As Vice-President of AIESEC International, I was responsible for leading 40,000 young people towards achieving AIESEC’s target of 45% growth in results (number of international internships) within 1 year with a team of 22 people from 17 countries.
AIESEC is the world’s largest youth run NGO enabling leadership development for social change.
Adapting – I was in a new country working with 22 strangers under high professional pressure. I missed my family, friends and India. Building a meaningful life in the Netherlands while delivering high performance is one of the toughest challenges I have faced.
Influencing – AIESEC did not believe it could achieve 45% growth as it hadn’t seen such performance in the past. Positively influencing people across the world to believe in the target while making sure everyone’s concerns were addressed, was a significant barrier I crossed.
Achieving – After generating momentum towards 45% growth, I faced the challenge of execution. How do I focus the efforts of 40000 volunteers towards one goal? I believed it was possible & persisted with new ideas & actions.
By overcoming these challenges, and more along the way, I was able to achieve 45% growth.
WHAT I LEARNED
Inner strength – The personal and professional intensity of this assignment forced me to deal confidently with complex situations. I appreciate the importance of independence and interdependence in achievement. Humility, hard work and simplicity are values I strengthened through this experience.
Skills – Not-for-profit management, team work, process enhancement & statistical analysis formed the core of my work. The environment taught me to be assertive and culturally sensitive.
The future – One of my most important learning’s is self-awareness. I understand what makes me happy and what my future goals are. I have clarity of purpose and the strength to translate my ambition to action.
I joined AIESEC because I wanted an international exchange experience – Vishal Jodhani, India/Belgium
I joined AIESEC to be able to explore the world beyond Colombia – Alejandra Laiton, Colombia
I joined AIESEC because I wanted to invest my time into something that makes a difference – Monica Costea, Romania
I joined AIESEC because the best people in my city were part of it – Aditi Bhat, India
A few years ago, these were stories waiting to happen. AIESEC made these stories come alive. Today Vishal, Alejandra, Monica and Aditi are part of AIESEC’s global office working with young people around the world to ensure that they also have A POWERFUL STORY to share tomorrow!
Are you a young person asking these questions?
How can I make a difference in my community?
How can I build a network of friends and colleagues around the world?
How can I develop myself personally and professionally?
How can I gain international work and leadership experience?
JOIN US! Starting July AIESEC around the world is recruiting new members! Do you want to write your story in this world? AIESEC can offer you international exchange and leadership opportunities which give you a platform to create impact in your society, create a network of friends, mentors and organizations around the world, develop your personal and professional skills, and work in another country!
As a young person who joins AIESEC today, you will be part of AIESEC’s 2010 generation! You will take the final step in leading the organization to achieve its 2010 vision. The result of more than 10 generations of hard work, passion and ambition!
AIESEC’s 2010 vision:
“Every day, AIESEC is enabling the development of agents of positive change who create the needed impact in society. Our rapidly growing network connects high potential people around the world to generate an increasing volume of AIESEC Experiences. Every member in our thriving local and global communities of learning completes a life-changing AIESEC Experience. Our contribution makes us the first choice amongst young people and organizations for activating leadership.”
Who is Generation 2010? Young people who have –
The perseverance to make things happen
The creativity and originality to think differently
The ambition to lead change
If you want to join AIESEC go to http://www.aiesec.org and contact the AIESEC office in your city!
I am a 23 year old Indian girl working in the Netherlands at the global headquarters of AIESEC. I connect people, trends and geographies to create life changing opportunities for young people around the world.
In March 2009 the International Leadership Conference took place in Guatemala City. It brought together 250 young leaders from across Latin America and the United States. I had the opportunity to facilitate and train this diverse group. The conference was a grand success, shaping future leaders with the knowledge and skills they needed to make a difference in their countries. It closed with a Gala dinner in the center of Guatemala City at the National Palace – A spectacular collage of architecture, Guatemalan culture, colors and leadership.
I was seated on a table with dignitaries from the Guatemalan Government including the Congress President and the Minister of Education. The minister didn’t speak English, I don’t yet speak Spanish. Felipe Cardenas, Director for the Iberoamerica region was our mediator. I introduced myself. On hearing that I am Indian and managing AIESEC’s global exchange program, she excitedly responded that her son was in India. I was surprised! I asked what he was doing in India and how he liked it in my country. She explained that he was on his second AIESEC internship in Chandigarh, his first was in Africa. She also mentioned that he was celebrating his birthday that night with his host family!
The moment passed, didn’t seem special at the time. Sitting in my room in rainy Rotterdam I look back:
An Indian girl from Hyderabad managing AIESEC’s global exchange program;
lands up sharing a dinner table in Guatemala with the Minister of Education;
whose son is in India on an AIESEC exchange at that moment;
and is celebrating his birthday with an Indian family!
A moment of inspiration.
I feel fortunate to be part of this global leadership network called AIESEC. My story in AIESEC so far is made up of many such small moments of leadership, cultural understanding and learning.
I believe that small moments make stories which inspire living. What are your stories?