Event, Leadership

Insight Corner – Light on your career route; Enroll, Sense, and Lead with AIESEC

Reach a simulated virtual work experience within a corporate where you can choose and test a career field of your choice with Heading for the Future

What is Heading For The Future?

Heading For The Future (H4TF) is a Vocational training program designed to give you the opportunity to discover your career path and passions through a series of simulated work experiences and practical training.

  • Choose and test the field of your choice with the help of industry professionals
  • Gain a local and national youth network
  • Enhance your soft and hard skills in a practical learning environment

If you join the H4TF program, you’ll be getting the opportunity to engage in a corporate project in a professional working environment which will give you proper guidance to explore answers to your questions and figure out what career suits you best.

What can carry off?

  • Increase in Corporate & Employer branding
  • Potentially retaining the participants as a permanent employee
  • Ability to hire with ease, We will take care of the attraction & recruitment process
  • An opportunity to have a better understanding of the demands & capabilities and workplace behaviors of Gen Zers
  • Innovative & Timely solutions to issues through youth insights 
  • Utilization of students for research & data analysis purposes
  • Access to the Talent pool 

Is H4TF Suitable for you?

You are currently enrolled in a degree in Information Technology but are not completely sure whether you want to pursue it as your career and would like some insight into what working in Technology is like.

You are currently enrolled in a Management degree and would like to fast-track your experience and stand out amongst other students studying Management. 

You are considering switching degrees to finance and would like some more insight into what working in finance is like before you make a decision.

How does this cover sustainability?

At university, 1 in 3 people switches majors at least once in their degree.

About 51% of students are not confident in their career path while at university and about 68% accept that they get stressed out about selecting a major.

The heading for the Future programs aims to give students more clarity and confidence in their career choice while building up a strong portfolio of experience while students are at studying.

Get more information and Sign up :

https://www.aiesec.lk/h4tf/

By Haseeba Wadood
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Uncategorized

Through countries and cultures – Experience of Exchange Participant Amanda

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

Life is not about the money you make, the qualifications you have, or the things you possess. Life is all about memories. And what better way to make memories than to travel and see the world. So on a fine Sunday evening, we sat down with Amanda Schwertner and zoomed in, pardon the pun, on her traveling experience in Sri Lanka.

Let’s start off by getting to know you, tell me a little bit about who Amanda is? What makes you special?

“Hi, I am Amanda from Brazil. I am 23 years old and I was in Sri Lanka for two months. Something special about me would be that I love architecture and I’m currently studying it which was the main reason I visited Sri Lanka. I also run a small business from home where I grow herbs such as basil, and lavender and pack them into glass bottles and sell them. They can be used for refreshing herbal baths to get protection and energy. I also make incense sticks using these herbs. It’s like therapy for me and I love doing it.”

Is this your first cross-cultural experience or have you been to other countries before? 

 “Yes, this is my first time traveling out of Brazil.”

 What was the project that you participated in in Sri Lanka and how did you get to know about this project?

“Actually I did 2 projects. The first six weeks were spent working in an architect’s office and the next project was the traveling project around Sri Lanka (Project On the Map) which was facilitated by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura.   

So I have a friend who was working at AIESEC in Brazil a few years ago. She was the reason I got to know about the projects and also the main reason why I chose AIESEC to do my volunteering work.”

Talk me through the process of being interviewed and approved to come to SL

“Yes, we had a meeting at first. There they asked a bunch of questions as to who I am, what are my strengths and weaknesses and what I was expecting from the project.”

Did you face any culture shock when you arrived here? How did you overcome that?

“Yeah for sure. There were a lot of reasons behind that I think mainly because this was my first country, I came there alone and all the culture, the people and the language is different from Brazil. The first week was really hard because I am also still learning English. Plus the food is really different from Brazil; it was very spicy for me. However as the weeks went along I felt like I adapted to the culture and now I can eat a little spice…. but not too much” she added with a laugh.

What were the places that you visited and any memorable moments you would like to share from those visits?

“The places that I visited.. let me check”, she said counting the places on her fingers. “Mirissa, Colombo, Ella,Galle, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Hikkaduwa, Trincomalee, Sigiriya, Dambulla. The beaches in Sri Lanka are amazing. The water is not so cold and is clean and the trees surrounding the beaches are also very pretty.”

 What was your favourite destination?

“The place that was really precious to me was Trincomalee because of the Hindu Temples. It was amazing, really colourful, the statues and also there was a temple where you can see the ocean from. It was really beautiful and I was very impressed because I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

Any challenges that you faced during your stay here?

“Yes, I had to face some challenges during my time in Sri Lanka. Especially when you plan to do a trip you learn a lot about yourself and how to manage and cope with all the unexpected things. And the other challenge was getting to know the people and making new friends since I couldn’t communicate properly in English.”

How was the support from our end?

“I felt like the support from AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura on the traveling project was relatively better compared to my first project but If I’m being sincere overall I would like to have had more support.”

So as you know we are currently going through an economic crisis. Did it have any impact on you during your stay?

“Yeah for sure. Power cuts were a big problem so I had to always remind myself to keep my phone on charge whenever power was available. And some of my trips were affected due to the curfew but I understand that the country is facing a complicated situation at the moment so it’s not very easy right now. I visited some of the destinations by myself due to this but at the end of the project I was happy since I was able to visit all the places I had on my to-do list.”

Any recommendations or advice for future participants?

“Yes, make sure to plan your trips ahead of time. And also make sure that you try new things out so you can get the full experience. For example, I didn’t like the food at the beginning but in the end, I was going to restaurants and ordering rice and curry. Furthermore, I would also recommend getting to know about the culture and the people since for me personally, I am from the Americas and therefore everything is different but at the same time it’s amazing….  because it’s all different…. and I learned a lot from this experience.”

Any recommendations for us as an entity on how to improve the Global Volunteering experience of Exchange Participants?

“Yes, the one thing I would like to mention is to try and stick to the schedule that you guys have planned.”

What were your learning outcomes from the projects?

“From the first project I learned how to work with people as a team, how to improve my creativity, and also how to resolve problems quickly. From the second project, I learned more about how to plan and the importance of sticking to a plan. I also learned another new ability which is the capacity to see from different viewpoints. For example, when I visited Galle I was able to see the Galle Fort from the viewpoint of an architect as well as understand the story behind the fort as a traveler.”

 How have you developed as a person because of this experience

“I think I have matured a lot as a person because of this adventure. I have also learned new skills, especially how to plan. I didn’t use to plan the stuff out in my life before I came to Sri Lanka but now I understand its importance and I realize I can do things much better if I plan it out first. 

Another part where I feel as if I improved is developing my patience with all the power cuts and everything so I had to wait to get some of my stuff done. 

Also, I would tell future participants to connect more with people. In the beginning, I was planning to do all the things alone but during the last days, I realized that it is more enjoyable when you do stuff with more people. 

And I would also like to remind them to be mindful of the fact that you can always learn something from other people through their experiences and you can also teach them something by sharing your own experiences.”

Any final thoughts? Any chance you are planning to visit Sri Lanka again?

“Yes, I was thinking about maybe working there someday… do some business there. Sri Lanka is a very beautiful country and you guys can improve the tourism there for sure. If I return to Sri Lanka someday it will be for sure to build something there….  like you know a hotel or a cafe… ..on the beach” she added, which left a grin on my face. 

 There ended our conversation with Amanda Schwertner; an architect, a gardener, a traveler, a businesswoman, and another successful realization for Incoming Global Volunteer in AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura.

By Indeepa Maddumage 
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Lifestyle, Membership

My AIESEC Experience

I’m Imesh Cooray, a first-year undergraduate from the faculty of engineering at University of Sri Jayewardenepura. I’m a passionate young boy who loves to learn new things. At the beginning of my university life, I wanted to join a club or a society so I can give back to society. While searching, I got to know about AIESEC. What I loved about AIESEC was that I can give back to society while I am improving myself as well. So I joined the organization. Even before my induction, I got the chance to participate in this amazing event called JXLDS where I was able to get the taste of AIESEC. I can still remember there was an expectation setting session where we had to write our expectations from the event. My expectations were,

  • Finding new friends.
  • Find my hidden talents. 
  • Be a better person than I was yesterday.
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During JXLDS, I had so much fun and learned a lot so it locked in as an unforgettable day in my life. After the event,  I saw my expectations list hanging on the wall making me think whether I was able to achieve all my expectations. The answer was yes, I was. I got to know new friends including Dehami who later became one of my OCPs. Then I discovered many of my hidden talents, like I found out that I could do 34 pushups (I could do only 3 push-ups 3 months before JXLDS..). Finally, I was one hundred percent sure that I was a thousand times better person than I was before the event. There I witnessed all the fun the OC had. So, I set my life goal up as  “One day I will be a part of this amazing OC.” This is where it all paved the way. 

After a few weeks, on May 13th, I became an AIESECer as a member of OGX B2C under the leadership of the current LCP, Dishan Devakumara. During the induction,  Tilosh Karunanayeke, LCVP Marketing, saw something in me and recruited me to the creative designing team. My Team Leader was Sachinthi Weerasinha, whom I call ‘The best of the best’. Then LCVP PM, Sanuri Samarasinghe also saw something in me and recruited me as a PM Manager. 

A couple of days later, I got a phone call from Pasindu Umayanga who was LCVP OGTe asking “Would you be interested in joining as an OCVP in career cast 3.0?”. I was like, “Sure so what is the position?”. Then I was told it is DxP. In my mind I was thinking what on earth is DxP and what I should do. But I accepted the position and remember asking for the name of my position for 5 times since I didn’t know what it stands for or what it does. Luckily, Tilosh taught me everything about DxP and I was passionate to learn more so we nailed CareerCast 3.0. It felt amazing. That was my first-ever OC experience and the first time I heard the words ‘DxP and Live Streaming’. After that, I remember Tilosh saying “You have great potential malla we can do something great.”

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Time passed by and I found this special person named Dinath who was equally passionate in learning. He, too, was in the PM team. We got to know each other well and shared similar interests so we started learning new things together. We had a great bond in which if I learned something new, I’d share those with him and he did the same. We got along so well that we kind of became AIESEC best Buds. Afterwards, I got selected as OCVP DxP along with Dinath as OCVP Marketing for GEN212. Also, we helped with an amazing event called Syndicate as the DxP task force.

Then soon after the OC applications for YOUCON 3.0 arrived. I was encouraged to apply since it is the biggest YouTubing event in Sri lanka. So I applied as OCVP DxP but sadly, I got rejected marking first time I failed in something big in my life I expected to acheive. So, I was feeling sad for somedays. After a while, I got a message from a person saved as “JXLDS Bus” asking that whether I would Iike to join Creative circuit 2.0 as OCVP DxP. My first response was “yeah, I would love to”. Then I went found out it was the amazing Theshani who is the EM for creative circuit. I saved her as the JXLDS bus since she oversaw the delegate bus on the way to JXLDS. But I was more focused on the person who sent the message, so I didn’t think much about the message. Then at one night around 12P.M., Me, Sanuri and Dineli was doing PM work. We were talking about our lives, and I told I’m a bit sad this days since I failed from YOUCON interview. Then Sanuri told me that I was selected to Creative Circuit 2.0 as an OCVP DxP, which made me so happy and since she told me not to tell anyone, I kept my mouth shut. The next day the OC of creative circuit revealed. since I had already celebrated last night, I acted surprised and shocked like I got the news at that moment. I was so happy was even more excited when I knew that Dinath was also selected as OCVP Marketing. During Creative Circuit, I was promoted as Head of Video production and I got a team to manage for the first time. Creative Circuit era was the best time period in my whole AIESEC journey. I met amazing people and bonded with some of them so much. Upeka, Dinath, Thiwanka and me got along well and it has been around six months since Creative Circuit wrapped but we are still best buds. We call our selves Fantastic 4.

At the end of Creative Circuit, I was an expert in livestreaming and DxP. Then YOUCON happened where I got the chance to do all the livestreaming and Dxp work with the help of Dinath. Thanks to YOUCON, my name became famous as a live streamer across the university outside of it. People who knew started calling me livestreaming god. Thereafter, I received so many gigs and was recruited by Eclipse motion as an livestream operator.

Just before YOUCON ended, the OC applications for JXLDS 10.0 opened and I got the opportunity to become the OCVP DxP in my dream OC and to fulfil my life goal. Since Dinath, Sachinthi and me were the marketing & DxP trio, I knew JXLDS would be a blast. JXLDS OC lead by OCP Dehami was the most hardworking and talented OC I have ever seen so we could pull-off the dream event and the best one ever happened in AIESEC in USJ history. 

During JXLDS 10.0, I applied for the LCVP DxP position in AIESEC in USJ but was not selected. That was a little bit sad but was okay since I gained so much from AIESEC than what I had lost and brought me comfort when my AIESEC buddy Dinath got selected for the position, so I was really happy for him. I kept my AIESEC journey going and now I’m a TM Manager, DxP Manager and iGV Marketing and MxP Manager for AIESEC in USJ. 


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A small boy who stayed shyly in a corner not even knowing the word DxP became a popular live streamer and a DxP operator known across universities, all thanks to AIESEC. If you have the passion and dedication to travel the path to success, AIESEC will pave that path for you. If your AIESEC journey is a growing tree, trust me the fruits are worth the wait. 

by Imesh Cooray
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Lifestyle, Membership

My AIESEC Experience

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       People make various decisions which will lead either to victory or defeat in their life journey. Once Jenifer James said that “Success is not a destination that you ever reach. Success is the quality of your journey”. Joining AIESEC is one of the substantial decisions I have made in my life.

AIESEC is a youth platform which is very useful to enhance leadership development. Being an AIESECer has been one of my dreams since school. My AIESEC journey began in the month of September 2021 in the winter peak with AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura amid the Covid pandemic. Yet, Covid did not affect any of my performances with AIESEC.

 

My first AIESEC milestone is the selection interview. I had a friendly but standard interview as the foremost step. I got the image of a standard and formal interview first hand in my life. And then I was informed that I was selected as an International Relations (IR) co-ordinator under iCX function which stands for Incoming Exchanges. As an IR co-ordinator I had to contact other Local committees in foreign countries and make partnerships with them. There were a bunch of peer IR co-ordinators with me to fulfill our responsibility. We were guided by the Team leaders and the IR manager along with the LCVP for iCX very well. They were very friendly and very supportive of our work. They never let us feel alone or alienated and I’m forever grateful for their guidance and the support.

After being recruited by AIESEC I was selected for my first project in AIESEC. It was Wanderbee 2.0, an English teaching project done with the foreign volunteers for the local kids. I was informed that I am one of the organizing committee vice presidents for delegates. We did a two-week project and it was very successful. The bunch in the organizing committee was amazing. We got friendlier so much like a family. We also underwent many difficulties and hazards during the project, yet together we overcame those hardships. I learnt many things for the first time in my life which I have not dreamt. And also, I found that I have many potentials within me and I should improve them step by step with time. 

At the end of the winter peak, we were assigned to new positions and I received an IR manager position in iGV (incoming Global Volunteer) in the iGV function. I had to maintain and improve the standards of International Relations as my duty. After the Covid pandemic, we prepared to welcome many Exchange Participants (EP) from foriegn countries and take the function into a higher place. As we expected the EPs began to flow for our projects and we had a lot of work to do systematically. I was given two IR coordinators under me and they helped me in every moment. We were so friendly and we worked together without any hesitation all the time. I also forever thankful for my coordinators, the LCVP for iGV IR and VD and other members in the leadership board for always being my shadow. 

 

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Amid the heap of work and fun, I applied for the project Creative circuit 3.0 and got interviewed by the event managers. I desperately wanted to take part in an organizing committee of a physical event. Fortunately, I was selected again as the organizing committee vice president for delegates and again it was an amazing bunch with outstanding talents. I hope the time with Creative Circuit will be plenty of fun and I’m sure of it. At the same time, I also wanted to improve my writing skills and presentation skills. Therefore, I applied for the JST (Japura Showcasing Team), which is a back office with the purpose of sharpening my skills and to give my best to the AIESEC as well. I was selected for the team and recently I did my first compering session at creatify successfully.  

Although it was a short journey, I have achieved so much during this little time. Most importantly, I found who I am and what I am capable of because of AIESEC. The whole members of AIESEC in USJ is amazing because they enjoy themselves while being work-holic. We experience so many ups and downs and as AIESECers we practice to endure everything. I hope that that’s what we need in our lives as well because life is not easy and beautiful as we suppose. 

by E.M.Udani Ekanayaka 
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ
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Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership

How does proper exercising of youth leadership can be a turning point in today’s social, corporate and political issues?

“We can not always build the future of our youth, but we can build our youth for the future” 

                                                                                                                                                    – Franklin D . Roosevelt 

This a quote which expresses the importance of developing youth leadership by former president of the U.S.A. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Youth is an important and energetic time period in each and every person’s life. The experiences we get, the lessons we learned and the path we followed in our youth directly affects our future personality. The youth of a nation are the leaders for tomorrow. Therefore, developing the skills, values and strengths of the youth is really important. When it comes to the modern world, there are so many issues such as social, corporate and political issues. Proper exercising of youth leadership is essential to find solutions for these problems.

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Even though the modern world is technically developed, there are so many social issues in the world. Poverty, social inequality, unemployment, racism, child marriage, child labour, gender discrimination and food insecurity are the major social issues that the world is facing. These issues are mainly present in developing countries like Sri Lanka.

Conflicts of interest, transparency issues, increased cyber security risks and insufficient environmental, social and governance oversight and disclosures are some of the corporate issues present in the world.

When it goes to the political issues, political and financial corruption, lack of financial resources, war and conflicts and terrorism can be identified as the major political issues.

If we take a look into the current situation in our country, an economic crisis has occurred due to the economic mismanagement, rise in external debt, depleting foreign exchange reserves and inflation. Poverty, unemployment and social issues have increased because of this economic crisis. The youth generation has started to protest against the government. The youth leadership should be exercised properly in these kinds of situations.

Although the youth generation is absolutely massive, they are not able to practise fully in the society due to the lack of literacy and unemployment. But the youth are effective drivers of change when empowered and given the right opportunities. Youth development is a process that prepares a young person to face the challenges and achieve his full potential. Youth leadership is a part of the youth development process that guides a young person to explore his own strengths, weaknesses, to build up networks in the society and to develop social, ethical, emotional and physical competences. Youth lead organizations in the world are working in order to build the skills of young leaders and involve them in policy making and the development.

Now let’s see how the AIESEC is working towards accomplishing this aim. AIESEC is a global platform for young people to develop their leadership potential through practical experiences. It is the world’s largest youth lead organization which is present in more than 120 countries. In AIESEC, young people from all over the world come together and share their ideas with the purpose of creating a better world. AIESEC is a wonderful platform where plenty of new opportunities and challenges are available. We can develop our skills through those opportunities and we don’t have to fear about the mistakes we make because AIESEC is a place that supports us to learn through those mistakes. Let’s see how the AIESEC is supporting the development of leadership.

AIESEC has different products such as global talent, global volunteer and global teacher. The AIESECers can come out from their comfort zones and get practical experiences through these products. These experiences help for their personal and professional growth.

AIESEC provides exchange programs in foreign countries for internships and volunteering projects. The exchange participants will be lucky enough to experience new cultures and meet different nationalities. These exchange programs connect individuals to the world and help to build up more open-minded personalities with cross cultural understanding.

AIESEC is a great platform where we can build up networks starting from Local Committee level to National and International levels. We can meet young, enthusiastic and talented leaders from all around the world.

AIESEC is not only about products but also about fun. We have AIESEC traditions such as roll calls, conferences and global villages where we can meet new people. As well as, AIESEC is a place where new initiatives are born. So many events are organised by AIESEC. We can join the organizing committees of  those events and develop our skills while having lots of fun.

According to the following quote,

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way”-by John C. Maxwell.

a leader should be a person who inspires and motivates his followers to reach success. AIESEC has a hierarchy of leadership positions and these leaders always support and guide their members in each and every situation. They motivate the members to reach their full potential.

Being an AIESECer is an amazing experience. We can learn how to be more flexible, how to cope with critical situations, how to find solutions to problems and specially how to be great leaders through the AIESEC experience. AIESEC creates talented and energetic young leaders who can face challenging situations for the next generation.

by Agraja Sandasarani 
 Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

 

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