AIESEC Sri Lanka, Event, Leadership, Membership

I was at CATALYST 3.0 – An Experience of a Lifetime

“If you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but no matter what, don’t give up. Keep going forward.”

 

I’ll start by defining the term “catalyst.” It is a material that speeds up a chemical process without changing chemically in the long run. Simply, it refers to a circumstance, occurrence, or somebody that brings about a material alteration. AIESEC in SLIIT organized its Leadership Development Seminar, Catalyst 3.0, to improve and cultivate its members’ leadership abilities. We’ll see how it stimulated the membership and our organization.

 

Catalyst 3.0 was a two-day conference, and Disnaka Ranasinghe, a.k.a. “Diske,” served as our Chair. I believe he was a friendly individual who gave every session the “vivace” needed. How are you feeling? The Chair would inquire. From the start, the membership was motivated to respond to him, and this enthusiasm persisted through the last day’s final session. This energy alone demonstrates how well the executive board of AIESEC in SLIIT, the organizing committee of CATALYST 3.0,  and the Chair organized and led the sessions.

 

Consequently, our Chair welcomed us in the initial session and made a stunning appearance before talking about how he started his AIESEC journey. We did our outbound training later that day, following lunch. There were about 15 team games to play, and each one had its twists, simultaneously making them both challenging and enjoyable. Each team member needed to get along with the others to execute the strategies and win the games. One thing I’ve always noticed about AIESEC is that while everything the organization does on the surface may seem like entertainment, the motto, lead, innovate and evolve, is deeply ingrained into it. Catalyst 3.0 is an excellent example of it.

 

 

Catalyst 3.0 had a theme party and a variety of informative seminars. Still, my favorite was the final one, “Dreaming,” which was one of the most moving and pivotal moments for AIESEC in SLIIT. At the time of Catalyst 3.0, AIESEC in SLIIT was still an official expansion. Our Chair phrased, “If you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but no matter what, don’t give up. Keep going forward,” and that is precisely what we did. All the members held on to each other, and we started walking towards an imaginary line step by step without stopping; everyone was determined to make our Official Expansion becoming a Local Committee dream a reality. Eventually, we crossed the line in a simulation.

Moreover, we did become the 6th Local Committee of AIESEC Sri Lanka only a few weeks following  CATALYST 3.0.

 

And there is no doubt that CATALYST 3.0 catalyzed the dream that the Local Committee has long had!

 

Penned by Easara Weerasinghe

Content Writer, AIESEC in SLIIT

 

Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Membership, Programs, Travel

Imparting knowledge while exchanging cultures: Global Classroom 1.0

Finally after months and years of barricades, AIESEC in Colombo North (University of Kelaniya) embarked on the project Global Classroom in the month of July setting forth another remarkable milestone in the entity. The country was facing a hard time in terms of the economic crisis. Nevertheless, AIESECers of CN were delighted to welcome the exchange participants to deliver them the best experience. Therefore, Antonia Ziecke from Germany, Marianka Veraverbeke from Belgium, Mariam Abdelmageed, Dina Abdelrahman and Mona Foud from Egypt began in the last week of June to commence their volunteering journey, here with us CNers. The project for teaching in Sri Lanka lasted for six weeks starting from July. Its main focus was Sustainable Development Goal #4, Quality education.  Their schools were in two different locations, Wise International Kandana and Leeds International, Panadura. Even though they stayed apart on weekdays, they made sure to catch up during weekends exploring Sri Lanka. The best thing was that the exchange participants had a remarkable experience during their working period. Because it was both about teaching and exploring the beauty of Sri Lanka. Since the very first day itself their energy level and enthusiasm was next level. Teaching small children was their passion. Despite the cultural diversities and the differences in school systems, they adapted themselves and had utmost fun throughout their stay. 

IPS Day 

The Incoming Preparation Seminar (IPS), is a significant event in the AIESEC culture. Here we set forth the expectations while exchanging cultures of both parties. The event took place before the volunteers officially proceeded with their project in order to avoid any cultural hindrances. While the cultural exchange took place, we explained them further about their role and the job descriptions. As this was their first encounter together, it was more of a warm hug to ensure that we’ll be there for them throughout their stay over here. The day started with roll calls. Then we introduced some of the cultural cuisine of Sri Lanka. They considered them to be ‘really spicy’ yet couldn’t take their hands off the table. They witnessed our culture, whereas CNers got the opportunity to learn their cultural significance through various activities. 

Exploring Sri Lanka

As much as they enjoyed teaching, one of the main reasons for their arrival to Sri Lanka was the stunning natural wonders we owe. All of them loved traveling. Along with the OC they got the opportunity to explore the city of Colombo. Afterword, some other significant temples as well as beaches along the coast. Trying out various street foods and shopping around in the city, they enjoyed their time. And as the OC, we enjoyed guiding them and spending time with them. Furthermore, the beloved Organizing Committee members took steps to give them the best experiences one can get in Sri Lanka. Thus, we took them to Kandy and Galle, two of the most significant cities in Sri Lanka. Moreover, Kithulgala is considered to be a hub for adventure as well as for nature enthusiasts. From white water rafting to abseiling and exploring waterfalls, they were mesmerized by the beauty of the mountainous regions. “This is the best experience a nature lover can ever get” they said. Besides, the week after, we took them again taken for camping in Blue Beach Island, a destination one should never miss. Everyone along with the OC members had one of the most remarkable visits and collected memories worth a lifetime.   

Final Event & the farewell

Reaching to the end of their volunteering project, as the final output the volunteers gathered and organized a ‘spend a day’ event at the Twinkle Stars Montessori School Panadura. The children were excited to see new faces of the foreign volunteers and everyone had a good time exchanging their cultures through different games and fun activities. Volunteers made sure to reward the children with gifts and handmade cards to mark their presence.  Finally after six weeks of fun and good memories, we only had a week to bid them farewell. In order to make it more memorable the OC organized the farewell party in House of Vandervort, Dehiwala to remarkably end an amazing project of six weeks. Everyone reminisced about all the memorable days and events they had and it was a nostalgic moment as they knew that this is it. The bond they’ve created with the members so far made it hard to bid farewell to them.The OC gifted them with Ceylon tea, significant food items which they loved from Sri Lanka and a significant photograph  marking their presence with us in order to make their journey of six weeks remarkable.  Likewise, with dozens of memories with the exchange participants, the project Global Classroom concluded successfully making it one of the hardest goodbyes in ones life.
Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Lifestyle, Membership

Importance of Feedback at Your Work

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

Ken Blanchard

What is Feedback

Feedback is the information received by a person based on prior action or behaviour. The feedback focuses more on improving the quality of work. It is simply a guide to identify the accuracy and the places to improve our work.

Why is feedback important?

There is no assigned person to give feedback on your work. Anyone can provide feedback for your work. Significantly, both positive and negative feedbacks are helpful. Positive feedback helps motivate, while negative feedback assists you in improving the work. Effective feedback is beneficial for the entire work as it assists you in the right direction.

 

It motivates you to do the best

 It’s a universal thing that positive feedback can motivate you to do your best. Feedback matters for a quality outcome of the work. The best thing is that you are not only a receiver of feedback, but also you can be a person who gives effective feedback to another person. Therefore remember that you can also be inspirational while being motivated by others’ feedback.

It is the key to Improved performance

Effective feedback is a critical component of successful work. Feedback gives people a better idea and evaluation of their work. It is difficult It isn’t easy to improve the work or do your best without feedback. The feedback encourages the person to do his best and enhances performance. Moreover, giving feedback is the simplest way to provide opinions on work to improve it more to meet the necessary needs.

Personal and professional development

Feedback positively impacts both personal and professional development. Not only professional development but also personal development is demanding at your work. Personal development helps to increase self-confidence, and it positively affects work. On the other hand, feedback directly aids in developing a professional career. The feedback supports quality work and encourages people to continue building their skills.

Accordingly, feedback is one of the main reasons for ongoing development at your work. Feedback supports to builds confidence and outputs quality work with fewer mistakes.

 

Read More →

AIESEC Sri Lanka, Leadership, Membership

Simple Ways to Motivate Your Team

No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.

–Reid Hoffman 

American entrepreneur and author

 

In the workplace, individuals work in teams, and no one is forced to complete the tasks alonely. Everyone in the organization undertakes a collaborative effort. This collaboration enhances the achievement of the goals and objectives of the organization. In considering this, different teams have been created related to business functions such as Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, procurement, etc.

The significant point behind these teams is motivating the team members. The team’s success depends on the team members’ motivation.

There are numerous ways of increasing the motivation of the team members. But The primary step of enhancing the motivation of team members is “emotional intelligence”. If emotional intelligence is unsatisfied, other initiatives to enhance motivation won’t work out.

 

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence ( EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage our own emotions in positive ways. Through this, we expect to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.

Significance of emotional intelligence

According to the findings of Daniel Goleman, the ratio of technical skills and IQ to emotional intelligence as ingredients of excellent performance proved to be twice as important for jobs at all levels. The components of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, empathy and social skills.

Further researchers suggest that emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership. An individual can have the best training in the world, an incisive analytical mindset and an endless supply of smart ideas. However, they still won’t make a great leader without emotional intelligence.leaders motivate your team

There are situations where employees undergo criticism in their workplace. From the vantage point of emotional intelligence, such criticism displays an ignorance of the feelings. It will trigger those who receive it and the devastating effect those feelings will have on their motivation, energy and confidence in doing their activity. And finally, affect the productivity of the organization negatively.

The leader should adhere to the feelings of the team members. Then the members felt happy and motivated. Then this indirectly impacts reaching the goals and objectives set for the team. Moreover, this tends to reduce the conflicts among team members and ultimately reach the success point. Further, this long-term initiative supports maintaining motivation and creates many other benefits to the team and the organization.

 

Therefore, leaders should ensure to maintain and fulfil emotional intelligence to amplify the team members’ motivation.

Read More →

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
Read More →