Leadership, Lifestyle, Travel

Upliftment of leadership potential via cross-cultural experiences

Leadership; is a term that’s frequently used and essential for today’s society, not only for a single country or a workplace but also for the whole world. A true leader is a person who can evolve himself while lighting the fire in others to do better. Every leader’s journey isn’t the same, but all have one thing in common – facing unexpected turbulences and overcoming them with a growth mindset. So how can a person achieve the growth mindset? How can a person uplift his/her leadership? Are cross-cultural experiences necessary for a leader?

This could be explained in different directives, but in simpler terms, a leader who’s brought up with cross-cultural experiences is someone who understands to work and uplift others in a multicultural environment. Cross-cultural leadership skills can pave the way for self-improvement and will be beneficial when working in the modern globalized world.

A cross-cultural experience can affect a person’s leadership approach with more dominance and clear identification for his/her role. A leader is capable and has effectual interaction with his/her team and other aspects of management. Also, a person who is considered a global leader has a great sense of awareness, sensitivity, knowledge, and empathy for different cultures, including motives in establishing trusting relationships that will be valuable for them in the long run.

It’s noteworthy that the present leaders need to understand cultural differences in a team or workplace. A leader who understands cultural differences can unlock the best potential of his/her subordinates and will also be crucial for managing his/her own attitudes towards other cultures. The leader needs to be flexible and adaptable so that he/she can keep the team’s momentum going despite any challenges they face along the way. Also, this diversity can be helpful for knowledge enhancement at different levels in the organization.

Most organizations in the present have cultural diversity in their workplace. Creating an environment of different cultural, racial, and ethnics can add more depth and perspective to the organization’s missions, goals, values, etc. It might come practical in a broader perspective and can build more comprehensive expansion and outreach strategies.  An organization with individuals from such diverse cultural backgrounds and thinking patterns can affect organizational behavior in a positive way.  

Next, let’s consider how you can gain cross-cultural experience. There are many activities such as international exchanges. You can volunteer or participate in a program in a foreign country and get the exposure concurrently engaging in a worthy cause. 

With my personal experience as a Global Volunteer Exchange Participant in Italy, I learned about cultural diversity and how it affects the overall community’s existence, and what cultural traits make their nation unique. As a foreigner in Italy, I understood what parts of their culture they appreciate and what adroit traits I could gain from their culture to develop myself. I volunteered as a teacher for Italian students. Meanwhile, I started traveling and associating with natives, and I learned their culture and its strong points. 

Outgoing Global Talent by AIESEC can be another such way to gain cross-cultural experience where you get the opportunity to work in a well-reputed organization abroad. This will definitely help you to gain valuable industry experience in whichever field you prefer, and at the same time, you get the chance to meet and work with people from different cultures.

So, if you are looking to upgrade your skills and be a global leader, there are many ways that you can do so. The best path for you may not be the same for another. But if you select AIESEC for gaining that cross-cultural experience, we guarantee you an experience you will remember for a lifetime, and we will be there with you every step of the way.

 

By Nilaksha Gajaman
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ

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Lifestyle

A Diverse Environment and a Modern Change with AIESEC’s incoming Global Talent

Incoming Global Talent (iGT) brings forth countless opportunities and benefits to local companies to give them a competitive advantage over the competitors. Before getting into the subject of this value addition to the companies, let’s go over what the Incoming Global Talent function is and how the process works.

Global Talent is one of the main functions of AIESEC laid down targeting the SDGs of Quality Education and Decent Work & Economic Growth. It mainly focuses on providing youth around the world an opportunity to work in a foreign country in a diverse environment. Youth who are undergraduates, graduates, or high school graduates are provided with employment opportunities in their desired field of work.

The incoming Global Talent function, which is a sub-function of Global Talent, is responsible to facilitate these skilled youth to come down and work in local companies. Companies can partner up with AIESEC to bring down these talented foreign personnel to work in the areas of Business Administration, Business Development, Marketing, Finance, IT, or Engineering. These employment opportunities can be either short-term, mid-term, or long-term.

Once the specific area and the duration of the opportunity are selected, companies can register and post their opportunities on the Global Platform. At this point, skilled youth from all around the world will start applying for the opportunity. After a careful process of screening and interviewing, companies can select a candidate that is best suited for them. From the registration process to interviewing potential candidates, visa facilitation, logistical support, and incoming preparation till the departure of the employee, AIESEC will help both parties to ensure a smooth experience.

Partnering companies get the advantage of selecting an employee from a large talent pool of employees of over 120 countries to work in their company at a very affordable rate. This will help the company to get a cross-cultural understanding and will help the company to diversify its workplace. The passionate youth who are coming here to gain an international experience themselves, without a doubt, will contribute to the development of the company.

To mention a few other benefits, these foreign employees will be highly proficient in their English Language and other global languages that the company might require. Most of these individuals will also have experience working in other similar opportunities. Not only that, these talented and skilled youth will bring about a global and modern change to the workplace. Above all, companies will get invaluable international exposure that will bring a new outlook and a clear advantage over other companies.

 

By – Upeka Fernando
USJ Showcasing Team

 

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Lifestyle, Travel

The Stepping Stone towards a Socially Responsible Business with AIESEC’s Incoming Global Volunteer.

With the increasing complexity of the corporate world, businesses ideally must pay attention to all interests and activities of all their stakeholders, in order to succeed. Therefore businesses now have focused their attention on serving not only their direct beneficiaries but also serving or being responsible towards the whole society. The Global Volunteer product offered by AIESEC provides not only an exciting volunteering opportunity to young enthusiasts, but also it can be the stepping stone towards a socially responsible business.

Global Volunteer is one of the main products offered by AIESEC to companies, universities, and NGOs all around the world. Companies can partner with AIESEC to initiate community service projects that are in line with SDGs to achieve a better and sustainable future for all.
The incoming Global Volunteer function of AIESEC is responsible for planning and organizing Social Projects such as beach cleanups, school sessions, education summits, and tourist attraction projects. Local companies have the opportunity to partner with AIESEC to initiate these projects. Once the projects are finalized, graduates or undergraduates will start applying to these projects to work as volunteers. The duration of each project will be around 6-8 weeks.

AIESEC will handle everything from the application process to the Visa facilitation, incoming preparation, and other things required to ensure a successful social project is implemented. Companies will have a well-built social project in their hands to implement with the assistance of local and foreign undergraduates. The projects will be handled by a diversified set of undergraduates who will bring a cross-cultural experience to the company and its employees. These undergraduates will come down as volunteers to experience new things and develop themselves, which means they will take part in these CSR projects without any financial benefit for them.

AIESEC will play another important part in promoting the partner companies, giving them international exposure and recognition. If a company needs a transformation from its conventional systems to a modern, socially responsible business, Incoming Global Talent is, therefore, the path to take.

 

By – Upeka Fernando
USJ Showcasing Team

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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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