AIESEC Sri Lanka, Event, Leadership, Membership, National News

Natcon 2022: AIESEC Sri Lanka’s Largest National Conference

AIESEC Sri Lanka conducted the Largest National Youth Leadership Development Conference of the Year.

As AIESEC, we are determined to develop young people. To make this happen, AIESEC  Sri Lanka successfully conducted NATCON’22, the largest national youth leadership development conference at Citrus Waskaduwa on the 8th,9th, and 10th of April. The 3 day conference laid the foundation for the newly elected leadership bodies of AIESEC Sri Lanka to prepare for the upcoming year, hence this was a critical phase in the AIESEC calendar. Thereby, with a whole new dimension and understanding of the sort of leadership the world needs, the conference was bound to be one of epic proportions. 

 

The conference was conducted with the engagement 260 delegates from the leading universities of Sri Lanka including University of Colombo, University of Moratuwa, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, University of Kelaniya, University of Ruhuna, University of Peradeniya, SLIIT and NSBM. The young leaders who participated in the conference were university undergraduates seeking leadership development, skill development and career prospects and senior undergraduates who are looking towards employability perspectives. Meeting all of these remarkable individuals under one roof was undoubtedly a unique opportunity for an organization. 

To make sure that the delegates become impactful leaders, a series of experiential sessions were organized. The sessions focused on leadership development with national facilitators, chaired by Piumal Tennakoon, former Member Committee President of AIESEC in Lithuania and former Member Committee Vice President of AIESEC Sri Lanka. The sessions included LEAD spaces, Activating Leadership Functional/exchange simulation, Lead Innovate Evolve: The present context and way forward for AIESEC Sri Lanka, space to interact with other delegates and networking spaces with mentors to enhance their potential skills while engaging in several leadership-centric spaces over the three-day event schedule. 

Among the highlights of the event was the Outbound Training which enhanced the performance and teamwork of the delegates through use of experiential learning activities and games. 

Gala Night

The conference’s most glamorous night, with dynamic  awards, gratitude, shoutouts, The Gala Night, the Awarding ceremony of AIESEC Sri Lanka for the membership was held where the tremendous performances and dedication of the members of AIESEC were rewarded with the utmost aim of encouraging them to be the future advocates of change. AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura won the The Most Outstanding Local Committee Award while AIESEC in University of Ruhuna won the The Most Outstanding Official Expansion Award. Apoorva Ekanayake was rewarded as The Best Young Leader and Gayashi Kavindi as The Best Emerging Young Leader. 

Our Partners

NatCon 2022  was delivered successfully in strict accordance with health and safety requirements exceeding the planned outcomes as well. It would not have been successful without the support given by our partners including

Stax – Exclusive title partner, Technomedics International (Pvt) Ltd, –  exclusive healthcare partner, SOZO – beverage partner for gala night and outbound training, Unilever – national talent partner, Innovate –  exclusive youth partner and Nestlé – official beverage partner.

Hello TV and Hello Radio – exclusive media partner, Mark &Comm – PR partner also helped us to bring Natcon 2022 to perfection.

The impact made via the conference was incredible, which in fact shows the enthusiasm of the Sri Lankan youth in contributing towards the betterment of the country. The enormous favorable response from both the AIESEC Sri Lanka membership and the external partners engaged attests to the event’s success, which was held on an even larger scale than prior years in terms of its importance in developing youth leaders. NatCon 2022 which was organized by AIESEC Sri Lanka made a  huge impact showcasing the potential of our youth and affirming the fact that the youth in our country can be utilized  in uplifting the nation in a sustainable manner. 

Await the launch of the Official Photo Album and After movie on our social media platforms! 

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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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Lifestyle, Membership

Own your story – Experience of an AIESECer

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Unraveling My Journey to the Light

We all have milestones throughout our life. Stepping into a university is a major turning point in everyone’s life. University is a place where you find who you are and recognize your strengths, weaknesses; get ready to face the competitive world while building yourself.

While I was getting ready to have the most exciting experience; our lives changed unexpectedly.  Due to Covid- 19 pandemic, our university life started on a virtual platform.So, we’ve never got a chance to attend the university physically and get the wonderful experience that we all dreamed of. As a university student, I had to get used to online lectures sitting all day in front of a laptop which was a huge change to me and all my batchmates.

But, gladly I decided to join AIESEC in USJ in September 2021; without any clue that it will be the path to find myself.

Beginning the journey

Getting selected to AIESEC is not as simple as it seems. The first task given to us was sending an introduction video of ourselves. That task was a very unusual one as I never had to introduce myself through a video but it helped me to uplevel my confidence. Then we were divided into subgroups, we had an assessment center that included some fun games and it gave me a chance to work with new people as a team. Selection interviews were really fun and exciting. 

During the process, my curiosity about AIESEC was growing day by day. There were many questions that popped into my head; What is AIESEC? What is happening here? Etc.

When I got to know that I was selected for AIESEC. I was really happy and was eagerly waiting to learn everything about AIESEC. I still remember the day of our induction even though it was held virtually; it was a day to remember

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Becoming a member of AIESEC

After the induction we got divided into separate functions; Luckily I became a member of ICX – Matching and IR function. And I started my journey as an IR Coordinator. Even though I didn’t know any of the processes of the function in the beginning; our team leaders and managers guided us to improve our communication skills by giving proper training. As an IR Coordinator; my major role was building up partnerships with local committees in other countries. Building up an IR partnership with a Foreign Local Committee was not an easy task. But with  the proper guidance, we were able to communicate with the Vice presidents and managers of foreign Local Committees. As an IR coordinator, I had gained a lot of skills and knowledge. While taking part in IR calls I was able to improve my presentation and Communication skills , Getting to know about other foriegn cultures, and learning to work as a team which was really exciting. 

And while working as an IR Coordinator, I got the opportunity to join the PM crew,which was another turning point of my AIESEC journey. Being part of the PM team helped me a lot to get out of my comfort zone and let myself give my fullest contribution to helping fellow AIESECers to grow and improve their skills as well. 

Those two roles unleashed my potentia on balancing my work while engaging in studies and helped me to discover new skills which were hidden underneath me for a long time and I’m grateful for the opportunity given to me in the startup of my AIESEC journey. 

Experience of being part of an OC

In AIESEC, it was not always functional work. I was able to join many initiatives that empowered the youth generation while building connections with many parties.

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Being part of an Organizing Committee of those initiatives is the most amazing experience that you can get in AIESEC. I was able to become an organizing committee vice president in two organizing committees within a very short time period.

 I got my first OC experience from Link up Level up 3.0 which was a short term virtual event held with the purpose of building up partnerships with corporate organizations in Sri Lanka. Even though it’s a short term experience, I was able to enhance my skill of working as a team. And most importantly being part of an OC helped me realize & work with different personalities. 

And then I was lucky enough to be part of SL Gateway that was a new initiative to showcase travelling in Sri lanka. As the co-ocvp in public relations I was able to connect with experineced travel Vloggers and past volunteers who joined with volunteer projects. This experience gave me a whole another level experience of building up connections, working as a team and also more knowledge about AIESEC operations.

I strongly believe that being an AIESECer is not only engaging with functional tasks; Being part of an Oragnizing committee brings the real potential out of you and also gives you the most memorable experience of being an AIESECer.

Future upon

As an AIESECer, I’m looking forward to give my fullest  contribution towards my function as well as hoping to join with upcoming initiatives to gain more experience while making life time memories. As a current team leader my main objective is to guide my fellow AIESECers to gain skills and collect more experiences during their AIESEC journey.

I’m glad to say that the decision to join AIESEC was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I was lucky enough to meet many amazing individuals throughout my journey so far in AIESEC.

So what are you waiting for? Take your step to join AIESEC and Find who you really are while gaining life-time experiences.

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by Navodi Gaspe 
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ
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