academic, and business culture of China was an impactful and unforgettable opportunity made possible through the IEE China project. Working with Peking University students to creatively think about how domestic policy choices such as raising the federal interest rate in the U.S. could impact Chinese and American sectors, and then working with many of the same students in Beijing later that year to analyze the impact of cryptocurrency in both countries, reminded me of how connected we all are in today’s global economy and how important it is to be able to work with people from all walks of life. From eating pizza with a flavorful Chinese twist, to trying hotpot for the first time, to climbing the Great Wall, to exploring the Forbidden City - the social components of the trip showed me how relationships between diverse groups of people are strengthened through the sharing of culture.
So, yes, peace through commerce is a very real phenomenon precisely because of the collaboration it requires between diverse individuals. That is how you build peace. I could not be more grateful for the opportunities SIBC has provided me to experience that fact firsthand.