Atteding AIESEC conferences is an important part of being an AIESECer: it is all about connection, friendship, and inspiration.  This coming May, members of AIESEC UBC will be attending the National Leadership Development Conference (NLDC), and we are excited!

I have spent a significant portion of my student life extremely involved in athletics and other extracurricular activities. In high school, I was a straight-A student, the president of the Grad Council Committee, and an active member of several other clubs. Essentially, I was the stereotypical overachiever.

Starting university was a completely different experience for me because suddenly there were so many options available from which I got to choose. The University of British Columbia can be overwhelming due to its huge campus and student body. It can be difficult to find your place on campus when you feel small and insignificant in a lecture hall of two hundred other bright students. Sometimes it is easy to become discouraged, and become disconnected from campus life altogether by simply attending class and then quickly going home.

Throughout my years at university, I’ve met many people who never made an effort to become involved in any clubs or student organizations. I always wanted to be a part of a school club that would enhance my university experience and provide me the opportunity to enhance my skills outside of the classroom.

Joining AIESEC UBC in the beginning of my fourth year of university has been one of the best personal decisions I’ve made. It has given me an opportunity to be a part of something other than academics in school. AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-run organization that enables young people to explore and develop their leadership potential through international internships and leadership development.

When I first joined, I attended a conference that really put things into perspective about the strong community that makes up AIESEC. AIESEC is more than networking, team building, internships, and career enhancement; rather, it is a thriving network of like-minded individuals who want to make the world a better place. Attending the conference gave me the opportunity to meet other AIESECers from all over Western Canada who want to bring innovative ideas to the table and make a difference in the world. That weekend was full of dancing, cheers, inspiration, and bonding that really made me connect with the organization on a whole new level. Hearing people talk about how much their lives have changed because of the opportunities that AIESEC has provided for them was extremely exciting and inspiring.

It’s amazing how many doors open to us once we take initiative and transcend our comfort zone. Being a part of a club will allow me to learn a whole lot about dealing with others, and about myself and my own limits. Undoubtedly, I know that if I didn’t make any changes and never took the initiative to join a school organization, my experience in university would be a sullen and dull one.

By Ana Parfenova, Communications