It is amazing how strangers come together and meet through a chain of events. It’s common in AIESEC to meet people near and far that you would never have thought of knowing, and then finding out how much you have in common with them. One such opportunity happened to me these past two days 10 000 km away from home.

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I found myself in Hong Kong in a room full of strangers at 10:30am in the morning and thinking about the connections that brought me there. An AIESEC friend from Calgary, whom I first met at an AIESEC conference in October 2012, introduced me to the Vice President Communications of AIESEC Hong Kong. We exchanged a few messages where he invited me to AIESEC Hong Kong’s Brand XP (experience) Summit, which is where I found myself in a room full of strangers one week later.

The connections did not stop there. At the Summit, I met two facilitators who had connections with myself. One of them, come June, will be on AIESEC Mongolia’s Member Committee, alongside Joshua Sunga, AIESEC UBC’s President two years ago and older brother to our current President. The other was the past Vice President of a high school classmate.

This is the expanse of AIESEC’s international network. If you are an AIESECer and you meet AIESECers from elsewhere in the world, one of them is bound to have some connection or mutual friends with you.

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Now onto the Brand XP Summit! It was my first time attending an AIESEC event outside of Canada. The Summit was focused on AIESEC Hong Kong’s reality, but all the delegates were keen on asking me questions about AIESEC UBC’s and Canada’s realities. I found myself very enthusiastic to share because through learning our differences in Communications operations, I learned a lot about our strengths and weaknesses.

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What I took away most from the two day, totaling 24 hour Summit was the spirit of never giving up and the value of leadership. We all face difficulties in developing leadership, but AIESEC provides us with the place to make mistakes and start fresh in order to make our desired impact. To quote someone from the Summit, “Leaders do not build followers, leaders build more leaders.” As a leader of AIESEC UBC, that inspired me to work with my team members and empower them to take up leadership opportunities, even if they are unsure, because I believe in and support them.

Good luck to my new AIESEC friends on their upcoming leadership roles in AIESEC Hong Kong!

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By Vivien Lee, Communications

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