Student/Professional Development

Try and try again: Coastal Conference 2015 – Jaime Ysmael

"Failure is just a phase. You must exhaust all 
possibilities, try out all the different ways 
and accept all responsibilities."

-Jaime Ysmael, a third-year student in Sauder 
school of business and also team leader in 
AIESEC UBC Incoming Exchange portfolio.
Coastal 2015
Coastal 2015

Coastal Conference was an amazing conference. Not only did it run with few hiccups, it also had very memorable experiences that I will remember for a long time. As great as the conference was, I can’t rank it as my #1 because of my WRC (Western Regional Conference)-I equally enjoyed my experiences in both conferences but for different reasons.

I enjoyed WRC because it was my first conference. Everyone remembers his or her firsts really well and same for me. I had the chance to meet so many wonderful people and was inspired to put more efforts into AIESEC. I wouldn’t be a TL (team leader) today if I hadn’t gone to the conference. I might not even choose to stay in this amazing organization if I hadn’t had the strong connection developed through that conference. WRC is also the conference that exposed me to the true AIESEC culture, which is so unique that it is almost impossible to find in any other student organizations.

Coastal was a different experience. I wish it could last longer so that I would have been able to meet more people and write more sugarcubes (special notes that delegates can send to others during the conference). If there were one thing that I regret at Coastal, it would be that I wasn’t able to stay up late and bond more with delegates from my LC and other LCs. However, I love Coastal just as much as WRC because Coastal invoked something important in me.


Coming into Coastal, I was going through some tough times. As a Team Leader for ICX (Incoming Exchange portfolio), I had gone through team reorganization as members from my team left. Not only that, I was also disappointed in myself for my lack of activity in the past weeks. That was basically a rough start of my term to say the least. When I heard that all the members from my new team were attending the conference, I was pumped up. I kept on looking back on my first conference, and I wanted them to have similar experiences. As for my own personal development, I wanted to learn to improve as a more experienced member as opposed to a new one. I wanted to reflect on what I had done so far and on what I can do to move forward.

Jaime discussion
Case-based group discussion

I immediately had that rush when the conference began, but I took a more active role this time during all the events. Comparing to WRC, I felt that I enjoyed the culture more as I felt a closer bond with the organization. Seeing all the people I had met before brought back good memories from the past. As the first day ended, I felt at home already. AIESEC really helps you feel like you’re part of a family and that is what is so amazing about it. Also, unwilling to see a repetition of what happened to my previous team, I spent the first night bonding with my new team and tried to develop a closer relationship with them. That was an important point for me-I wanted to have them feel at home and become more engaged in AIESEC.

As the second day came, I felt rejuvenated. The day focuses a lot more on learning and I indeed learned a lot about myself and about how to contribute to AIESEC. I just want to emphasize how amazing the Facis (Facilitators), the agenda team and the chair of the conference were as they made this day a great experience for both the new members and the old ones. In my specific track, my favorite moment was the discussion we had with Sam (the Chair), Cam (former Local Committee President of Victoria) and Exchange Participants from abroad. Their experiences enlightened me and pushed me to improve myself. As the day passed by, I became happier as I saw how my team had been growing since the conference started. I could see how they were stepping out of their comfort zones and I could see the potential that they had for the future. I felt like a parent seeing my children growing in front of my very eyes. As night rolled along, my connection with my team grew even more-the photo booth and the karaoke sessions made me feel extremely lucky to have them as my members. I saw the passion they had and felt confident that I was able to reach out to them, and that was the moment in this conference that my goals of knowing and improving myself as well as empowering my members were accomplished.

My thoughts were confirmed the following day during the simulation session. My team outperformed me and they really pushed the envelope in trying to get as far as they could. I was really proud. After the simulation, I reflect again during the meditation session. It was here that I was able to truly think back to what Coastal had taught me personally in terms of my goals. It was here that I realized how important persistence is in achieving the goals. In fact, it was so important that a few days later, I decided to write a poem about it. I would like to share it all with you:

I’ve fallen, I’ve lost, and I’ve failed

I’ve disappointed the people around me

Those close to me have bailed

There’s nothing in me for others to see


But I’m never going to give up

I’ll keep trying again and again

I won’t ever even think to stop

I know that it’s just a matter of when


I know failure is just a phase

You must exhaust all possibilities

And try out all the different ways

And accept all responsibilities


I’ve risen up, I’ve won, and I’ve succeeded

I was crazy enough to try

All my fears in life are now shed

I’m no longer living a lie

Jaime and his team members

At the end of the conference, as we were saying our goodbyes, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I feel like I was a renewed person and I was able to reach out to my team. I also felt that I had experienced a change in myself for the better. There was so much that I wish I could have said. I remember in WRC, I tried to write a sugarcube for everyone. Unfortunately, I could not do that this time. However, I want all of you to know that I joined AIESEC because of you, the people. For those who haven’t been able to go to a conference yet, I implore you to go to the next one. My favorite part of AIESEC is seeing others grow, so I want to see you all grow alongside with me in our journey through AIESEC. Let’s all together make 2015 a great year for AIESEC!


Vietnam Here I Come

“We must take adventures to see where we truly belong”


My inspiration:

Today June 19th (when I actually wrote this entry) marks one week before I leave for my 7 week internship in Hanoi, Vietnam. I initially thought that I wouldn’t be going abroad to work till 3rd year, but plans change. Why you may ask? Simply because I want my life to be changed. Be it a good or bad experience I want to step out of my comfort zone and go on a journey. The fear of the unknown is a scary thing, uncertainty leaves you feeling anxious and misplaced and that’s why I want to explore the undecided.

It all started in December 2013. I attended my first ever AIESEC conference. I was able to meet passionate student leaders from all across Canada who all want to create change. The stories I heard convinced me to apply to go on this internship.

The power of a story is what I was interested in. How could something so abstract give me such a sudden change of heart. I then realized that I wanted that ability as well. To go on an adventure of self development and self discovery and hopefully impart the same type of change to somebody, anybody I would eventually meet.

My Responsibility:

I am pleased to be partnered with AIESEC NEU (National Economics University). My job entails me to create conference content with themes central to interpersonal, soft and leadership skills.

I will also be working with interns from Germany, Brazil, Indonesia, and many more, so I am excited and pleasured to be working with people from all over the world.

My mind:

Why did I choose this specific internship?

One of my passions is equipping youth with tools to succeed. I originally come from Manila where the public education is not particularly up to standard. In my home not everyone is given the opportunity to learn and succeed. I believe that each and every person given the education and the right mindset can be a leader, can innovate and can be a winner.

My Expectation:

Fast forward 6 months and I’m here, typing this pre-landing reflection to see how I actually got here. I haven’t felt the complete excitement or the fear of going away yet, but I know it will hit me soon enough. I’m excited to learn and bring back a life changing story.

Cross-posted with permission from Christian Chan, Talent Management

We Do. We Share. We Inspire: Coastal Conference 2014

The AIESEC UBC Marketing & Communications team at Coastal 2014!

Being a newbie in AIESEC having joined in January this year, Coastal Conference 2014 hosted by Kwantlan Polytechnic University was my first big AIESEC experience. As it was a conference geared towards introducing newbies like myself to AIESEC, I was expecting to learn all about the basics of AIESEC: its structure, the many, many acronyms, its programs, and the exchange process. However, what I ended up taking away from the conference was much, much more.
When I entered the conference room, the atmosphere was full of spirit and excitement. Each local committee (LC) from SFU, Kwantlan, Victoria, and Seattle was being introduced and I was immediately infected with the enthusiasm of my peers. Amazingly, this energy lasted through the entire weekend and was continuously pumped up by roll calls, famous AIESEC dances at every break, and the Fun Team who dealt out punishments and gossip. Throughout every activity, whether it be sessions, discussions in ‘home’ groups, portfolio-focused exercises, or even the intense simulation, the energy never disappeared and instead contributed immensely to my experience at Coastal.

As the energy persisted, it transformed throughout the weekend from one of pure excitement, to one of purpose as well. Though we were unaware of the impact this weekend would have on us as AIESECers, this would be the beginning of our AIESEC story. For both experienced members and newbies like me, this was where we all began to think of our time in AIESEC as a journey. One of the most impactful realizations made at Coastal was the importance of an AIESEC Why. Though a seemingly simple concept, many of us shockingly realized that we lacked a Why. We lacked a reason for being in AIESEC and for why we were doing what we were doing. As the Chair of the conference explained, having a Why was essential as it is the driving force behind everything we do in AIESEC, both personally and collectively. Encouraged to reflect on our own personal Whys and what we wanted to accomplish in AIESEC, we collaborated our ideas in our individual ‘home’ groups. The Local Committee Presidents (LCPs) later combined all these ideas to create one unified Coastal Why: We Do. We Share. We Inspire. This Why reflects what we, as a whole, learned from the conference and will act as the Why for ‘right now’ for those who have yet to find their own, like myself.
We Do. We Share. We Inspire. This is a Why that I believe in as I saw it in action at the conference. Experienced members who had already actively participated in AIESEC programs (Do) opened up to others about their stories and experiences (Share) and as a result, sparked motivation and purpose in other AIESECers (Inspire). What I will always remember about Coastal Conference 2014 is the energy and passion that was shared among the delegates, and the motivation and purpose I left the weekend with. This is where my story began and by sharing it here I hope to encourage others to start thinking about their story.

By Alison Suen, Marketing and Communications

Being Behind-the-Scenes on Recruitment – Karena Yeung

Recruitment Organizing Committee 2013
Recruitment Organizing Committee for September 2013

Exactly eight months ago, I had my first encounter with AIESEC. Like any other individual new to the organization, what AIESEC does or stands for was a completely unknown phenomenon to me, yet the potential it seems to offer gravitated me towards making my first step in joining – attending the info session.

The info session presented a basic outline of what AIESEC is as an organization, as well as introductions to each of the portfolios. I noted and enjoyed how the members present acted together as a team – each of them took on a leadership role in order to run the info session smoothly. Notably, whilst sitting in the room as someone who was still considering on applying for membership, I would have never imagined myself being in their exact position a mere couple of months later.

Having been a member of AIESEC since January, I do not consider myself a new or an old member. Despite being a part of the organization for less than a year, I am astonished at the opportunities AIESEC provides for one to grow not only professionally, but personally as well, whether it is through conferences, organized training sessions, or opportunities to take on management roles such as becoming a part of the Recruitment Organizing Committee.

The Recruitment Organizing Committee (ROC) essentially plays the main role in terms of the recruitment process. Together the team strategizes new promotional tactics, and organizes what’s needed to present to interested students for AIESEC’s Membership and Exchange program. I was given the role as a Member Recruitment Coordinator for the upcoming September recruitment season, hence being able to create promotional material for their Membership program while also getting the opportunity to sharpen my presentation skills along the way.

Having just formed our team of nine members in August, we were not only given the opportunity to challenge ourselves to work under strict time restraints, but the rewarding aspect that comes with seeing our hard work earning stirring results. Being a part of the Recruitment Organizing Committee taught me three main values I found crucial to the successful running of a group.



The main objective of working in a team is the opportunity to exchange ideas so that each person’s suggestions are taken into consideration. By doing that, you’re able to utilize the communication skills needed to not only negotiate and compromise, but to also gain knowledge from others. More importantly, you are able to have fun and create something everyone is proud of and contributed to at the end.



As our team only had a month before September to start planning our tasks for recruitment, we had limited time to create all the content needed for promotions and info sessions. In order to make the best out of the time available, we set goals and objectives to achieve, where I was able to attain some effective planning skills along with the ability to really focus on what was needed to be complete. Weekly meetings and late-night Skype chats to discuss ideas were more than rewarding.



Your ability to be subject to change is an important aspect of being apart of the Recruitment Organizing Committee. The material you began working on in the beginning of the recruitment process will never be the end product you show to the applicants. In terms of creating promotional material, changes upon changes were made before the finalized result was approved. Despite that, modifications only garner better results in the long run.

All together, being in the Recruitment Organizing Committee enabled me to gain skills from outside the classroom in an opportunity where I was able to learn more about AIESEC, interact with members from different portfolios, and create an experience to help facilitate one of the biggest events at the start of the school year. I learned more about myself, and the impactful results of being in a youth-run organization that comprises aspects of what it takes to make a mark in the school community, and in AIESEC’s case, on a global platform as well.

By Karena Yeung, Marketing and Communications

AIESEC Taiwan’s Summer National Conference 2013 – Vivien Lee


“Hello, are you an international delegate?”

That was the question I was asked most frequently from July 3-7 when I was at my first international AIESEC conference. I had the chance to attend AIESEC Taiwan’s Summer National Conference (sNCF) 2013 which also happens to be the 50th year anniversary of AIESEC in Taiwan, so needless to say the conference was spectacular!


There were over 300 local Taiwanese delegates and around 70 international delegates from 13 different AIESEC entities (AIESEC Egypt not in the photo). On top of the large number of delegates were two Member Committee teams (2012-2013 and 2013-2014 teams) each with 12-13 people and a 20 member Conference Organizing Committee team. Spending five days with more than 400 passionate AIESECers all with perspectives and knowledge different from my own has been rewarding.


Each international delegate is placed in the care of a local committee (LC) and I was with AIESEC MCU (Ming Chuan University) who was very welcoming. When conference sessions ended at 10 pm, Taiwanese local committees would engage in something called LC Sharing. Everyone from the same local committee would gather in one room, take out the conference agenda for the day and go through each session discussing what they learned and what they didn’t understand. Then they would clarify to each other and talk about the knowledge applicability to their own AIESEC work. They would also share their feelings about the conference and the impact they felt. These talks could go on until very late at night until the entire day’s agenda is finished. Fortunately, the late night snacks are provided by the Organizing Committee which included fruits and local Taiwanese desserts.

In Canadian AIESEC conferences, sharing in the evening is not a norm and we prefer to have free time to mingle with friends from other local committees. This showed me that the bond within the local committee is important to the Taiwanese AIESECers and that they take the learning at conferences seriously.


As with all AIESEC conferences, AIESEC Taiwan’s Summer National Conference 2013 was held entirely in English and I learned a lot about the way AIESEC is run in Taiwan. Summer National Conference is special for AIESEC Taiwan because it is the only conference with two Member Committee teams and watching their transition gives delegates insight on where their AIESEC career can take them. Most people on the Member Committee team have already been in AIESEC for 4-5 years and for some when they step down from that role they will leave AIESEC as a member and become an alumnus. However, they stressed that “Once an AIESEC, Always an AIESECer.”

Since it was the 50th anniversary of AIESEC Taiwan they were able to invite influential speakers to the conference including the current Vice President of Taiwan Wu Den-yih and ‘godfather’ of Taiwan’s hotel industry, Stanley Yen. It was a little funny to me because before the conference I went to the Presidential Office Building in Taiwan and saw cardboard figures of Vice President Wu but at the conference I saw him in real life!

Another cool thing we did was a 400 people flash mob in the middle of Ximending. Ximending is the most popular destination for youth in Taipei and has 24 000 visitors every week. We did AIESEC dances to a three song medley and cheered, “Happy 50th Birthday AIESEC Taiwan!” at the end. I never thought that I would participate in a flash mob, let alone one this big but it really showed the impact of youth when we all gather together to do one thing.


Overall I learned, played and experienced a lot at AIESEC Taiwan’s Summer National Conference 2013 as an international delegate which I cannot wait to bring back to my home local committee, AIESEC UBC.

By Vivien Lee, Marketing and Communications 

Train the Trainers: The Life-Changing Experience I’ve Been Waiting For — Connie Hsu


Before: a girl who knew nothing about giving feedback, event planning, or the intricacies of different personality types.

After: an engaged learner who has a better understanding of herself, is super impressed by people who regularly plan events for a living, and knows how to deal with that annoying person in the audience during a presentation.

Lots of people join AIESEC because they want to 1) meet and get to know more people, 2) develop personally and professionally, or 3) do some AIESEC dances! From August 23rd to 25th, a select group of individuals from UBC, SFU, and KPU participated in Train the Trainers.

Train the Trainers (TtT) is a mini conference aimed to train AIESEC members in developing strong training and facilitating skills so they can help their own local AIESEC chapters as well as facilitate at conferences. Unlike many training programs, TtT is truly an engaging and thought-provoking seminar that not only offers you the tools to improve, but also gives you the opportunity to practice using them through interactive activities. You are guaranteed to walk away with something new after attending, whether it is in giving constructive feedback, leading workshops, or just learning about your own strengths and weaknesses you have when presenting.

Continue reading “Train the Trainers: The Life-Changing Experience I’ve Been Waiting For — Connie Hsu”

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.

Terry Gunderson AIESEC Japan Seminar 1972 1

“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.

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: