This was probably the best Thanksgiving weekend I’ve had! I attended my first AIESEC conference, Western Regional Conference 2012, from October 5-7. I’ve been told by members of my LC (Local Committee) that AIESEC conferences are different and inspiring but I did not understand what they meant until I experienced it for myself.
There was something called the Spirit Keg which is passed onto the LC with the most spirit and is most engaged during the conference. As a result, everyone was in high spirits from the beginning. It wasn’t just for the pride of winning the keg that caused everyone to be so enthusiastic but the presence of other like-minded friendly people.
The schedules were packed with breakfast starting at 8am, opening plenary at 9am and evening plenary at 9pm. The days were long but I moved from one session to the next looking forward to more.
There were a lot of group discussions about how to improve our individual roles, LCs and AIESEC Canada as a whole. I enjoy group discussions a lot because I like to input and listen to the exchange of ideas.
In September, our LC recruited a lot of new members and to be honest I did not even know many of their names until WRC. Now I can happily say we recruited some pretty awesome people.
On the second day of the conference there was something called an “AIESEC Pitch Off.” Basically it was a competition between all 160 delegates to see who could deliver the best pitch for AIESEC. We were given different scenarios like “persuade a newspaper to publish an article about AIESEC” or “recruit 1st year business students to become a team member of AIESEC.” We each had 15 seconds to think about our pitch and then 30 seconds to deliver it.
When the competition rules were explained I just thought that I would try my best but after many rounds I ended up as a top 8 finalist of 160 people! Of course I was happy for myself but when I learned that three other people from UBC were also in the finals with me I felt even happier because I was so proud of our LC! That means four out of eight people in the finals were from UBC 🙂
In the finals three “mystery” judges determined the winner. I didn’t make it to the next round but my friend from high school, Joy won in the end! 🙂
On the last day there were more sessions and an AIESEC portfolio simulation. One of the last sessions was reflection time. A medley of songs were played and we were told to think back to our high school selves then to project to our future selves. What kind of person do we want to be? What kind of legacy do we want to leave?
It was one of the most emotional moments at the conference and some people started tearing up. I’ve developed so much passion at this conference and I don’t know where it came from but it just enveloped me over this short period of time.
We all took a lot of photos at the banquet with new friends and old ones from all over western Canada. In the end, our LC didn’t win the Spirit Keg but we knew we tried our best and AIESEC SFU very well deserved it so congratulations to them! 🙂
When the OCP (Organizing Committee President), Grace made her speech it was very touching. I was told by people who have been to other conferences that this was the best and most smoothly run conference they’ve been to. I felt very privileged that my first conference was of such high standards!
I learned so much about myself, others, the purpose of AIESEC, and its support network at WRC. I cannot wait to attend NC (National Congress) 2013!!