The start of university life is one of the most important milestones for a student. It’s the place where an effective start is given to the journey of what you aspire to be by taking charge of your own life. It’s the place you get to make new friends, learn what your likes and dislikes are, keep an open mind and view life from a different perspective.
In the present day, our way of living has completely changed with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the education sector switching to online means is one of the main transitions that has happened. As a student who got into the university last year in the midst of the Covid widespread, I never got the chance to attend lectures physically. But just like every cloud has a silver lining, in the month of May 2020, I made the decision to join AIESEC and so far, it has opened up many opportunities and prospects for myself.
It all started with an interview and I was pleasantly surprised by its unique approach. After a few days from the interview, we were divided into subgroups and were given tasks to do. Apart from getting the chance to know a lot of AIESEC newbies like myself, the team building activities we had were fun and very exciting.
There were a number of thoughts flying around my head at the start: What is AIESEC? What do we do here? What are all these acronyms? I vividly remember the first few days after being assigned to separate functions, meeting team leaders and meeting fellow team members for the first time. Eventually, a lot of queries I had were answered shortly and everybody was very friendly and hugely welcoming throughout the induction.
Being an IR member
I started out as a member of the International Relations (IR) team of the Outgoing Global Talent function in AIESEC and the main things that we had to do included, building new partnerships, sustaining current partnerships and finding viable foreign internship opportunities. As someone who didn’t have any idea on this process, the training given by our team leaders was really helpful. The insightful presentations and organized trackers gave us the opportunity to learn the process clearly.
One of the main benefits that I gained from being an IR member was the international exposure through the IR meetings we had with various foreign AIESEC entities from all around the world. Participating in these meetings were always fun and I got to know many people around the globe and widen my global network.
While being an IR member, I also got the opportunity to handle visa processing for our exchange participants which led me to develop my communication and negotiation skills through constantly associating with IR partners, foreign embassies and ministries. I met some amazing people, made many lifelong friendships and got exposed to so many different cultures through events like Bond Overseas and gained a number of skills which I had no prior knowledge of during my time as an IR team member and I’m truly grateful for all those opportunities.
It hasn’t just been functional work at AIESEC; there were many exciting initiatives, socials and gatherings that I have participated in since I joined. Out of it all, being in an Organizing Committee (OC) was the most pre-eminent opportunity that I was able to experience.
We humans are unique from one another. The way we act, the way we speak, the way we interact with each other differs from person to person. Being in the OC of Career Cast 5.0 was a totally different experience for me as it made me realize that understanding team members individually is important when leading a team. I grasped how to influence and motivate members and this opportunity also made me familiarize with all the ins and outs of the roles in an OC and the extent of responsibility that comes with being a leader.
I was also fortunate enough to be a part of the YouCon 3.0 OC which was an experience that is second to none. With an event of such a scale, I got to acquire skills in things that I never intended to learn. I had several things to improve within myself and being in OCs helped me realize those weaknesses and work on them. Adding to that, I got to learn the importance of teamwork, communication and coordination, time management, and mutual accountability.
I believe, if you are an AIESECer, you should definitely try out for a role in an OC as it is one of those incomparable adventures that’ll help you to develop your skills and make memories worth a lifetime. It’s the cherry on top!
What lies ahead
I’m looking forward to the upcoming terms of AIESEC in USJ and it’s prospects. With all the events coming up and the new initiatives that are to be unveiled, I’m excited for the flourishing months ahead. As an IR team member, I’m looking forward to giving my best to the function, raise and sustain partnerships and keep on learning while developing my skills.
The decision I took to join AIESEC made me meet an incredible bunch of talented people and a whole lot of memories to cherish. So, why wait? Set your best foot forward and join AIESEC to challenge, engage and enhance yourselves. Go the extra mile and grab the valuable opportunities that AIESEC provides and be a part of an amazing pool of talent. It’s all in your hands. Give it a whirl!
By Dulni Wedage
Showcasing Team – AIESEC in USJ