The Value of Knowledge

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.52.08 AM“It is difficult to teach when you have never been taught.” -Anonymous

Stripped down to its core, Train the Trainers (TtT) lays out the fundamentals of how to be an effective teacher. Being a teacher is wrought with many hardships from dealing with that know-it-all wanting to showcase his intelligence at the most inappropriate times or knowing how to properly administer feedback to an unreceptive student. But, of course, one cannot simply forge into battle without building some sort of camaraderie with our fellow delegates upon the unspoken agreement that, for the weekend, we are all there to appreciate the value of passing on knowledge.

By exploring the intricacies of how to deliver that knowledge to an audience, we became proficient at cultivating a room filled with learners who are attentive, present and willing to learn. With AIESEC repeatedly proving that a yearly turnover rate can lead to success, it is imperative that each generation, well-versed in the processes and ideals of AIESEC, are consistently produced.  Train the Trainers shows us the value of applying different methods of teaching to reach different learning styles and teaches us how to manage an audience regardless of size or composition ensuring that our scope includes everybody in the room. Train the Trainers teaches us to command not only the audience, but the space itself, using the dynamics of a room to our advantage.

TtT taught us not only how to train but it also taught us about ourselves as well. With time and space provided for self-reflection, it became easier to acknowledge my own shortcomings and focus on how to improve them. We were given a chance to teach a specific topic at our discretion. I had intended to beguile the minds of the delegation with a story about priorities (i.e. The Jar of Life). Instead it led to my own unearthing of where my priorities stood at this point in time, something that was a long time coming. TtT provides the space for self-awareness which was immensely gratifying.

Knowledge is the driving force of this organization and by becoming certified trainers, the delegates and I became part of a group that helps drive the organization forward. One of the main benefits of going into this mini-conference is being surrounded by people who share the same passion for AEISEC and, as a delegate, one can feed off of that passion. With students from Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and University of British Columbia striving to learn how to better equip their own Local Committees by becoming a better trainers, it becomes easier to remember that we were all there to help bring AIESEC forward.

In this mini-conference we were given to the opportunity to put all that we have theorized into practice and see whether or not our current methods prove effective. We are forced to work with people whom we have just met and be expected to produce a project usually planned for months. It is certainly a testament to the standards that AIESEC holds its members to that we are all able to pass on our knowledge to the next generation of leaders.

By Andrea Banzon, Finance and Governance 

My AIESEC Experience! – Melissa Siy

I had always been interested in what AIESEC stood for – an international non-profit organization that provides students with leadership training and internship opportunities. Specifically, the opportunities it offers students that extend beyond the school body – personal and professional growth. As my last year in UBC, it was getting closer for me to explore and discover more of my career path and what I really wanted to pursue after I leave the academic world. With that, I found AIESEC.
I joined AIESEC during the September 2013 recruitment. At first, I did not realize how in depth and structured the application process was. I had to attend at least one info session, submit a written application and lastly attend a group and one-on-one interview. Despite the process seemingly intimidating, it was nothing close to that. In fact, I found myself more passionate and determined to be part of the AIESEC family. I loved the group and one-on-one interview the most. I highly commend the Talent Management team for successfully producing a professional yet fun event! Even from the beginning of the membership assessment center, I already found myself comfortable around the AIESEC community. It was then, that I was certain that I had to be part of the community. I initially applied for Incoming Exchange (ICX) as I was convinced that it was the perfect portfolio for professional and personal development through their sales meeting, cold and warm calls etc. I thought ICX would give me the perfect training and self-discovery that I needed for after I graduate UBC. However, we were given the opportunity to learn about different portfolios during the assessment center. I am really grateful for this opportunity because it is when I realized that Talent Management was a better fit for me! Despite the change in mind, I still pursued ICX as my first choice. However, when I received my acceptance email, I was positioned in Talent Management. Until today, I am so happy for it!
I started out as a Members Engagement Coordinator in Talent Management during my first term in AIESEC. I was under the leadership of Amanda Hung as the Vice President of Talent Management during that time but my team leader was Jessica Ngan, who is the current Vice President of Talent Management! The first event that we wanted to plan was Engagement with AIESEC. I was really determined to find a speaker for the event. I reached out to Scotiabank by conducting my very first cold call. I remember being so nervous about it but I was thankful that Jessica was there to help me out throughout the call. Unfortunately, the event never pushed through but despite that, it pushed me to extend beyond my comfort zone. Not that I needed it but it just re-confirmed me that AIESEC is the perfect organization that would yield me to develop myself not only professionally but personally! The first AIESEC event that I organized with my other team member, Tony, was the Year End Social. This was important for me because it was the first event that we had to organize as newbies without being dependent on Jessica. Through this event, I further learned how to negotiate with people (specifically, the venue holder) and practice my presentation skills. It was a successful event! My first term in AIESEC was a great experience for me but I realized I wanted to gain more. My goal was to be a Team leader for next semester. This term, I was given the opportunity to be the Director of Member’s Training and Development in Talent Management. I was so excited for this new challenge and opportunity and was determined to be a great leader. This really shows how great AIESEC is. The community really sees through your hard work and determination and with that, it drives you even more to push and challenge yourself. So far, I was able to be a facilitator and interviewer for this year’s membership assessment center. Being on the other side of the fence, I was able to learn so much professionally. As an observer and interviewer for the potential new members, I was able to position myself in the mindset of an evaluator that paralleled the position of an interviewer for my future job opportunities. With that experience, I believe that it will serve as a significant aid for my future job interviews. I now have a better and a comprehensive understanding of what an interviewer observes and examines during a job interview. The most recent event that I organized with my team is  Induction Day. Induction day is an event where the new members will learn more about AIESEC, the local chapter and the team they will be part of. I experienced how to successfully delegate tasks to my team members and lead a team in organizing a successful event! Furthermore, I am also able to conduct weekly team meetings that continuously encourage me to be a great team leader and consequently teach me how to be one as well. Everyday, I develop my professional and personal self with AIESEC. For this term, our team’s goal is develop a new project that will impact our local chapter and hopefully, AIESEC as a whole organization!

By Melissa Siy, Talent Management 

We Do. We Share. We Inspire: Coastal Conference 2014

DSC00814

The AIESEC UBC Marketing & Communications team at Coastal 2014!

Being a newbie in AIESEC having joined in January this year, Coastal Conference 2014 hosted by Kwantlan Polytechnic University was my first big AIESEC experience. As it was a conference geared towards introducing newbies like myself to AIESEC, I was expecting to learn all about the basics of AIESEC: its structure, the many, many acronyms, its programs, and the exchange process. However, what I ended up taking away from the conference was much, much more.
When I entered the conference room, the atmosphere was full of spirit and excitement. Each local committee (LC) from SFU, Kwantlan, Victoria, and Seattle was being introduced and I was immediately infected with the enthusiasm of my peers. Amazingly, this energy lasted through the entire weekend and was continuously pumped up by roll calls, famous AIESEC dances at every break, and the Fun Team who dealt out punishments and gossip. Throughout every activity, whether it be sessions, discussions in ‘home’ groups, portfolio-focused exercises, or even the intense simulation, the energy never disappeared and instead contributed immensely to my experience at Coastal.

As the energy persisted, it transformed throughout the weekend from one of pure excitement, to one of purpose as well. Though we were unaware of the impact this weekend would have on us as AIESECers, this would be the beginning of our AIESEC story. For both experienced members and newbies like me, this was where we all began to think of our time in AIESEC as a journey. One of the most impactful realizations made at Coastal was the importance of an AIESEC Why. Though a seemingly simple concept, many of us shockingly realized that we lacked a Why. We lacked a reason for being in AIESEC and for why we were doing what we were doing. As the Chair of the conference explained, having a Why was essential as it is the driving force behind everything we do in AIESEC, both personally and collectively. Encouraged to reflect on our own personal Whys and what we wanted to accomplish in AIESEC, we collaborated our ideas in our individual ‘home’ groups. The Local Committee Presidents (LCPs) later combined all these ideas to create one unified Coastal Why: We Do. We Share. We Inspire. This Why reflects what we, as a whole, learned from the conference and will act as the Why for ‘right now’ for those who have yet to find their own, like myself.
We Do. We Share. We Inspire. This is a Why that I believe in as I saw it in action at the conference. Experienced members who had already actively participated in AIESEC programs (Do) opened up to others about their stories and experiences (Share) and as a result, sparked motivation and purpose in other AIESECers (Inspire). What I will always remember about Coastal Conference 2014 is the energy and passion that was shared among the delegates, and the motivation and purpose I left the weekend with. This is where my story began and by sharing it here I hope to encourage others to start thinking about their story.

By Alison Suen, Marketing and Communications

The AIESEC Story

Once upon a time, there lived a nation present in 124 different countries, with 100,000 citizens; where everything was possible and nothing was unachievable.

The AIESEC Story is a yearly campaign aimed at showcasing the story of an AIESECer. Whether you are someone who is thinking about joining the organization or a current member who wants to document their time in AIESEC, The AIESEC Story utilizes the method of storytelling to promote the connection between people to people. Throughout the year, we will be posting a variety of updates illustrating the transitional stages of an AIESEC year. Of course, no year is the same, but this year will be our year to tell you our story through our experiences. From introduction to conclusion, we invite you to embark on this journey with us, one chapter at a time.

Have you ever thought about what being an AIESECer is all about? Or whether the idea of exchange and a cultural mindset is as remarkable as it all seems? Starting this month, we will be providing The AIESEC Story for you to be a part of. Join us on this adventure as we unravel it through a range of personal and professional development and exchange stories, much like an actual storybook. And in the end, we hope you will say “Can we go back to page one and do it all over again?”

National Support Team Summit through my eyes – Andres Lee

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

No one is born a leader. To say that someone was naturally bestowed with the talent to lead others is to take away value from having this ability, and to deny credit where it’s due. We often take leadership for granted; we all see the great speech or the revolutionary idea, but no one recognizes the pastor who built a ramp for his church so that even the handicapped could experience God, or the boy who donates all the spare change he’s ever saved to fund a refugee shelter. Leadership is the biggest of visions, but it’s also the smallest of details; it’s the smallest of successes, but also the biggest of failures (and learning from them). We choose to learn to lead not for ourselves, but for others; our goal is not to have the most people following our path, but the most people inspired enough by our path to create their own.

Every milestone in a journey is a checkpoint for reflection, and these were the exact thoughts on leadership wandering in my mind as I made the trek to Toronto this winter break. Seven exhilarating and exhausting days of National Sales Program pre-con and National Congress (NC) later, my time in Toronto this winter still wasn’t done. There was one more stop before heading home: the Winter 2014 National Support Team (NST) Summit.

AIESEC Canada is run both from a national and a local level, under the leadership of the Member Committee (MC) and Local Committees (LCs) respectively. In between is the National Support Team, or the NST. This team, made up of some of AIESEC Canada’s brightest minds in all functions, ensures that, as an entity, AIESEC Canada maintains high synergy between MC strategy driving LC growth, and LC contributions driving national growth. I had the honour and privilege of being selected, along with fellow AIESEC UBC members Michael Shao, Amanda Hung and Karena Yeung, onto the NST team for the Winter 2014 term to help see our national vision through and drive incredible results across the country!

Each MC VP leads a team of NST members who are responsible for that specific function on a national level. I was attending NST Summit as an incoming National Coach for Incoming Exchange (ICX) in New Sales for the Coastal Region, which includes the four LC’s in Vancouver (UBC, SFU, KPU) and Victoria (UVic). We had a total of ten team members, along with our NST Team Leaders (TL’s) Cindy Nguyen and Kyler Baker, all working with our MC VP CR, Kaylee Muise, to plan national strategy in ICX for the next six months.

As an AIESECer, we’re used to being surrounded by great leaders all the time, but the people I had a chance to meet and talk to that weekend were in a league of their own. All walks of AIESEC experience were in attendance, whether they be former Vice Presidents (VP’s) and Local Committee Presidents (LCP’s), current VP’s, NST members and TL’s from last term, and, of course, the current MC. Having been through a year as a VP on AIESEC UBC’s Executive Board (EB), the team we had assembled felt very much like a larger version of it. It was like we were creating our own Year Plan, except on a national level, and we only had six months to achieve everything we wanted to do.

Admittedly, it was an adjustment moving from an EB role to an NST role.. It was weird being on the NST at first: I was no longer the one calling companies, or attending sales meetings, or managing my team. The detachment was definitely refreshing, but sometimes I inevitably had to catch myself when I picked up the phone and started dialing. Once I settled into coaching, though, I realized that this was a whole new experience for me, and I loved it. The pressure’s off just a bit, and I get to see my amazing VP’s in the Coastal region grow and do incredible things every day.

The ICX NST team! (missing: our MC VP CR Kaylee Muise, and Account Delivery Coach Ijaz Rahim)

The summit itself started off with a follow-up on the brand new LEAD session delivered by Staci, a representative from our national learning partner, ICA Canada, to the NST and incoming LCP’s at NC, where functional coaches were given methodologies for facilitating conversations and working with their regional VP’s. After spending some time looking at overall realities across the country, we spent the rest of the summit within our functional teams, planning initiatives and setting goals for our term ahead. Having been a part of the national initiatives as a VP, it was even more exciting now that I was actually working on them. The ICX NST created some great synergy and big goals at the summit, and we can’t wait to share them with the rest of Canada!

Working on the NST now reminds me of a conversation I had with another AIESECer when I first joined the organization. The only way to go in AIESEC, she had said, is usually to go up. It didn’t make sense to me at first; I thought it was ridiculous there was an unwritten rule that once you were finished your term as VP, LCP or any other leadership role in AIESEC, either you moved on to a position that took on a larger role or you became an alumnus. Being a member was an amazing experience, and one that could last as long as I wanted; why couldn’t I just do that?

Thinking about it now, I realize what she said makes perfect sense. Just based on AIESEC’s mandate to develop leaders through experiential learning, it’s only a logical next step to “move up.” Looking back on my own experience, I never predicted the positions I would take or apply for beforehand; but maybe that was the beauty of it, to forgo planning it all out and instead seeing where the journey can actually take you.

Jack Welch’s quote on leadership was one I discovered just after my selection onto the NST, and it’s one that resonates strongly for me. After being in AIESEC to develop myself, this role will allow me to take what I’ve learned and help others have that same experience. I never would’ve thought I’d come this far in my AIESEC journey so far, and who knows where it’ll take me (hopefully on exchange!) NST Summit was the platform for a new opportunity to impact this organization, and I can’t wait to see what happens this term!

By Andres Lee, National Support Team | Incoming Exchange

Thank You!

Every year, AIESEC Canada coordinates a number of both national, and international conferences aimed towards providing members with the experience and opportunity to obtain skills from outside the classroom, ranging from developing personally and gaining professional skills that can aid one in their future endeavors. By utilizing conferences as a tool for a major learning environment and platform, AIESEC holds over 500 national and international conferences annually to foster the growth and development of their members, in addition to connecting with the alumni of the organization to build up one’s network.

From December 30 2013 – January 3, 2014, over 300 AIESECers from across the country got the chance to partake in leadership instructional sessions, global/strategy discussions and engage with other AIESEC leaders at AIESEC’s National Congress 2014. This conference supports AIESEC’s core duty: developing student leaders and facilitating global exchange.

This year, AIESEC UBC had the honour of going up on stage to collect two excellence awards in the categories of Talent Management and Marketing and Communications! We are so ecstatic of our accomplishments and can’t wait to see what the New Year has in store for us.

TM members Amanda Hung and Jessica Ngan with the National Vice President of Talent Management, Sue Ahn

“Since the implementation of AIESEC Canada’s new Member Education Cycle this Fall, our team has actively taken part in fully utilizing the tool, as well as integrating the national initiative and the Member Levels into our Local Committee to promote cross-functional activity within our Local Committee”

MarCom members Shiori Harada and Karena Yeung with National Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Gordon Ching

“In 2013 we implemented marketing strategies and produced regular content for all our online platforms to document internship, membership, leadership, and alumni experiences. Every aspect was important in reflecting our Local Committee culture and capacity. Through media publications, such as our partner websites and newspapers, MarCom was able to share the value of AIESEC more broadly”

Check out AIESEC UBC’s Year End Annual Report 2013 here!

Opening the Door to Opportunity – Veronica Velayo

large

    I joined AIESEC UBC back in September 2012. During that time, I recently moved from the Philippines and I literally didn’t know anybody nor did I know what to expect. At first, I wanted to join Talent Management because I had previous experience in their field of work. However, when I learned more about Corporate Relations and how they regularly contact companies, attend sales meetings and networking events, and manage relationships with external stakeholders, I knew it was something I had to try. I’m not very sociable, nor do I find it easy to talk to people, in fact, I’m very quiet and shy and as much as possible, I stay away from talking to people I don’t know. So what would a person like me be doing in a portfolio such as Corporate Relations? To be honest, I didn’t know but I knew it was something I had to do.

     I remember the first time I had to do a cold call. The combination of talking on the phone with a stranger and delivering a pitch was overwhelming for me. I remember being so nervous that I felt like people 20 meters away from me can hear my heartbeat. I was dreading to pick up the phone and dial the phone number and I was starting to wonder what I’m getting myself into. After a long internal pep talk, I finally picked up the phone, dialed the number, and delivered what I was supposed to say. I didn’t book a meeting on that first cold call, but I felt great! I felt like I could deliver a sales pitch to the CEO of Google after going through what I went through. From then on, everything seemed so much easier. I made more cold calls, attended a few sales meetings, and met people in networking events. Don’t get me wrong, my heart was pounding during every call, meeting, and networking event but I learned something new every single time.

     I decided to apply for a Team Leader (TL) position during the start of 2013. Being a TL is very different since I have to be responsible not only for my own goals and growth, but the whole team’s goals and growth as well. I had to act calm and confident, even though I was scared and panicking inside. But I guess it’s true what they say with “fake it ’til you make it” because after some time, I didn’t have the need to act anymore. For 2014, I will be AIESEC UBC’s Vice President for Incoming Exchange. I’m really scared and really excited at the same time. It’s a huge responsibility and my portfolio will play a big part in the success (or failure) of AIESEC UBC next year. But I know, even though my term hasn’t officially started yet, that despite the struggles and challenges I will face next year, there will be more achievements and success. Looking back, I could say that the quiet and shy girl came a long way to get this far. From being someone who couldn’t even small talk, I became a person who can have a one-on-one lunch meeting with a company executive. In a year, I learned that in order to become the person you want to be, you have take on the challenge of pushing yourself even further. It’s about deciding that your goals are far, far greater than any of your fears and insecurities. If I didn’t make that first leap of faith to join Corporate Relations and just settled with what I was comfortable with, I would not be where I am now. Going through everything I did in AIESEC was more than worth it because it opened a door to an opportunity that is even more exciting and challenging. I don’t regret any decision I’ve made no matter how hard and scary they may be because I know that it’s those scary leaps of faith you take that are worth it in the end.

 By Veronica Velayo, Corporate Relations