By Samaya Khadka (BBA Student)
Professor Elanie from the department of Journalism from Oklahoma University, USA, held a session on 8th April 2020 with about 60 participants, acknowledging the current state of affairs caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, mostly talking about the innovation and management during the time of crisis. I got the opportunity to participate in her session with about 55 other students from King’s College.
The professor started with an ‘icebreaking’ by asking all of us how we were spending our time during the lockdown. She expertly brought up the good things going on in our lives. We felt grateful for her emphasizing on the silver linings during such a time. Naturally, we also discussed the hardships we were facing and prayed for everybody’s safety.
The professor then shifted the discussion to tell us her own story about how she was originally from Africa, and how she was managing life in the States. She emphasized, through her story, the differences one can make in life by being a leader. Then, she entered into our topic of discussion for the day as she explained how a leader should bring new visions and innovations during a time of crisis such as this.
She started by giving an example of a company in the US called New Vision, which makes products of plastic. During this crisis, however, the company has halted its usual task to make plastic strips that can then be used to make face masks which are of dire necessity for the health sector but also, in fatal shortage.
After setting this environment, she went on to ask us questions like how we could contribute anywhere from the local to global level during this pandemic. Several people then started sharing various ideas in the group. She reassured our ideas and then claimed that this was really the time to make a difference. She admitted it was not the big guys who come up with life-changing ideas, but the ordinary people and that all we have to do is to step up. She also advised us to think fast and make decisions because time is a life-deciding factor during such times of global emergency.
What I liked about this session is that the professor tried to make everyone open up by asking the participants questions during the session. I also found the story of her journey that she shared with us very interesting. Her story gave credence to her claim that people can really achieve their great dreams if they try hard enough.
Also, the story of the company named New Vision woke me up to the realization that even big countries are struggling during this time, and it was no surprise to see Nepal having problems. In fact, problems arise in every nook of the world that asks for leaders to solve them. It requires noble visions and innovations to tackle such systematic difficulties.
Overall, it was an enlightening session. As a youth, I felt the topics of discussion raised were of utmost importance, especially when our society is facing a challenge of such a magnitude that it can change our social scaffoldings and the very way we live our lives for tomorrow. I felt reassured to give my all for the service of the world through acts of successful leadership.