Interview of Jack Pattinson, student and ILYMUN Deputy Secretary General at ISL, 11.11.2017
Interview by Helwan Felappi (ISL)
Jack Pattinson is a Grade 12 student at the International School of Lyon. He is British, but has lived in Lyon for most of his life. Having been involved in ILYMUN for the past few years, he is now one of the four Deputy Secretary Generals. We sat down with him to discuss his role in this year’s event.
Press: What exactly is your role as part of ILYMUN?
J.P: I work with the other Deputy Secretary Generals, under the Secretary Generals Neil Plummer and Julie Leroy, to help organise all the different groups and make sure Ilymun is successful.
Press: What led you to joining ILYMUN?
J.P: I first joined ILYMUN when I was in grade 9, as a delegate, and in that first experience I don’t think I spoke for the entire time! I was just blown away by the level of the talks that all these other delegates were giving and how impressive their speech was, and I just thought that I wanted to achieve that. So every year I sort of climbed the ranks: the year after I was a Chair, then I was Head of Chairs and this year I am Deputy Secretary General.
Press: In the months of preparation, what are some of the main challenges that you encountered as part of your role?
J.P: Overall I'd say the biggest is just miscommunication, which has been a big issue so far between CSI and ISL (the two schools organizing ILYMUN). We've had issues where on both sides there have been decisions made where we've not consulted each other fully. But we have gotten past that and now I believe we've got a really well functioning team. Other issues we've had was dealing with research reports not being in on time, and we've had points where we had just too many delegates joining, and we just had to split entire committees to accommodate them.
Press: What is your favourite aspect of being Deputy Secretary General?
J.P: So far, seeing smiles on all of the people! (laughs) Going to the Hotel de Region (our venue) for the first time and meeting with the people there who will sponsor us, I was like, wow this is what I have attained, this is the point that I've reached now and it just put it all in perspective.
Press: Why do you think people should join ILYMUN?
J.P: I think it's just a great experience, no matter what role you take up it's a great chance to make lots of friends, and it looks amazing on CVs and application forms for universities. Put it in your personal statement! From a social perspective, you meet so many different people from around the world, you get to engage in different points of view, on different issues. There's just so many reasons to go.
Press: Based on your experience, what advice would you give to newcomers?
J.P: Don't be scared! The first day you might show up and there's just so many people walking around everywhere but you should not be intimidated by that, you should embrace the opportunity, even if you barely speak at all. Speak at some point, even just to ask a tiny tiny question, just make sure that your voice is heard. Make sure that people remember you (laughs).
Press: You were a delegate in many conferences, both in France and abroad. Out of all of these, what was your favourite committee?
J.P: When I was a delegate, my favourite committee in any conference was probably the Human Rights at HAGAMUN ( the Hague’s equivalent of ILYMUN), representing North Korea and having to justify prison camps, whilst also attacking the US for Guantanamo Bay!
Press: ILYMUN has obviously been a rewarding experience for you. What do you think are the most important values ILYMUN teaches to people?
J.P: I think you gain a more global perspective on issues and you can appreciate the values of global cooperation, whilst also considering views, cultures and religions of different countries.
Press: Will you continue taking part in MUN once you go on to University next year?
J.P: If there is an MUN club available, I will definitely join, and if there isn't one I would probably consider starting one up!