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