AIESEC UBC was founded half a century ago in 1962. Throughout the years, many have contributed to making AIESEC how it is today, and through AIESEC, many have discovered their ambitions. As current AIESEC UBC members, we often wonder what AIESEC was like ten or twenty years ago, and before that, how AIESEC impacted the youth then, and where those people are now.
We recently had the pleasure of getting in contact with Terry Gunderson, who was AIESEC UBC’s Local Committee President in 1971. Back when he was a university student, Gunderson was drawn to the idea of reaching out into the international community, pushing him to become part of AIESEC UBC. Through AIESEC, he had the opportunity to travel to Japan on an internship and work with Nippon Telephone & Telegraph Company. Because of this trip, travelling became one of his life-long passions.
Fast forward forty years: Gunderson is still actively involved in making the world a better place. In addition to his successful career as an accountant, he is a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver, and will become its president in 2015. Rotary, like AIESEC, promotes world peace and intercultural understanding through going on international exchanges and gaining cultural experience.
What Gunderson learned through his AIESEC experience stuck with him, and now persists on a new platform at Rotary. Gunderson, as the vice president of Rotary Club, has invited AIESEC UBC to speak about AIESEC and the Global Internship Program to the members of Rotary Vancouver. The event will be taking place at the Terminal City Club downtown on September 3rd, and business professionals and Rotary members are expected to attend.
Every year, thousands of students embark on amazing journeys all over the world through AIESEC’s exchange programs, and many have had valuable experiences from working in professional environments.
“Fear is only in your mind. It really does not exist if you do not let it affect your life. Trying something new, exciting, and challenging was the best way to overcome it.” This is what Mr. Gunderson learned from his AIESEC internship to Japan, and he still believes so to this day. Being an AIESECer is about going beyond your comfort zone and overcoming your fears.
AIESEC UBC will be recruiting this September for students interested in developing their skills and taking on global challenges. Visit our website for more information.