Jenny shares her thoughts on the Young Leaders Boot Camp sisterhood.
Who are you?
My name is Jenny, I am 31 years old and I am from Sweden. I like to experience the daily life of different contexts and have been working in Ghana, India and Cuba with various projects for the past couple of years, mainly within development cooperation and human rights. My educational background is in political science and public administration.
I recently returned from working as an Ecumenical Accompanier in Israel and Palestine. I have also been a local board member in Lund for SCA, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, during the last couple of years.
If you look back to what started in September 2014, how would you say that Young Leaders Boot Camp has had an impact on you?
I met people who are interested in the same topics as I am, and I have found people that I can rely on and share private things with. It has really become a part of me.
I would never have imagined it would be something like this. I remember knowing nothing about the organization nor the boot camp when I applied to YLBC. My expectations were rather low to be honest. Now, it is part of my life! It is a part of both my professional and private life. I met people who are interested in the same topics as I am, and I have found people that I can rely on and share private things with. It has really become a part of me.
YLBC was very much about boosting yourself, being confident, and being able and daring to push yourself. To question your ways of thinking and what you always have been doing. I just want to continue with that. I would like to have another set of days with some kind of international aspect to them.
Are there any specific elements you particularly liked from the camp?
The session called “Life Stories” made me realize that we are all human beings, and that we all have our story. It helped me to see the human being in each and every participant. Another element, maybe not specifically from Vittsjö but rather an overall feeling I have about the organization, is the meaningfulness and authenticity. Being able to combine a professional network with just being yourself, with being vulnerable, with being strong, and everything that means. That is the main aspects that come to mind when I think about this organization, and when I think about Young Leaders Boot Camp as well.
Being able to combine a professional network with just being yourself, with being vulnerable, being strong, and everything that means.
Do you feel like you have developed your leadership skills through YLBC?
Of course there are some situations I can think of, for example when going to a new country where I don’t speak the language, where I have developed my leadership skills. It is always important to remember the body, the connection between the body and mind and how I can look confident even though my mind does not always think that I am.
I have started to think more about what leadership across cultures means. And I think that could be developed even further. For example, if I were to take on a leadership position in the Middle East – what would be important aspects to think about regarding the cultural dimension?
I have started to think more about what leadership across cultures means.
Because I am Swedish, I am not always aware of my Scandinavian or Swedish set of mind. Therefore it would be interesting to add a cultural aspect to the training.
Any last words?
The sisterhood we got, the professional network, the authenticity, the meaningfulness… The constant process of moving forward. I am very impressed by this organization which has grown so fast in not much time at all. People are eager, things are moving fast foward and more people are jumping on the train together with us.