Andrew Cook, A man who is capable of so many things.
Andrew Cook is a good friend of mine that I met during my freshman year’s ski trip, hosted by some other organization. And now he is a man who is a president of two student organizations simultaneously, the AMSA (American Medical Student Association) and Cultural Ambassador.
At first, he didn’t plan to be a leader of two student organizations. He said “Someone had to take in charge of it. If I didn’t step out for a president, I don’t know what would have happened to both organizations right now.” as he jokingly said it. At the same time, he emphasizes that he loves and enjoys to be part of both organizations. He was involved in for several years because he loves what each organization is going after, even though both have a very different purpose behind it.
I asked, how do you manage two very different organizations at the same time? He replied, about 50% of the management is through online. The Internet makes everything so much easy, such as helping anyone with need help or ask questions, could be done online while each organization has their online channels with officers and all members. And the other 50% is done over weekly meetings. Moreover, he said that he is quite an organized person in the first place with a planner and his phone, all marked with the organizational events and due dates.
At this point, even to me who is not so familiar with leading people, I think I can almost lead an organization. So I asked, is there anything you need any special skills or be comfortable with online operations? He replied, “I believe that nowadays, anyone who is around our age or younger don’t need anything special skillset. We are the generation where we are so familiar with mobile operation on the fly. And almost all of the businesses out there have some relations on online anyway.
However, he did mention a couple of cons of working online. He said sometimes it is tough to work without any human interactions like missing body languages, the tone of the voice or even sarcasm which could be misleading. So that’s why he focuses so much on communications with all organizational activities and keeping a weekly meeting.
In the end, he said “Internet could be very misleading place in any given moment. But one thing we need to keep in mind is that the Internet is made by real people, and you are talking to real people. And you should be respecting them just like any other environments. Don’t forget that.” That made me think about how I act on the internet with a mask of anonymous identity and should respect them like how I talk to people every day.