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A Model Student at United Nations Conference

22 Aug 2011

Leading University of Sydney Business School student Matheus Yeo has just returned from his key representative role at last week's Global Model United Nations Conference in Incheon, South Korea.

Following a lengthy selection process, 22-year-old Yeo was appointed Chair of the G77 at the prestigious five-day event, which was attended by 600 students from 54 countries. The main topics discussed revolved around the critical theme of sustainable development, with conference proceedings also including a simulation of the United Nations General Assembly and its committees.

While in essence an academic forum, Yeo (whose attendance was sponsored by The Business School) says the consensus achieved on major issues has the potential to yield significant long-term effects.

"Given that students don't have the authority to act on behalf of their countries at the actual UN, we can only be content with arriving at conceptual solutions for now," he says. "However, I believe this sets the scene and builds the necessary knowledge capacity for the right decisions to be made in 10 or 20 years' time, when these students are taking up key leadership positions in their home countries."

Yeo, currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Commerce degree, is no stranger to Model UN, having served as President of the United Nations Society as well as Secretary-General at previous Model UN events. He aims to ultimately apply his knowledge to improving the welfare of those living in developing countries.

"Initially I hope to work with a private organisation, trying to create the infrastructure and the economic framework required for development," he says. "But at some time in my career, given my economics background and interest in economic development as a whole, I also see myself contributing as part of the World Bank."

Matheus's trip to South Korea comes less than six months after he returned from another exciting international educational opportunity provided to him by the University of Sydney Business School and the United States Studies Centre. These too groups have teamed up with the University of California Washington Center (UCDC) to offer business undergraduate students an exclusive opportunity to study and work in Washington DC as part of the Washington Internship Program.

Matheus travelled to Washington with 18 other outstanding Business School students and said it broadened his understanding of the US and Asia-Pacific and helped him appreciate how political and socio-economic imperatives drive foreign policy development.

"I see myself in the finance industry ... it's the lifeblood of the entire world," Mr Yeo said.
He said attending events at the US Congress helped him understand the way so many aspects of society tie in, from the government to the private sector.