Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership, Partnerships

Stepping outside your boundaries – Have a valuable volunteering experience at a young age

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” 

Milton Berle 

Exactly. We have to find opportunities to ignite the spark within ourselves. We are  all used to working according to a schedule. But if you get a chance to step out from your boundaries; will you grab that opportunity?

If I say taking part in a volunteer project in another country would lead to a way to find who you are and what you are capable of; Would you believe that?

Yes, it is; Volunteering can be done anywhere but it will be another level of experience if you choose to be a volunteer in another country.

Taking part as a Volunteer…

As youth souls in this generation; we all are looking to add something to life. Taking part in a volunteer programme will show a pathway to find your capabilities and also a way to give your contribution to the well-being of society.

But if you get a chance to join a volunteer project in a foreign country, it would be a better experience than taking part in local volunteering. Stepping out from your usual social life to a different society with different cultural aspects, different thinking patterns and different social values is a challenge. Even though it’s a challenge, blending with different societies will lead you to uplevel your confidence.

Basically volunteering is based on education, environmental conservation, travel, community development, etc. Educational volunteer projects based on teaching school children; teaching a foreign student is a delightful experience because you will get to know more about the culture and you have to adjust to their educational level based on the country they live in. By joining environmental conservation projects or travel-related projects; you will be able to see the beauty of mother nature and get mesmerized by beautiful destinations. Those are some of the experiences that you can get through volunteering.

If we broadly look into this, volunteering in another country allows you to find your true potential, and also you will be able to experience the diversity of the world. As you will meet different people from different ethnicities, cultures, and backgrounds; Meeting them and adjusting to their nature help you to grow throughout your life. Also, you will get an opportunity to help mankind during these difficult times.

Joining as a youth volunteer…

The twenties are a life-changing age for everyone; what if you choose to be a volunteer in a foreign country in your twenties?!

Speaking of that, joining as a volunteer at a young age will lead to building a successful personality in the future. Let’s see how volunteering helps to build up our personalities.

Volunteering gives us the opportunity to work through real-life situations and make significant changes. As we have to find solutions to the problems that we face in that country and we have to work with the people of another country with various backgrounds; which develops innovative thinking. 

We can have a better knowledge of other countries’ cultural values, and social values, and add some more valuable qualities to ourselves. Also, it will develop our adaptability when working with foreign people.

As a part of the youth generation, volunteering gives us an opportunity to fulfill our social responsibility toward society. Volunteering is mainly based on the welfare of the society so that we can take part in spreading kindness and awareness throughout the world of social wellbeing. It’s not only beneficial to you but also beneficial to society and the world too.

Working as a volunteer at a young age has a huge impact. When we grow up we will be having a lot of responsibilities taking care of ourselves as well as our own families. We are on our way to the corporate world to find the most suitable career for us. Volunteering helps you to find your passion while working as a volunteer. For example, if you enjoy teaching kids, then that’s your passion; likewise, we can find our passion through volunteering.

Being a volunteer will make it easier to fulfill these responsibilities because it solves real-life situations throughout the volunteer journey. The experience of volunteering helps you to become a responsible adult in the future.

Volunteering will give you lifelong memories whist creating a potential personality within yourself. Not only does volunteering create leaders, but it also creates responsible citizens.  So, let’s step out of our comfort zone, usual schedules go beyond our limits and make the world a better place. 

Why, wait? Don’t waste your energy by limiting yourself to a routine that is built up for you by society. Grab your opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and add new experiences while growing alongside your own volunteering journey.

By Navodi Gaspe
Jayewardenepura Showcasing Team
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Leadership

How a foreign opportunity gives you a competitive edge making you stand out

Have you ever wanted to work in the UK? Or move across the Tasman? The benefits of international work experience are far-reaching. For starters, making the decision to work abroad forces you to step outside your comfort zone, which opens up opportunities to develop new skills and have new experiences. From an employer’s perspective, hiring managers are looking for professionals who have been exposed to more advanced processes and structures in international jobs.

A good example of this is Australian companies seeking digital and e-commerce specialists, from more established markets like the UK. Because the local market is younger, digital professionals who have spent their entire career based in Australia may lack the experience of their overseas counterparts. It’s a similar story for FMCG candidates who have worked in the big multinationals in the UK and Europe – their experience is looked upon very favourably in the Australian market. Another instance where companies will put a call out for overseas professionals is to fill skills shortages.

 

In New Zealand, for example, candidates with experience in property and , oil and gas and construction technology are currently in high demand as there isn’t enough local talent to fill available roles. Right now, New Zealand is a popular location for skilled foreign workers due to the strength of its economy and the entrance of many international firms. According to Statistics New Zealand, as of May 2018, migrant arrivals had reached a new annual high of 130,200. We are also seeing more overseas professionals choosing New Zealand over Australia due to Australia’s more stable economic climate.

Making the decision to work abroad forces you to step outside your comfort zone, which opens up opportunities to develop new skills and have new experiences. That said Australia remains a desirable destination for those looking to work overseas, especially for professionals from the UK. The recently introduced Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa enables professionals with desirable skills to live and work in Australia for up to four years, depending on the terms of the visa. With some global markets being challenged at the moment, there is no shortage of roles for good international candidates. With that in mind, it’s worth considering the skills to be gained from international work experience. Here are some of the ways going global can help you take your career to the next level.

1. Improved communication skills

Working with people from other backgrounds exposes you to different working styles, forcing you to develop stronger communication skills and confidence as you progress your career. In multinational companies, for example, teams are usually made up of professionals from various parts of the world, giving you the chance to develop cross-
cultural communication skills.

2. Take advantage of global networking opportunities

Accepting a role in another country will help you to establish a network of valuable contacts. This will help you stay abreast of the latest developments in your field as you progress your career, especially if your overseas role is in a more developed market.

3. International experience = a competitive edge

Whether it’s an international internship or a longer-term role, overseas experience on your CV will give you a valuable competitive advantage when you return home. A global perspective is highly regarded by employers, which will open you up to excellent opportunities into the future.

4. Overseas work experience leads to life experience

The lifestyle factors of working overseas are not to be underestimated. You’ll get the chance to see new places and make new friends. After all that international networking, you might find yourself taking up new hobbies and sports. Plus, we actually see a lot of our candidates meeting their partners in their adopted country!

5. Open yourself up to bigger and betterinternational jobs

The “foot in the door” rule especially applies to working overseas, because once you can show that you have the determination and commitment to make that move and stick it out, future potential employers will have more confidence in you as a prospective employee.

Showing that you have knowledge of a local market from previous roles in the country is also a huge advantage when applying for new jobs, which means you have greater choice in picking and choosing what you want to do. So, even if your dream job is on the other side of the world, taking those steps overseas to get there increases your chances of securing the role – even if it isn’t for a few years.

As with most positive career moves, working internationally can help you develop both professionally and personally, and once you know your way around the international jobs market, the world is your oyster.

By Pavitra Keteeswaran
Jayawardhanapura Showcasing Team
 

 

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Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership

Own your Story – Experience of an AIESECer

The decisions we take in our life lead to good and bad experiences we face in life. Good experiences give us beautiful memories while bad experiences teach us lessons for life.

When thinking about the decisions I have taken in my life, joining AIESEC is one of the best decisions I have taken. My AIESEC journey started in the month of September 2021, in the Winter peak in AIESEC of University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

It was a hard time period for all Sri Lankans because of the Covid-19 pandemic and we couldn’t experience university life as we expected. Since all the academic work was done using virtual platforms we had to sit in front of the laptop and stare at it all day. But joining AIESEC turned my boring life into an enjoyable one and it offered me so many opportunities to learn many things.

It was a hard time period for all Sri Lankans because of the Covid-19 pandemic and we couldn’t experience university life as we expected. Since all the academic work was done using virtual platforms we had to sit in front of the laptop and stare at it all day. But joining AIESEC turned my boring life into an enjoyable one and it offered me so many opportunities to learn many things.

Being an AIESECer is not an easy task. I’m glad that I could make it. The first task that was given to us was sending a video introducing ourselves. After completing that task, we were divided into groups and we had assessment centers. We had to play some fun games together as a team. It was a great opportunity for all of us to meet new friends and work together. After that, we had selection interviews. Those interviews were formal but very friendly and exciting at the same time.

Fortunately, I got selected from the selection interview and could become a member of this amazing organization. After the induction, we were divided into functions. I was very curious when I heard about these functions and abbreviations which are used in AIESEC and my desire to learn about AIESEC and its culture increased day by day. I became a member of the ICX – Matching and IR function and started my AIESEC journey as an IGT Matching panelist.

Even though I didn’t know anything about the matching process at the beginning, the matching training given by our managers and team leaders gave me a profound understanding of it. I could familiarize myself with the work very easily because of the support and guidance provided by them. As a matching panelist, my role was to check the applications we receive for different opportunities from the exchange participants, match them with the opportunities, communicate with potential exchange participants, and conduct initial interviews from the AIESEC side.

Being a matching panelist was an amazing experience for me because I was able to meet different people from various cultures all around the world. Communicating with them was a very nice experience and I could develop my presentation skills, communication skills, and self-confidence.

After being selected to AIESEC, I was fortunate enough to join my first project in AIESEC, which was WanderBee 2.0. The purpose of the project was to teach English to Sri Lankan kids with the participation of foreign and local volunteers. I was selected as one of the Organizing Committee Vice Presidents for delegates with two Co-OCVP s. We were responsible for the communication and coordination of foreign and local volunteers and kids. It was an unforgettable experience in my AIESEC journey. We could enjoy every moment of the project although we had to work hard. It was a 2 weeks project and all the hard work of our OC ultimately led to a very successful project. The guidance given by our Event Managers and mentors must be remembered. Project WanderBee OC is the place where I met amazing personalities who are very talented and very supportive. We were strangers at the beginning but now we all are like a family. Even though we had many hardships during the project, we could overcome all those difficulties together. This project helped me to learn many new things. Most importantly, I could find my hidden talents because of this project.

At the beginning of the Summer Peak this year, I applied for the Team Leader position in IGT matching. It was a privilege for me to get selected as Team Leader and it gave me an opportunity to learn a set of new skills including managing and leading a team. I am lucky enough to work with a very talented leadership crew who are hard-working and supportive individuals. We are working together as a team with the aim of achieving our functional goals.

Another excellent decision taken by me this year was to apply for Jayawardenepura Showcasing Team which is a back office in AIESEC in USJ. Being selected as a member of the Creative Media team in JST, offered me a precious opportunity to improve my creativity and writing skills.

I learned so many things throughout my short journey in AIESEC. It taught me how to face challenges as well as how to enjoy life while working hard. AIESEC is the place where I found out my full potential and it could raise the leader inside me. I’m very grateful for the amazing personalities I met in AIESEC for making my AIESEC experience a memorable one.

So, why wait for more? Join AIESEC and develop yourselves while making beautiful memories to cherish for a lifetime.

by Agraja Sandasarani 
Jayawardhanapura Showcasing Team .
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Leadership

Insight Corner – How AIESEC creates value driven young leaders to thrive in a changing world

Climate changes. Weather changes. Economic changes. The rise of authoritarianism. The devastating spread of pandemics that respect no boundaries. Now, the world is changing dramatically. Everything is transitioning.

Who can handle these situations? What do you think the world needs most now?

Yes, it is Value Driven Leaders.

A Value Driven Leader – Someone who develops, transforms and encourages its team to engage their value, sense, purpose, and intrinsic motivation to be part of something that contributes positively to the society.It is all about HOW you do WHAT you do, it is all about living your deeply held values.

We are in a dire need of more value driven leaders in this fast paced world. No matter how developed the world is, today, effective leadership skills are more than welcome as human beings need inspirational people. Leaders are ordinary people, but they have specific unique characteristics that they possess. For instance, they are passionate about leading others towards a specific goal and providing a better lifestyle for all. They know their capabilities and they want to utilize them in an efficient manner. In short, they would enable others to perform their best, making them realize the real purpose of life.

When decisions are based on the different values of people, it gets easier to lead people to the right path, to make correct decisions. If we lose track as to where we are headed, it is inevitable that we would face a huge crisis. As an example, Sri Lanka’s also currently facing corruptions due to lack of leadership. Not only Sri Lanka, Russia, Venezuela, Sudan and many other countries face it as well. This is precisely what the world needs right now. It needs leaders who are innovative, respectful towards others, and who know how to maintain relationships. 

As youngsters, WHAT is the best place for you to develop your leadership potential?

AIESEC is all about creating value driven leaders.

AIESEC is an international youth-run organization that provides young people with leadership development, cross-cultural internships, and global volunteer exchange experiences. AIESEC places the confidence of youth as they have the passion, dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit that are needed to change the world.

They have the responsibility to improve tomorrow than today.

In AIESEC the whole family including the presidents, vice presidents, managers, team leaders, and members learn how to act according to the Six Core Values in AIESEC.

What are these six core values?

  •  Activating Leadership

AIESEC teaches how to handle different situations and how to make decisions for the welfare of all members. By delegating responsibilities to the members and encouraging them to deliver exchange experience, try to develop the leadership potential in each of them.

  •  Demonstrating Integrity. 

AIESECers take responsibility for words, choices and promises.Every decision is made based on a very important value.

  •  Acting Sustainably

Every decision-making considers the needs of the organization and the future generation developmen

  •  Enjoying Participation

Adding joy in every activity and creating a friendly and encouraging working atmosphere makes everyone’s achievements even more valuable.

  • Living Diversity

Interacting with students from 114 countries has given everyone the chance to meet different lifestyles and has taught that communication is crucial among the members of an international structure. As the organization is present on each continent, all learn to see life’s aspects from many points of view and encourage every member in their contribution.

  • Striving for Excellence

For almost 7 decades, AIESEC has been working on improving intercultural connections, managing through its programs to provide young people an insight of what the world itself means. But what is more important, the exchange experience has given the will and motivation to improve living aspects of today for a better tomorrow. This means that the constant will of pushing one’s limits, in order to deliver the highest quality performance. 

Through the Leadership Development Model, it is aimed to develop the AIESECers self-awareness, to adopt a solution-oriented attitude, to be able to express their ideas clearly and to empower other people to take action.

Having the Six Core Values as the basis of one’s behavior and being aware of how they influence not only the work, but everyone’s lives; make us strongly believe that through the actions, we can help each other in developing leadership potential to change our world to a better one.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams-

By Dilni Gunaratne
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Event, Leadership

Own your Story – Experience of an AIESECer

There is a hidden leader inside all of us. All we want is a platform to take those skills out. Joining AIESEC is one of the best decisions I made in my life and the decision that taught me who I am.

AIESEC is a youth platform that helps us develop leadership skills. Being an AISECer is the dream of many students. I am very proud to be a person who made that dream come true.

My AIESEC Journey began in May 2021, with the start of the summer peak. Being selected for AIESEC is not as easy as it seems. I had a formal yet very friendly selection interview. I would say I learned a lot of things even in this first meeting with an AISECer. When I realized that I had been selected for AIESEC, I was delighted and was waiting to learn new things.

After getting selected, we had a virtual induction for a week. That was really fun with all the other newbies, and I don’t think the Covid situation back then affected that even a bit since we made a hundred percent output.

After the induction, we got separated into our functions. I was lucky enough to be an ICX Matching an IR function member and started my new journey as an IGT matching panelist. Even though I was empty-minded, I got a crystal clear idea of what is happening in the function through the informative training we had. As a Matching panelist, my role was to check the CVs we are getting from exchange participants, communicate with them, and do the selection interviews from the AIESEC side. 

Being a Matching panelist, I got a beautiful experience since I could meet amazing faces out of the country. And the time I had with my peer members was unforgettable. Although everything happened on online platforms, we had the funniest time together, and our bond is still getting stronger. 

In winter peak, I applied for the Team leader position, and it took a very short time to prove that it was another substantial decision I have made in my life. I could work with a fantastic leadership crew, and they are more like a family to me. I would never hesitate to say that I got to work with the best team someone could have in life. We could achieve our targets while making a bunch of memories. We proved that Together Everyone Achieves More. 

Now I am working as IGT Matching Manager, and again I have been honored to have a set of amazing personalities to work with. We brainstorm new strategies and processes to help us overcome all the outside barriers to achieve our functional goals. We are looking forward to giving our best and showing off that nothing can stop us from being a success at the end of the day. Another milestone of my AIESEC journey is applying for JST. I didn’t even think I would be able to be a part of JST, and now I’m here improving my creativity. Though it is quite challenging to balance all my work, I could manage everything and try to give my maximum contribution since AIESEC has taught us how to balance our work.

It is said that leadership is where a person is doing their best. AIESEC is the place that taught me who is a true leader and raised the leader inside me. I have achieved so much during this short journey. I am always thanking myself for my decision to be a part of AIESEC. 

Why do we need to wait to do the things we love? Do it now. Accept the challenges life gives you.

By Uma Wijesooriya
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