A UCLan Student has won the best individual mediator in the International Mediation Competition 2017 for the second year in a row! A lot of hard work from both Phoebe and her tutors paid off as she triumphed against a tough field of competitors from all over the world! We are extremely proud of this fantastic achievement and humbled by Phoebe’s attitude and grace!
Phoebe has written a short post (below) about her experience in Glasgow.
Arriving in Glasgow I was so nervous, trying to imagine people from all over the world coming together to compete. As everyone sat down for the training, Nancy made one team member introduce everyone and what university they were from. I soon realised that us travelling 2 and a half hours up north paled in comparison, compared to those that had travelled from India, America, Poland and so many more. It was breath-taking to see so many that shared our passion for mediation.
During the first few days of training, I met a wide range of people, all at different stages in their legal career, and even some taking a BPTC, or in the first year of their law degree. During the training, we saw how people from America practiced their version of mediation. At first, it was difficult to distinguish the differences in the delivery, and it took around two days for me to adjust. However, watching the American approach as it turned out, gave me some new ideas to add to my opening statement, including the; ‘Stop, Observe and Breathe’ technique, that would turn out to be very useful for me when competing.
I was first up to mediate within my team. Meeting my co-mediator was a lovely experience, getting to know her and her university life was so interesting. She explained how in America the path to becoming qualified differed so greatly from us in the UK. We spent an hour preparing and fixing up the room before welcoming the parties, their advocates and the judges. I was surprised at how quickly the first round went, I enjoyed it that much.
I came out of the first round feeling it went ok but it was a little more competitive than I thought. I stuck to what I had learnt from the amazing Emma McAndry but my co-mediators style was a little overpowering. consequently, I was a little quiet in the beginning but I soon found my rhythm and stepped up to the mark. I may have been quieter if not for some well-prepared questions and solid rapport building. The judges seemed to notice this in their feedback and I did myself proud.
The Saturday started off with an 8 am start, luckily we had breakfast included at our hotel so we were well set up for the long day ahead. And a long day it was! Seeing myself and everyone so enthusiastic about the competition made the day go quick enough however.
I knew there were many prizes available in this competition but I never counted myself in the top 10 for any of the categories, as the standard of competing was extremely high! I was so grateful to have been chosen to represent UCLan at the competition. Us girls did not make it through to the semi-finals but the boys did, and we knew the best person was going to represent us.
The top 10 individual mediators were chosen from the first 3 rounds, excluding the semi-finals and the finals, allowing all the students a chance to win. I consider myself to be a relatively decent mediator, but never did I think to place 1st in the Best Individual Mediator category! I honestly couldn’t believe it when they called my name out and everyone was saying, Phoebe, go get your award! I was expecting someone would turn around and say; ‘only joking’!
I am truly grateful for the experience I have had within the world of mediation, not including my experience outside of UCLan. I had the opportunity to experience the world of mediation and what it can offer, not only for those receiving mediation but mediators themselves. Emma is an asset to the university and all the time and effort she has made and continues to make, making her students the best they can be!
I have always been confident, even before practising mediation, the only difference now is I know when to shut up and listen!