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Sean O.

Alumnus, NYLF National Security 2015

"I was honored to be elected President of my group during NYLF National Security which led to an amazing and positive experience."

Q&A with Sean

  • Tell us about your experience of being the President/Vice President during NYLF National Security.

    I was honored to be elected President of my group during NYLF National Security which led to an amazing and positive experience. My Faculty Advisor gave us enough freedom to control the simulation and make it our own, while holding all of us responsible to doing our jobs. I had a spectacular executive staff, and we worked very productively with other groups in the simulation, including the legislative branch and press.

  • You were able to meet keynote speaker Gen. Keith Alexander (Ret.), former Direct of the NSA. What was that like?

    Although the meet was very brief, it was a unique experience to get some one-on-one time with the Director. I thought his speech to the attendees was well presented and emphasized many key points in the field of National Security and even life in general. I was impressed by his openness to take questions from the scholars, including tough questions about controversies within the NSA.

  • What was the most interesting thing you learned from attending NYLF National Security?

    The most interesting thing learned from NYLF National Security was the details of the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States. One of the events in the Diplomacy field of the program was an opportunity to visit the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington D.C. During this visit, the Saudis gave a brief but thorough outline of their country, and explained the critical relationship it has with the United States in maintaining stability in the Middle East. What I took away from it was that Saudi Arabia is our ally in the region. But often in the media you'll hear negative reports on the Saudis and their dealings. This made learning about the Saudi-U.S. relations first hand so much more interesting, instead of relying on and making conclusions from news reports.

  • We often hear from alumni that attending NYLF National Security solidified their desire to pursue a military or political career. Has your experience impacted your career or college goals?

    Even before NYLF National Security, I have had a deep desire to pursue a meaningful political career, with the possibility of military service. If anything, NYLF National Security was a test for me to measure my leadership and decision making skills, as well as my ability to have a positive effect on the people around me. My experience has confirmed that a life in politics is one that I would like to pursue, as well as exposing to me the areas in which I need to improve to make it possible.

  • How was attending the program different than learning in a traditional classroom?

    The program was everything a traditional classroom lacks. NYLF National Security included hands-on simulations, first hand trips to sites, and more comfortable learning environment, where scholars could get to know each other better at a quicker rate.

  • What would you tell other students who are considering to attend the program?

    Take part in the program. You won't regret it. If you have an interest to politics, the armed forces, or current events, and would be interested in making some great relationships with people from all over the nation, then sign yourself up.