A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I have been blogging about my PRINS project, which we do in our last semester of International Studies. Read more to find out what it is and what we do. I will post a follow-up entry when we are towards the end of the project. Wish us luck!
Three weeks ago, the 3rd year BA International Studies students started our new course called ‘Practising International Studies’, a unique course in our program, which allows us to combine theory and practice in a consultancy project for an organization. I am in the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) group and my team is called Strategic Reaction Consultancy. In our consultancy case – “Digital Diplomacy for an International Organization”- we are working on social media strategies and digital diplomacy. We are now starting reading previous literature on these themes and have already established a good organizational structure within our team.
We are very motivated to stand out from other groups not only in the way we do research but also in the way we will present our findings. I think this course will definitely enhance our coordination skills and we all expect to learn more about the organization we are working with and to gain more insight into our future career path. This is also an opportunity to develop leadership skills, as we are fourteen people working together. Although it will be a challenge to work in such a big team and to meet the expectations of both our academic supervisor and OPCW, I believe it is also a strength to be such a large team in the sense that we have different specialities and therefore, different ideas. If we manage to merge all of our visions and use all of our different skills, we can really achieve our goal.
Strategic Reactions is working on improving the social media strategy of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). For this project, we have decided to analyse and compare three case studies: the OPCW itself, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US State Department Bureau of International Security and Non-Proliferation (ISN). The findings from these case studies will be complemented with the results of our own survey targeted to students, particularly chemistry students.
Today, during our weekly meeting we discussed the dissemination of the survey and the prizes we will offer to selected participants. As we are working within a restricted time frame, we thought we needed an incentive to motivate as many students as possible to fill in our survey within two weeks. Our leader also reminded us of our new team structure. We are going to work closely with different people than during our project plan phase. Each sub team is responsible for a case study. I am the leader of the OPCW team and for this case study we will analyze the communication strategy of OPCW in depth, examining their presence on various social media platforms. Our internal deadline for this part of the research is April 13th. Following this, we will be able to formulate beneficial recommendations for OPCW’s digital strategy. We look forward to presenting a convincing strategy!