Tribute 23- Glamour at AIESEC

Tribute , the place where the best performing AIESECers of AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura are appreciated and recognized in front of a huge crowd of undergraduates, parents, and corporate partners, is definitely the most glamorous event in the entity calendar. Tribute ’23 was held on the 13th of May, at the Lotus hall, BMICH, from 3.00 pm onwards.

The event commenced with the arrival of the chief guest, Mr. Janaka Gunasekara, Deputy Managing Director of A.Baur & Co (Pvt) Ltd along with other invited guests, and was then followed by the lighting of the traditional oil lamp and the University anthem. All guests were welcomed by the Local Committee Vice President for Talent Management for the term 2022/2023, Ms. Lakna Abeywickrama, by sharing her experience as an AIESECer and elaborating on how AIESEC truly inspired her to be a value driven and inspiring leader.

The first recognition item on the agenda was for the parents of our fellow AIESECers, for their unveiling support and guidance. All parents present in the audience were called on stage and were appreciated by their children, by handing over a flowering plant as a token of reflecting their gratitude. It was truly an emotional and inspiring sight.

The presentation of awards was next in line, where the best performing members from both the front offices and back offices were recognized with awards and gifts for their outstanding contribution towards the success of AIESEC in USJ. More than 60 awards were awarded to these amazing young leaders who had given their maximum commitment towards the local committee of AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura and it truly was a testimony for their hard work and dedication.

The evening was further filled with musical performances by the Flair Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a very inspirational speech by the chief guest, Mr. Janaka Gunasekara. Mr. Janaka was also appreciated with a token of appreciation for the continuous support extended to AIESEC in University of Sri Jayewardenepura, by A.Baur & Co (Pvt) Ltd, to shape future leaders of our country.

The Executive Board of AIESEC in USJ for the term 2022/2023 was also recognized for their outstanding performance, where their hard work resulted in AIESEC in USJ being identified as the most outstanding local committee for the past term.

Then, the final set of awards for the evening, The Most Impactful Event, The Most Outstanding Organizing Committee, Best Emerging Young Leader, and Best Young Leader were awarded. Revive was awarded the Most Impactful Event and Youcon 4.0 was awarded The Most Outstanding Organizing Committee. The title of the Best Emerging Young Leader was awarded to Ms. Dilni Gunarathne, and Ms. Thanushi Perera was awarded the title of the Best Young Leader.

The evening formally came to an end with the floor being opened for jives and was started off with the jive of the Executive Board of AIESEC in USJ for the term 2022/2023 which was then followed by the jive of the Organizing Committee of Tribute ’23.

Tribute ’23 was such an inspiring moment for so many of us, and I am sure it sparked the fuel of all AIESECers who witnessed this glamorous night, to do more for our entity while improving themselves as true value driven leaders.

by Savindu Wijetilleke

Jaywardenepura Showcasing Team


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The Right Guidance Defeats Doubts


Hello, I’m Sandali Gunawardena, and my journey with AIESEC began around a year ago. “WIWILIS” marked my second experience as an Organizing Committee Vice President for External Relations. Looking back, applying for this role was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my AIESEC journey.

The Beginning of the Journey

Starting as an Organizing Committee Vice President – External Relations for an event of this scale without much prior experience was quite intimidating. The fear and uncertainty initially held me back, but these emotions eventually transformed into a stepping stone for my personal and professional growth. The expectations placed on us and the pressure we put on ourselves pushed me to reach my highest potential.

Challenges and Triumphs

This journey was a rollercoaster of experiences, filled with successes and failures, moments of joy, and times of despair. We faced significant financial challenges throughout the preparation process. However, with determination and creative solutions, we managed to make the event financially sustainable while ensuring a remarkable delegate count and a positive delegate experience.

One of the most gratifying aspects of overcoming these challenges was the personal growth I experienced. Every day, I could feel improvements in my skills, both hard and soft. I became adept at adapting to new situations, taking initiative, and learning through trial and error. It was a journey where I truly took ownership of my role and responsibilities.

The Power of Teamwork

I was never alone on this journey. The entire Organizing Committee, a close-knit team, had each other’s backs. Even when I doubted myself, their unwavering belief in me motivated me to keep pushing forward. We embarked on a transformational journey together, achieving so much more as a team. The support from our Event Managers (EMs) and the Executive Board (EB) was also invaluable in our success.

A Lasting Impact

Reflecting on my journey with WIWILIS, I can confidently say that it has significantly contributed to my growth as a leader and as an individual. It remains one of the most cherished memories and experiences of my life, serving as a testament to the power of determination and teamwork.

Embrace Challenges and Grow

If you find yourself hesitating to take on a new challenge, I encourage you to go for it. It’s through challenges that we learn, adapt, and grow. By the end of the journey, you’ll emerge as a better and more capable version of yourself.

Sandali Gunawardena
AIESEC in the University of Colombo

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Value Driven Leadership Achieves the Impossible

Think about being a part of a life-changing journey that not only allows you to realize your fullest potential and overcome challenges but also immerses you in an amazing group of people who share your passions. My life took an extraordinary turn when I became the Organizing Committee President for “What I Wish I Learned in School,” an impactful initiative by AIESEC in University of Colombo. Engaging in this excellent committee was more than just an opportunity for me; it was also a way for me to seek my potential, personal development and also leadership development.

As I took on the role of the organizing committee president for this event, I knew I was strapping in for a rollercoaster of experiences. I made myself prepared for what lay ahead, expecting challenging situations with our country’s current situation. My thoughts were constantly going through by the weight of the enormous responsibilities and the importance of this as an initiative. Nevertheless, despite these things, I was reassured and strengthened by my constant backing system, the muti-talented and vibrant team of 15 people that made up my organizing committee. Their unique personalities and constant dedication turned into the solid support system that kept me up throughout this journey.

Being a part of this organizing committee looked like being a part of a family. Everyone on the committee was extremely supportive, flexible and also very active. We confronted stressful situations and shouldered heavy workloads as a united front, and it was in those challenging moments that the true extent of our teamwork shone through. As the leader of this remarkable team, I played a multifaceted role. I wasn’t just delegating tasks, but I was also a guide, a collaborator, a listener, and a learner within the team’s dynamic.

Handling the stress and workload of the Organizing Committee was no easy feat, but it was a valuable experience. It taught me how to stay composed under pressure, how to communicate effectively, and how to adapt to unexpected challenges. These lessons went beyond what any classroom could offer.

In the face of numerous seemingly insurmountable challenges and countless sleepless nights spent planning, the notion of “impossible” often loomed. However, I consistently rallied my team with a simple yet powerful phrase: “We possess the potential; hence, we have the ability to achieve it. If not us, then who?” On the day of the event, we showcased our capabilities and demonstrated that we could indeed make it happen. The journey was fraught with failures and tough times, yet on the event day, we executed flawlessly. Despite the hurdles, the event was nothing short of amazing, devoid of any mishaps.

In conclusion, my tenure as the President of the “What I Wish I Learned In School” Organizing Committee was undeniably transformative. It encompassed the essence of leadership, the art of learning from every experience, and the importance of cultivating strong team bonds. This journey was a bridge connecting theoretical knowledge to practical application, merging my aspirations of what should be taught in schools with the invaluable lessons I gained from this unforgettable experience.

As you reflect on your own journey, I encourage you to seize the opportunities to cultivate your leadership skills. Whether it’s within a committee, a club, or a community, always remember that true leadership isn’t merely about holding authority and assigning responsibilities; it’s about embracing responsibilities and turning the seemingly impossible into the possible.


So, what will your next leadership journey be? Take that step today!

Nethmi Liyanage

AIESEC in University of Colombo

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Sri Lankan Culture and Heritage

My journey in Sri Lanka began with a sense of curiosity and anticipation. While I initially thought it might bear similarities to India, I quickly discovered its distinct charm. From the tantalizing cuisine to the unique architectural styles, Sri Lanka revealed itself as a nation that had preserved elements from its colonial past, be it British, Dutch, or Portuguese.

Sri Lanka’s diverse landscapes unfolded before me, offering a plethora of experiences. The nation thrived on tea and rubber plantations, but it was clear that tourism also played a pivotal role. Places like Ella seemed tailor-made for tourists, with restaurants, hotels, hostels, and souvenir shops at every turn. The South and West coasts have breathtaking beaches, perfect for water sports enthusiasts. I indulged in surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and even whale watching, experiencing the thrill of the sea.

Venturing inland, I explored the central region, where Kithulgala provided the backdrop for white-water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and river expeditions. The lush surroundings also offered opportunities for canyoning, mountain biking through tea estates, and exploring the Bellilena Caves. My experiences with Borderlands, especially in activities like rafting and canyoning, left me exhilarated and impressed by their commitment to safety and fun.

A highlight of my journey was witnessing the awe-inspiring Kandy Esala Perehera, a historical cultural procession featuring hundreds of cultural groups, elephants, drummers, dancers, and more. This grand spectacle paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic and four guardian Gods, with the noble purpose of beseeching blessings for the kingdom’s crops and lands. It was a testament to the deep cultural roots of Sri Lanka.

I delved deeper into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, visiting places like Matara to witness the famous Devil Dance and the Colombo National Museum to explore artefacts, coins, and indigenous clothing. The Buddhist History Museum at Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy showcased Buddhism’s global influence and diverse traditions, emphasizing the unique practices of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s spiritual significance in the Ramayana epic came to life as I explored places associated with the legend. From Seetha Amman Kovil Temple near Nuwara Eliya, believed to be where Maa Sita was held captive, to the Kuda Ravana Ella Falls and Ravana Caves in Ella, I traced the footsteps of this ancient narrative. Other sites, like Divurumpola and Gayathri Temple, added to the immersive experience.

Colombo, the executive capital of Sri Lanka, offered a different flavour of the country. I explored the Pettah Street and Floating Market for shopping, savouring local street food, and experiencing the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Utilizing services like Pickme and Uber for Tuk-tuks proved cost-effective, given the propensity for overcharging tourists.

Sri Lankan cuisine left an indelible mark on my taste buds. While rice and curry remained staples, I also relished dishes like Kottu and seafood, particularly prawns from Galle Face Beach. The morning offered delectable breakfast options, from egg rotty to cakes and cream buns. String hoppers with coconut sambar provided a unique culinary experience.

Sri Lanka had its share of unique quirks. The prevalence of lottery shops, selective entry policies at some establishments, and the assumption that Indians were Tamil were all intriguing. The head-shaking gesture for agreement added to the cultural nuances. Despite volleyball being the national sport, cricket had an unparalleled

fanbase. The consumption of raw cinnamon, tap water safety, and preferences for cassava and raw chilli paste showcased the country’s distinct culinary habits. The varying plug points reflected the nation’s diversity.

Team of Borderlands - Worked with them for six weeks.

Team of Borderlands – Worked with them for six weeks.

Representing India at Global Village - Talking about our culture and heritage

Representing India at Global Village – Talking about our culture and heritage

Aswini Patro

Exchange Participant from India

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Leadership Development Seminar 11.0 Creates Proud Leaders

Leading with heart, leading with soul. Proudly forging your path

May was one of the best months of 2023. It’s just because I got selected for my dream Organizing Committee, Leadership Development Seminar 11.0, as one of the delegates Organizing Committee Vice Presidents. Starting from the Event Managers to the rest of the Organizing Committee, it became another family to me from the very beginning. Not only the work but also the fun aspect within the Organizing Committee remain until the end, and still, where we meet one another, it will create millions of talks, which we can talk to for hours and hours.


Here we go. I am Sanduni Sasanka, simply a second-year undergraduate who fell in love with AIESEC so hard. As a proud Incoming Global Talent member, I’m really happy to work for the iGT function over three peaks. From my point of view, apart from your functional work, the organising committee experiences are privileges of being an AIESECer. And I got that privilege within one month after joining AIESEC as a newbie, and that one chance taught me not to miss a single chance that you can work for an Organizing Committee. So, currently, I am working in my fourth Organizing Committee as one of the Organizing Committee Vice Presidents for Marketing.

But, to be honest, Leadership Development Seminar 11.0 gave me the best Organizing Committee experience in every aspect of being a leader. Starting from stress handling to risk management, it helped me overcome most of my mistakes and made me a more responsible person who can adapt to any kind of situation without thinking twice. As a delegates OCVP, basically what I had to do was handle the whole membership of the entity and make sure that each and every delegate got the most out of this conference.

For some AIESECers, it was their first leadership conference, but for others, they have been part of conferences like these countless times. But still, at the end of the day, what will remain is the happiness and satisfaction of fulfilling your targets for the event. I got that satisfaction, and for the very first time, I got that many lovely sugar cubes from the CCers.

My experience

Leadership Development Seminar 11.0 taught me how to handle things calmly and how to react to some situations, even if those are not bearable. It taught me to step up from my comfort zone by holding that inner brave girl with me. I am not forgetting one of the most important things that I learned from this experience. It taught me how to be creative and make a peaceful environment to stay in, and I was their smile-maker even though my jokes were so bad sometimes.


Can you all imagine how you will survive in an Organizing Committee like this without a brave OCP who’s going to stand for you when you are stuck with so much work and other stuff? To be honest, I got one of the best OCPs. The one fact that I still truly believe is that we did a great Leadership Development Seminar this time, just because we had a leader who could lead us every time we were stuck on the wrong path.


At last, when I took a look back at those days, I collected so many memories with my beloved ones. I was one of the best AIESECers for some AIESECers, and it was a pleasure to hear that they enjoyed and learned a lot from LDS 11.0. I had the most supportive people in my life. And I’m happy with the way that I came so far by improving my leadership skills drastically, and what I believe is that if you do something by your heart, it will never go wrong.


Why are you still waiting? Why are you still doubting yourself this much? Why don’t you want to just give it a try? Break your boundaries, and come and just take the challenge. Prove to yourself that you can do better and be a better person than you think or others’ think about you. And make friends and memories for life. Trust me, you find everlasting friends there and everlasting memories, which can make you cry just thinking about those moments. This is your chance to test yourself. And remember the good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes.

Finally, what I want to say is,



Sanduni Sasanka 

AIESEC in University of Colombo


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