Miia Martikainen

My name is Miia Martikainen and I’m from Jyväskylä, Finland. I graduated from Cygnaeus High School (now Schildt High School) in the spring of 2016. In my short three years in high school, I was fortunate enough to participate in two Model United Nations conferences.

The first one I attended was hosted in Zilina, Slovakia. We went there with some of my peers and teachers in April 2015. I was the delegate of Iran, and my committee was ECOFIN and the topics were about economic development in landlocked developing countries. I was very nervous but at the same time excited. I was thrilled to use English
and have speeches in the committee meetings. I made lovely friends from all around the world and most of all gained great confidence in communications and research skills. After ZAMUN I was asked to go on another trip, this time to Chicago in December 2015. First, we lived in Wisconsin with host families and then went to CIMUN. As I predicted, CIMUN was huge in the American kind of way. I was in the delegation of Venezuela with my host sister and our committee was General Assembly. Both of the conferences were absolutely interesting; topics were exciting, it was not too difficult (everyone participated in committee meetings), people were like-minded and friendly. Most of all I noticed the change in myself: I was no longer scared to speak up in front of people, I learned so much about different countries and UN and I gained a lot of valuable vocabulary in English.

What about my life after MUN? Something sparked in me after these conferences. Before that, I was sure that I would proceed to study English or psychology in university. I almost applied for a bachelor’s degree in social psychology but decided to take a gap year instead. I did a bit of travelling and working. In spring 2017 I applied to this program in Helsinki University called “Societal Change” it combined political history, developing country studies, economic and social history and anthropology – some of them which I thought I would never be interested in! The entrance exam book was in English and very intriguing. MUN -conferences were the ones that really got me interested in justice, politics and acts that would impact the world. To my surprise, I got in and my classes will start in a month.

In the future, I hope to get masters in political history or anthropology and minor in English and social studies. I wish to land a job in a non-governmental organization like UNICEF or UNESCO, help people in need and hopefully study further and learn about global warming and climate change. I want to make connections around the world and maybe do some field work in remote places around the globe. I’m glad this is just a start for me. I will be forever grateful for my school and teachers who gave me this opportunity that truly changed the rest of my life as well as my career path.

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