Event

Expertify – an eye-opening international webinar series

A Truly Novel Initiative

The whole world came to a sudden halt unexpectedly, with the outbreak of COVID19, restricting thousands to their homes. With fear of an uncertain future that refused to leave our minds, everyone was struggling to cope up. And the enthusiastic younger generation wasn’t an exception. While statistics showed that mental health cases were increasing drastically, indicating everyone was losing hope little by little, AIESEC of University of Sri Jayawardenepura decided to take a step ahead initiating an international webinar series; Expertify 2020.

Expertify was organized by the Outgoing Global Talent function of AIESEC in USJ, under three phases. The main two objectives of Expertify was to create awareness among the youth and to seek passionate professionals within the youth. Expertify can be identified as the first ever virtual webinar series initiated by the AIESEC Sri Lanka. 

In a time where online events were still an alien and strange concept to everyone, Expertify 2020 brought a fresh start welcoming everyone to embrace the new-normal.

Expertify Phase 1

The first phase of Expertify was held on 20th of April under the topic of “How can we respond to nature’s miracles given by COVID 19”. Ms. Hirushi Jayasena, Ms. Natasha Rathnayake, Ms. Gayathri Kodithuwakku and Ms. Nethmini Medawala joined to Expertify as the guest speakers while Ms. Bernadine Jayasinghe participated as the moderator. The phase one of Expertify was able to get 8300+ views and was able to make a radio appearance as well.

Expertify first phase took place during the time at which the first wave of COVID19 hit Sri Lanka. At a time where everyone was struggling to come to terms with the drastic changes happening in their lives, Expertify First phase invited the youth to look for a light, or rather “miracle” hidden in the darkest days of their lives.

The Second Phase Continued

The second phase of Expertify was held on the 1st of May under the topic of, “How to become an online entrepreneur” with Mr. Sharanyan Sharma, Ms. Linda Marik, Mr. Bhanuka Harischandra, Mr. Indi Samarajiva as the guest speakers. In a time where everyone was struggling to convert their business idea to a virtual business arena, Expertify was able to give an in depth knowledge on how to start your own virtual business, what are the barriers you would face and how to overcome them, what are the soft skills that would come in handy and how to do digital marketing and many more.

With the social distancing and lockdowns, online businesses popped up back and forth. Expertify second phase gave detailed insights on how to make your virtual business a success, starting from scratch. It’s our youth that is always budding with new ideas and new solutions. And their young blood is ready to take up any challenge but all they need is a little help, little guidance. Expertify second phase was able to give that guidance and prompt the younger generation to take their first step into the business world.

Expertify Third Phase on Fire

The third and final phase of Expertify was held on 17th of May under the topic of “How to make passion your profession?”. Mr. Kumar Sangakkara, Ms. Umara Sinhawansa, Ms. Otara Gunewardene and Block and Dino illuminate the Expertify 3rd phase while Ms. Bernadine Jayasinghe joined as the moderator.  Expertify 3rd phase was a huge success making it the biggest online event in AIESEC Sri Lanka. The feedback received from both local and international audience was evidence for that massive success.

Expertify third phase was able to give valuable insights on how to find your true passion, how do you know whether it will be enough to be your profession for the rest of your lives, how can we improve our passion, skills and qualifications, what are the challenges we might face and how to overcome them and many more. Since the guest speakers who joined hands with the Expertify Third phase were icons loved by the youth, and they pursue their passion as their profession, it is unavoidable that the younger generation looks up to them. And the diversification of industries and fields the guest speakers represented, gave a vast knowledge to the audience.

Enlightening a Crowd Worldwide

Although Expertify was organized by AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, the target audience wasn’t only AIESEC members. When we take a look at the topics of the webinar series we can see that the topics were much compatible to youth as a whole. Those were not restricted to Sri Lankan context and can be insightful for the international crowd as well. That helped Expertify to win the international audience.

Expertify 2020 was able to breathe a new hope to our youth in a time where they lost hopes altogether. It encouraged enthusiastic young individuals to embrace the rapid changes that were happening and to work for a better future.

Want to take the perfect pathway to discover you ideal version? AIESEC Exchange Opportunities could be of a great help for you. Check them out from the links given below

Article by – Neluni Supul

Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle

How to live forever

It’s a peaceful night, with the moon shining brightly to bring light to the night’s darkness, with the echo of crickets in the distance and an occasional hoot of an owl reminding you it’s still the night. You gaze up to the sky admiring the twinkling stars, as all your day’s troubles begin to fade away. You begin to wonder how these stars came to be and why they always twinkle. All these thoughts weigh on you, making you sleepy little by little. You sleep with your thoughts and dreams to wake up into a world that has changed from yesterday, one that is better or worse, till you fall asleep again tonight.

What if you can cherish this peaceful night forever? Does that mean you get to live forever?

Scientific studies on living forever

Many studies are being conducted as of the present, to achieve this long-desired feat of living forever, which humans wished for, since the beginning of their existence. Gerontology, which is the study of the physical, mental and social aspects of aging seeks to find the secrets behind aging. Although the prime objective of gerontology is not to live forever, these studies may help us get one step closer to that goal. Similarly, other research is being conducted on how to replace aging organs of the human body with man-made organs, allowing a person to live longer. This is just one aspect of scientific discoveries.

There are other beliefs among scientists that people would be able to upload their mind to a computer, just like installing a program or an application to a computer, enabling you to live in that computer even if your body ceases to be. Although it seems so far from reality, scientists believe they can get closer to this by the end of this century. So, if you’re lucky enough to live that long, you might end up living forever!

But is this literally a ‘forever’, or is it just a word that we use instead of a ‘very long time’.

Can you actually live forever? 

We live in a world, or rather a universe, where everything is impermanent. The peaceful night you had yesterday can easily fade away with a big storm. The stars that you see today might be destroyed already far away in the sky. The crickets and the owl won’t live forever, nor will you and I, and the sun and moon will cease to exist, in a day which we call the end of the world. 

You may be living a happy life, a healthy life, but humans aren’t able to live forever, not even through medication, science and what-not that we may have in the future. There will be a time in which all beings or all organisms or even all things in the universe will cease to exist. Even the word ‘forever’ will be long-forgotten. 

So living for eternity is not something achievable. 

So if you can’t actually live for eternity, what does it mean to live forever?

If you’re asked a question, how many people do you know by name that lived over two thousand years ago, your answer would be – only a handful. Those people have done great things for the world, discovered something great, or preached to bring about a change in humanity. The names of these individuals do live on for a very long time and might possibly be the closest to ‘forever’. 

So let’s first have a look at who these people are and what they have done.

Religious Leaders

Out of those individuals that you know, the religious leaders are the most well-known. Now there may be a number of factors that may have caused these leaders or their ideologies to be popular such as colonization and missionary movements but their preachings or way of life still live on at the present day. 

Monarchs and Warriors

We’ve read and heard about so many kings, queens, emperors and warriors from way back. The deeds they did, the lands they conquered, the structures they built and the wars they fought still live on and will continue to live on for a great time.

Scientists and Artists 

Many scientists, especially those who were born after the medieval era have done some great discoveries which have helped mankind to get to where they are now. Similarly, artists have played a role in changing people for the greater good. Their names too live on.

So how can your name live forever? Do you have to be a religious leader, an artist, a scientist or a monarch? Not quite.

How can you leave your mark in the world, for your name to live forever?

Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi. There’s no need for any introductions of these people because they are well-known and they will live on, at least for a really long time. None of these leaders were religious (except for Mother Teresa who was honored by the Catholic church) but they all had something in common, they raised their voice for the sake of humanity or they made an impact in the world by doing good. 

You don’t have to be a Gandhi or a Mandela to leave your name. You can start by changing your life and changing someone else’s life. 

Volunteering

Say you don’t have a steady income that you can afford to share a portion with the needy, volunteering is the way to go. Volunteer to help in your local children’s home, help clean the lakes and beaches, help to feed families that are poor, volunteer to build roads or bridges or you can even volunteer to teach something to children who don’t have access to proper education. This is another step closer to living forever.

Doing Charity

Poverty is one of the biggest problems in the world right now. It is our duty to give back to society or at least the part of the society that needs your help. You don’t have to be rich to do charity. You can always share a portion of your income with the poor. Doing charity alone will not mean your name lives on forever, but it’s one step closer to that. And the person you help will surely remember that for a very long time.

Donate your blood or organs.

There are people who need your blood or your organs to live. Donating blood is easy and we can all do that. The person receiving your blood wouldn’t know that it is your blood, but they will be grateful to you nevertheless. There are also ways to sign-up to donate your organs when you die. Surely the receiver will know they are your organs and they will be grateful, and who knows that person may end up living forever with your organs!

Stand up against injustice

This is something we can all do regardless of whether we are young or old, rich or poor. Standing up against injustice. The injustice may not always take the shape of discrimination or harassment, but there will be minor issues for which you can stand up to. You can raise your voice in those situations to act against injustice. You won’t certainly be world-famous, but you will live on in the minds of people who failed to stand up and in those who you stood up for.

Conclusion

You cannot live for centuries and you cannot certainly live forever (at least not right now). What you can do is to change your life or someone’s life to make the world a better place to live. According to one of my favorite authors, human oblivion is inevitable. 

“There was a time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

All will be forgotten over time, maybe in a century or a thousand years. But till that day comes, your name can live on. That is what I believe is to ‘live forever’. If you’re someone who didn’t care or who looked the other way, turn your life around, to change the world and live forever.

Want to take the perfect pathway to discover you ideal version? AIESEC Exchange Opportunities could be of a great help for you. Check them out from the links given below

 

By – Upeka Fernando
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle

How to master the art of pitching

If you want to pitch your product or service like a pro, you’ve come to the right place.
You love your business, and what you’re doing, right?
Your eyes glitter with shine when you speak about your business.
You have excellent knowledge and enthusiasm when it comes to your products and services.
But is that enough to sell your products and services?

Sales are an essential component of any company. Regardless of how fabulous your product is, if customers are not purchasing it, it might as well not exist. That’s why delivering an effective and deal closing sales pitch is crucial for any company’s success.

What is a “sales pitch”?

A sales pitch delivers a clear message about your company and the product in a very short time, preferably in less than two minutes. This is also referred to as an elevator pitch because a good sales pitch should last no longer than a short elevator ride, just like the name.

It is a myth that all sales reps are naturally born sellers. So, how do you make a great sales pitch? What should it include and avoid?  Anyone can be a master of pitching if you follow these simple 6 step formula for creating a winning sales pitch.

Let’s get started.

1.Research

To become a part of your customer’s solution, you have to understand their problems first. Research is the best way to do this. Before you sell the product, you need to know who you’ll be talking to. 

  • What do you know about the client company?
  • What is the industry they are working in?
  • Who are the clients they serve?
  • What are the issues that your buyer faces?
  • How can your product help them?  

Your sales pitch should be different and customized according to the company and role you are pitching. Making the perfect pitch requires you to understand the client, so if you’re not looking into them before your first interactions, you’re decreasing your chances of winning the deal.

2.Keep your introduction brief.

Don’t begin the pitch with a long description about yourself, your accomplishments, your company, history, and so on. A quick summary is okay but move quickly to more appealing content. Most companies can smell a pitch coming as soon as you finish saying your name and might reject the pitch you worked hard to create. To grab their attention, start talking about them and leave yourself out of this for a bit. 

Show you’re interested in learning about them. Remember, sales pitches are dialogues, not an automated voice messaging machine. Therefore, make sure you engage your customer in the conversation by asking questions. Show that they are more than just another sale to you.  

3.Be confident.

The thing most beginning salespeople lack is the ability to sell with self-assurance. Include belief in your product and avoid doubt. Use key phrases like “it will “but never say “hope,” “guess,” “I think” when you are speaking. People are people, regardless of your products. Therefore, you have to stand behind every word of your sales pitch for others to feel the belief in the stuff you are trying to sell.  Use lots of expressions and pay attention to body language when talking because it will bring life and positive energy to a conversation. 

4.Highlight Benefits, Not Features.

The potential customer does not pay much attention to your product, only to how it will solve their problems. Basically, a feature is anything about the product that can be described. Features aren’t what customers buy; benefits are. Benefits are personalized perks of using a product. By focusing your sale pitch on the client’s needs and desires, you can successfully capture their attention.

5.Include facts and figures

Benefits are not the only topic you should cover. Try your best to show the evidence you have to prove what you presented as benefits.
There are some powerful ways in which you can get their trust.  

First, use reactions you had from your customers and how they praised you that your product helped them in positive ways in their lives. The statements from a past customer that describes how your product helped them can be used in promoting the product and building trust with future customers. You can use statistics and figures to prove your sales pitch.

Don’t forget to provide your personal guarantee as well. This can be given through a free trial, transportation free, money-back guarantee, or something else that will make them say “yes.”

6.Follow Up

After your initial pitch, sales follow up is a must. Never end your conversation though you didn’t get any favorable reaction. Your continuous follow-up will enhance the interrelationships, and though several times rejections, the customer will agree with your product.

That’s it! The next time you are going for a sales pitch, make sure you follow up on these tips outlined above and see your results! 

Want to take the perfect pathway to discover you ideal version? AIESEC Exchange Opportunities could be of a great help for you. Check them out from the links given below

By – Binara Perera
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Leadership

Roadmap to unlock your true potential

Is your life burdened with regrets from the opportunities you didn’t take? Upon pondering on the reason for losing the opportunity have you ever figured out, that in many circumstances it was your uncooperative mindset that interfered. A substantial proportion of the world population lose confidence and hope amidst the challenges they face, they fail to realize the power to change, evolve and impact lies within themselves. They not only possess the capability to uplift their own lives, shape their own futures but also the power to empower and reinvigorate other’s lives lies within their palms as well. Therefore, the most critical restraining factor in identifying one’s true potential is the pessimistic attitude that one dwells with. The way we emotionally feel and the way we perceive circumstances directly affect the success we can achieve. Therefore, if you’re questioning whether you can do this, if you lack self-awareness and self-confidence the journey you can travel will be so limited.   

Nothing comes to us, everything that is in our possession was created by us, we are the creators. Compared to all the other living being’s humans have an exceptional mental capability, the power of our mind is unlimited. It is up to us to tap the power and utilize it for the betterment of everyone. To be precise from the routine materials that we use ranging from the clothing that we wear, vehicles that we use for transportation, and buildings that we use for shelter to all the sophisticated machinery and equipment that is used for industrial purposes are all creations of the human mind. The power of the human mind is so vast that an average human being only uses 10% of its overall capacity while the remaining 90% goes to a waste. So uncovering your true potential is basically about opening doors to use the unused segment of your mind and thereby master your future. 

Take an honest look at your life

Self-awareness is of prime importance. You should first enter into a realization about yourself, your own thoughts, attitudes and behaviors and figure out what shapes them. Understanding the position of your own mind is vital in developing it further. Self-awareness lies within the idea that you are not your thoughts, you are the thinker which is a separate entity from your thoughts, therefore as the thinker you should be able to look back at your inner self and past decisions objectively through reflection and introspection. And understand what points should be amended further, whether you have acted, felt and behaved in alignment to your standards and principles. Self-awareness could be mainly achieved through reflection on yourself, if you feel like your thoughts are deviating and your focus is going out of track, meditating would help to cluster your thoughts and attention to one focal point.

Do more of what makes you genuinely happy

The other most important factor is being passionate about what you are pursuing. First and foremost, you should figure out what drives and inspires you to greater heights, what lights the spark within you and focus on that when moving forward in life. Assessing where you want to be in the future, what is the ideal figure you want to mould yourself into and realizing what you’ve achieved so far, and trying to narrow down the gap between your current version and ideal version will help you to reach your truest potential. As they say the most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul set on fire, to reach the maximum capacity you are capable of reaching, you should focus your efforts on something that you feel like doing and that excites you.

You are worthy – Invest on yourself

Make sure to invest your time and effort on yourself. When sorting out your priorities ensure to give yourself a special place as you are your longest commitment. The investment that you make to improve your competencies and develop your mindset and character in general, will never go to waste and the benefits it yields will last throughout your life trajectory. Enhancing your own happiness and reaching your utmost potential will never become a reality unless you learn to value yourself above the rest.

Positivity always wins… always

Developing a frame of mind which upgrades the positivity in your life is of negligible importance. To push past the challenging circumstances, to bring upon more peace and joy into your life having an optimistic state of mind that focuses on the brighter aspect of life is mandatory. And it not only benefits you, but also benefits the ones around you as you eject positive energy into their lives.

So likewise there are four keys that will unlock your door to personal excellence, Self-awareness/ self-realization, prioritizing yourself irrespective of the external circumstances, an optimistic mindset that will lighten up your future, and being passionate on what you are mainly doing while narrowing down the gap between your current and ideal versions. You have the power to build a better tomorrow for everyone, you hold the key to your true potential, so uncovering your inner potential lies within your palms.

Want to take the perfect pathway to discover you ideal version? AIESEC Exchange Opportunities could be of a great help for you. Check them out from the links given below

By – Hashini Siriwardena
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

 

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Lifestyle

Mental Illnesses; they are real, they are present and we need to talk about them

Just take a split second away from your monotonous routines, and imagine you being a person traumatized by a melancholic past experience, with your mind engulfed with solely darkness and gloom. And in this circumstance you are in grave need of a supporting hand and thus you seek help from the society, which results in you being labelled as an “insane individual who ought to be committed to an asylum”. How would you truly feel?

 

Sadly, this is the culture engraved within the nation, with no awareness widespread on the fact constant repression of the mental wellbeing is a contributing factor to suicide. As per the mental health surveys conducted recently, a substantial proportion of the population suffering from mental deformities have been cornered and left in isolation, after being titled as a lunatic. So the attention raising point is where our community is headed this way. What we require is not a society which compels the mentally ill ones to struggle in silence, but a world which can revive and reinvigorate the minds filled with gloom and sorrow.

person suffering from social norms

 

So, critical changes should be brought upon the attitudes inclusive of the perspectives and perceptions of the youth community who will be the key to a better tomorrow. The sole distinction between physical disorders and mental disorders is the body segments that they affect, but why do the people degrade ones affected by mental illnesses, while treating the physically ill ones in a casual way? Why is there a distinction between mental and physical illnesses? Irrespective of whether it affects the mind, heart or arms, an illness is an illness there shouldn’t be a division between them. Furthermore, the mentally ill ones are the ones who critically needs a bolster to rely on, while treating them with contempt and discrimination would worsen their situation which would lead them to self- harm. A single word you utter matters, as that could shed the darkness away from their restricted world, or put them in dire pain once again. This is a dilemma present in the contemporary society that people should be aware of. The line between physical and mental illnesses should be blurred, and they should be given the opportunity to LIVE life blissfully.

 

Primary and secondary socialization should be focused on educating the youngsters to be a ray of hope, while escalating the positivity in the lives and souls of everyone, instead of being a cause as to why depression is rife in the 21st century. The youth should refrain from using a tunnel vision in viewing other’s lives, and the circumstances that they undergo, thus they should put themselves in the shoes of the other party and feel the raw emotions, which would eventually lead to a better understanding about that person in general. This will ensure that the society learns to sympathize and feel pity towards the ones in need of it. As an unashamed conversation, more sunlight and more candor is what they require and will symbolize hope for them.

 

So, likewise highlighting the urgency and vitality in transforming a world where mental illness is treated as an abnormality, into a world where people can open up, be themselves without having to struggle in silence. Immediate social transformations should be instilled to eliminate the factors restricting and restraining the mental solace and peace of the wider community. Thus more open dialogues should be established to raise awareness on this matter.

By – Hashini Siriwardena
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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