Interview with Annika Hanisch

ANNIKA HANISCH, LC Ljubljana, VP OGX

If you met yourself the day you joined AIESEC, what would you say to your younger self? Why?

Right decision! It is time to start challenging yourself and to step out of your comfort zone! Do not be afraid it is going to be an amazing and challenging experience! 🙂

What does AIESEC mean to you?

AIESEC for me is mainly a platform where I can develop myself as well as be actively engaged with developing others! It is also a first step towards my career. But it is way more! It’s family, friends, and a group of people who are striving for the same vision, mission and values!

Which AIESEC value you think represents you best? Why?

Definitely Living Diversity. Living in diversity for me indicates to interact with different cultures, share different beliefs, values and traditions. In AIESEC Ljubljana we are working with people from many different cultures and countries. I extremely enjoy listening to different views and perspectives and then developing new ideas together!

Which skills did you develop/ improve in AIESEC?

I definitely improved my public speaking skills, organizational skills as well as leadership skills. The great thing is, that you are constantly developing and improving yourself! In a professional as well as in a personal way!

How did AIESEC help you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses?

I think it is really hard to pinpoint that. What I can say is, that I mainly developed together with my team and my members. They are the ones that made me aware of the areas that I still need to improve, as well as those in which I already managed to gain a lot of knowledge and experiences.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years and how did AIESEC contribute to this?

In 5 years I see myself not in a certain country. My goal is it to get to know as many different cultures and countries as I can. AIESEC gives me the opportunity to do so. Before I settle down, I want to make sure I gained as many experiences as possible and get to know even more amazing AIESECers. 🙂

What was the biggest challenge you overcame in AIESEC?

One of the biggest challenges for me was not being prepared at all for my VP position. During my application I was convinced, I already gained most of my knowledge during my term as a member. When I finally became VP OGX, I realized how many things I was not aware of, I realized how much it takes to become a leader. I overcame this challenge mainly with the help of my team, AIESEC in Ljubljana, as well as AIESEC Slovenia. Most important for me was, not to lose my motivation. Therefore the biggest part of my motivation was my OGX team, that was working together with me to overcome the difficulties.

How does AIESEC help people see the world differently?

For me, the most important thing is, to enable students to go abroad, volunteer or work. I believe, that working in a multinational environment, with people from all over the world, broadens you perspective immense. By providing young people with any kind of AIESEC experience, may it be through internships or by becoming a member, we enable them to get in contact with different people and cultures which will help them to start seeing the world from another perspective.

How do you think other people change when they experience AIESEC?

For me, the most important thing is, that I, together with my team, enable students to go abroad, volunteer or work. I believe that working in a multinational environment, with people from all over the world, broadens you perspective immense. By providing young people with any kind of AIESEC experience, may it be through internships or by becoming a member, we enable them to get in contact with different people and cultures from all over the world.

How do you think AIESEC contributes to community?

Our organization is aiming to make people aware of the current situations and problems we are facing in today’s society. By providing with leadership experiences, through internships as well as by becoming a member, we believe that we can create Leaders, who have a positive impact on society and the world.

Do you think AIESEC helped you to become more self aware and helped you to become what you want to become?

Yes.

Do you think you can face the challenges better now compering to the time when you started in AIESEC?

Yes, and I am already doing it now. 😛

 

 

Are you an active person, looking for new experiences?

AIESEC Slovenia is looking for new members! Get to know more about us. 

 

Interview with Matic Kašnik

“You should follow your passion and always surround yourself with extraordinary people.”

 

MATIC KAŠNIK, DIGITAL CONTENT MARKETING MANAGER, EDUCATION FIRST

 

“I learnt, with AIESEC, that the single most important thing is that you have to follow your passion and surround yourself with people who are more experienced. They will push you out of your comfort zone and enable you to constantly achieve personal and professional growth.”

I am always seeking new challenges in life and that’s what brought me to join AIESEC in Ljubljana, which was one of the most important decisions of my life. I was pursuing an engineer degree in Computer Science when I took a year off to find what my passion in life was. That made me curious and after working as a developer in a corporation I found my passion for constantly learning new things and that enabled me to discover the world of digital marketing, leadership and startups.

I had the privilege of leading the local chapter of AIESEC Ljubljana. I found myself working in various projects such as Youth 2 Business Forum, or the organization of international conferences.

Later, I applied for an internship, which at that point seemed impossible for me to get. I managed to prove my value for EF Education First and I was accepted to go on a life changing journey in India, leading a digital marketing department. Living in a country which challenges you everyday enabled me to excel my learning experience even more. Not only I got to know different cultures from around the world, it also enabled me to learn from the best in the industry. One of the most important lessons that I learned is to always be curious and trying to get in the same mindset as some of the industry giants have. I am still learning new things everyday and that allows me to really pursue my passion in digital marketing and working in a startup environment (even though EF is a global 42,000+ employees enterprise).

Thanks to prior experiences I had in AIESEC, I got offered a full-time position, just 2 months after my internship started, to manage the digital marketing team in Bangalore. This way I was able to prove my value, not only to myself but also the company.

If there’s one thing that I’d have to expose from this experience is that there are no failures. We only win and we learn and keeping a positive outlook makes me want to pursue for even bigger challenges.

 

Are you an active person, looking for new experiences? AIESEC Ljubljana is looking for new members! Get to know more about us here http://aiesec.si/students/future-leaders

 

 

This article was taken from the AIESEC Leadership Magazine, Edition 2: World 15/2020, page 9. 

 

Interview with Alexandru Cucer

ALEXANDRU CUCER, President of AIESEC in Slovenia

 

If you met yourself the day you joined AIESEC, what would you say to your younger self? Why?
Join AIESEC. Be active, bold and do what you are afraid to do.

What does AIESEC mean to you?
AIESEC is the organization which connects young leaders from 127 countries to work on a common purpose to make this world a better place.

What  was the most valuable thing you got from your AIESEC  experience?
During my AIESEC experience the most valuable moment for me was when I discovered what I am passionate about and what is my mission in life. Also working in different countries and attending Global conferences I gained friends from 127 countries around the world. I believe I would never met any of them I wouldn’t join AIESEC.

Which skills did you develop/ improve in AIESEC?
Working in over 23 teams at national and global level I got experience in how to turn a dream into a planned and achievable project.   While working in AIESEC I got the most experience in public speaking, sales, project and event management.

What was the biggest challenge you overcame in AIESEC?
One thing which I was always afraid of was public speaking. First time I had a speech in front of 60 people I said to myself I will never do something like this again. Thanks to AIESEC I didnt manage to keep that promise. Currently I have experience in delivering training for corporate and social sectors in 4 different countries.

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How do you think AIESEC contributes to community?
We are creating action oriented people which are self aware and are aware of the problem the world and their countries are facing now. People who are able to connect with other people in order to achieve a common goal.

Do you think AIESEC helped you to become more self aware and helped you to become what you want to become?
AIESEC is constantly challenging your behavior and internal values. Challenging your beliefs on how things work and how to work with different people. It is a constant process of feedback and improvement in order to become aware of our strengths, weaknesses and to become a better version of yourself.

Are you an active person, looking for new experiences? AIESEC Slovenia is looking for new members! Get to know more about us here http://aiesec.si/students/future-leaders

Interview with Jan Walliser

Interview with JAN WALLISSER, LC Ljubljana, VP TM

What does AIESEC mean to you?

AIESEC, for me, is a platform to develop myself while at the same time doing good for society. Unlike many other organizations AIESEC is for me a group of people where I can be myself, while being supported by other members to learn and gain knowledge while also using this knowledge that I gained there and in Faculty in a practical context.

Which AIESEC value you think represents you best? Why?

I believe that the value “enjoying participation” describes me the best since I believe that the fun in learning and doing something good is always a important factor when it comes to staying motivated to do something. Especially together with the other member I enjoy participation together while having an impact and learning. It provides the right environment to have both.

Which skills did you develop/ improve in AIESEC?

The skills I developed most in AIESEC are definitely leadership and organizing skills. Before I could not have managed to lead a team the way I am able to today and to organize my work and others work the way I can now.

How did AIESEC help you to recognise your strengths and weaknesses?

I found out about these by experiencing it practically. I learned by doing what my strengths are and how to overcome my weaknesses.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years and how did AIESEC contribute to this?

I see myself working in a startup that has a impact in society. AIESEC helped me a lot to find out more about myself, what I want to do in the future and that I not only want to make money and be successful but that I also want to do a meaningful work.

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What was the biggest challenge you overcame in AIESEC?

The biggest challenge I overcame in AIESEC was leading a project called Global Village during which I had to manage a team of 7 members to organize the biggest AIESEC project of the year. At first I didn’t know how to be a good leader and how to manage an event of this size – but through experience I developed myself and learned much more about these kind of things.

How does AIESEC help people see the world differently?

I believe it helps people see how diverse our world actually is and to see how all the cultures are different but can actually work together for a common goal.

How do you think other people change when they experience AIESEC?

In a similar way that I did: getting to know themselves a lot better and developing a lot.

How do you think AIESEC contributes to community?

I think AIESEC contributes to our community here in Slovenia not only by bringing internationals here and providing international experiences and through that improve international understanding but also it is able to develop the kind of leaders that will have an impact on the community, the country and the world tomorrow.

Do you think you can face the challenges better now comparing to the time when you started in AIESEC?

Definitely. I believe that AIESEC showed me that with enough motivation and effort and a good team everything can be accomplished.

 

Are you an active person, looking for new experiences? AIESEC Ljubljana is looking for new members! For more informtation click here http://aiesec.si/students/future-leaders

Matej, volunteer in Brazil

 

First classes in Talk project

Did you know that some Brazilian students speak English very fluently? Well, I was a little sceptic at first when I met local citizens. Rarely anybody knows basic English, from students to workers on bus stations or airport. But when our Talk project started, I began to meet very perspective people who have a good understanding of English language. In my and Mohamed’s class we have real variety of people. We have freshmen students in the beginning of their studies and careers, student that has been in more than 50 countries all over the world, than a self-employed marketer who sells T-shirts with modern graphic designs, a musician in his thirties, traveling the Brasilia, … and of course Slovenian scientist/musician/sportsman and Egyptian pilgrim/parachuting/TEDx organiser.

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At the beginning we had some problems with the organisation, but we resolved all the issues together with the great project manager Lara and our classes where great. In first meetings we got to know each other. We shared our life stories, talked about hobbies and discussed different views of the world. Some would think that it might be difficult to connect with people from such distant countries and different backgrounds, but the reality is far from this. Once everybody felt comfortable with each other, we started relating through story telling.

Traveling and hobbies are the easiest topics where we could talk through the whole class and we could have talked for hours more. After first classes we opened topics about health and education. I was really shocked about the situation. Of course everywhere the main problem is financing, but in Brazil the gap between having basic security and not having it is even bigger. One third of youth finishes high school and only 3% of people finish university, because of hard exams for entering university and bad education in high school. The privileged people can also afford to go to private schools, have better education and can easier enrol in university. You can also describe heath issues the same way. If you have money, you get treatment sooner and better, and if you don’t have it, you just don’t get basics covered. That’s why you see poor and sick people on the streets, children selling things to tourists and lower standard of living everywhere. After some classes I just had to take a minute to think about my luck in this world. Born in great country, with education, endless possibilities, traveling the world, … I truly am grateful for all that I have. 🙂

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Exploring the Island with Tampinha amigae

Did you know that morning sup peddling in sea is one of the most fun things to do? Well, if you have man’s best friend with you, it becomes a nice bonding moment. My host’s dog Snoopy and a beautiful cat Lizz are always fighting for my attention. It is so cute. Lizz is meowing, I pet her, Snoopy licks my hand, now I have my both hands full … what if another furry little friend comes along for cuddling? Love is everywhere in Brazil. 🙂

Evenings with all trainees are fun. Trying local caipirinhas with cachaça, comparing our languages, traditions, … but the funniest thing is when 3 Egyptian guys speak their language, in one corner you hear Spanish/Portuguese mix and Germans are always outnumbered with their harsh language. Cheers, nazdrovje, nazdravje, fesehetak, burraah, salute, salud, sáude, … But with all our differences and varieties of backgrounds we always create memorable moments full of laughter, ideas for new trips or we even share a tear.

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First week our group on Talk project hasn’t started with classes yet, so we had more time to explore and enjoy our beautiful island. Lots of other trainees had Friday free, so we went on Barra da Lagoa. Cloudy weather turned into a beautiful opportunity for new surfers to try something new. We rented all surfs in the shop and jumped on waves. Most of our tries were just a total disaster and funny for all of us. But splashing in the water for almost 2 hours gave us beautiful moments. Even just one good … rather decent stand on a surf gave me big boost of energy to keep going. When my hands couldn’t paddle any longer and propel me on the board, we call it a day. After my first experience on the waves I know I will definitely continue improving my surfing skills throughout this Brazilian journey. Lunch couldn’t get more typical than this: rice, beans, some salad and fried fish … and of course caipirinha. Afternoon was just continuation of good vibes from the morning. Playing volleyball and football (here called futchyball), building sand castles like little kids and just enjoying good energy around us almost makes you believe life couldn’t be more perfect at that moment.

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Saturday 15th of August was a day for hiking. With our tour guide from California (lives and loves Floripa) we met in Lagoa and headed in the forests of this beautiful island. On 2 hours long hike we saw beautiful landscape, remote beaches and made new friendships. Lunch hour was closing and we treated ourselves with variety of seafood dishes. Crabs, shrimps, fish, … fried, steamed, grilled or just raw. We tried the whole menu! After that we had a quick walk to the near waterfall where we took nice photos and got refreshing pit stop (yes, the bravest took a swim in the cold river). For a walk back to the city we were a little too tired so we took a boat. From there we observed gorgeous sunset on the lake of Lagoa.

Arrival

Did you know that when you travel from Europe to Brazil, you have to pick up the luggage in São Paulo or Rio and do the whole check-in in Brazil?

 

Well, I didn’t, so my clothes and shoes stayed in São Paulo while I was waiting for them in Florianopolis. Yes, my first adventure wasn’t really the best. But the evening sushi with Flavia and Rhaiza was the best. =)

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Then came 3 days of calls to the airports and I finally got everything back on Sunday. In between, I was sup-ing on the sea, trying to surf, eating local avocados, bananas and coconuts.

 

 

From that point on, the fun part of this adventure has officially started. I met Mustafa  in the centre and we immediately started exploring the city. The other trainees were on the other side of the town, so the only way was to go across Morro da Cruz. Beautiful view of the city awaits for us while we were hiking the “favelas” of Floripa.

 

 

Meeting so many people in one place is just amazing. Egypt, Japan, Germany, Germany, Germany (yes, we have a loooot of Germans), Spain, Italy, … all so friendly, they welcome you in their circle. Just riding the bus can be also one big experience. We emideately became friends with American girl who lives and LOVES Floripa (short for Florianopolis) and found our official hiking tourist guide for the next weekend. To end up the evening we embraced the beautiful Lagoa and ate delicious traditional Brasilian burger.

 

Eventhough the bus rides here are really long, writing this first blog wasn’t done quickly. Bumpy roads and crazy fast drivers makes typing a whole new skill that I have to master. I can’t wait for the next adventure. 🙂

10 Top Skills You Develop in AIESEC

In this short article we are introducing 10 most important skills that an AIESECer learns during his or her time in this wonderful organization, besides everything else that comes together as a part of a self-development process.

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10. One of the first skills you develop in AIESEC is problem solving. The environment where AIESECers work is challenging. Overcoming those challenges requires critical thinking and effective problem solving skills. We learn how to solve the problems by using innovative approach and relentless work ethic. By exposing to challenges we tend to change our way of thinking and in one year period AIESEC-ers gain so much experience, comparing to normal student environment are exposed to larger amount of challenges than they would be  and by that becomes more productive, inspired and happy. Those people will be prepared for the future because they know how to overcome the challenges; with other people’s help we are most efficient.

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9. Networking Skills. It’s all about collaboration between individuals and groups in different functional areas, and this collaboration on micro level enables that AIESEC works as an organization. Networking helps us gain connections to people who know what we are searching for. So it is very important to gain networking skills to find the solution of the problems, establish collaborative environment or merely because networking is fun and feels good. 🙂 Knowing a person from Moldova who wants to build his own faculty or the Russian girl who’s communication skills exceed almost anyone’s are just two examples how networking can help us be better as individuals and as a organisation.

 

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8. Strategic thinking. When AIESEC gives you a challenge, you have to solve it the best way you can – at first you solve it by providing the solution, but later you become aware of it and start to think how you can reach the goals more effectively and efficiently at the same time. That’s when you learn how to use tactics, how to negotiate, how to get what you want, you search for logical solutions of your problem – and that is how you develop strategic thinking.7_10skills

7. Collaboration. In AIESEC everybody learns how to cooperate; that is a necessary skill because groups, which work in different functional areas, otherwise would’t have worked. Collaborative work improves people in many ways, some of them are awareness, motivation participation, reciprocity, reflection and engagement. AIESEC attracts collaborative work, because there is less pressure for people and they can help each other and reach their goals faster.6_10skills

6. Co-creation and Brainstorming. There is no feeling like the feeling of success and pure joy when you see the actual results of your hard work. And greater things require larger amount of people. One person cannot do things that ten people can. However, brainstorming is a very popular way to find a solution for a certain problem on a meetings; everybody’s opinion is valued and the best solutions sometimes come totally unexpected.

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5. Project Management. AIESEC wants to shape a better future by promoting leadership. Even though a person is more comfortable with the role of a follower rather than a leader, everybody becomes more courageous with time and ready to take some responsibilities. AIESEC shows you how much more you can actually do and you start expecting more from yourself.

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4. Relationship building. When you come to AIESEC, you meet a lot of new people. You learn how to introduce yourself and even if you are an extremely shy person, soon you realize people have accepted you, because AIESECers are bonded with same values and goals and appreciate diversity. Once you are part of this international community, you know you are part of something big and that there’s a lot of people out there who share the same values as you do. And I can guarantee that’s a very comforting and satisfying feeling. Soon you will have many international connections.

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3. Ability to see the big picture. AIESEC helps put situations into perspective. We are all focusing on our goals and we all want to achieve great results. AIESECers work relentlessly in a fast pace environment to achieve the goals on time. But always focus on the bigger picture which determines the success of the projects. Striving towards greatness. Not everything goes the way we plan it. That is also true at AIESEC. This experience helps to prepare people to re-think the strategies and improve their perspective on solving the challenges of a project.

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2. Cultural sensitivity. AIESEC is a cultural highway. AIESECers are exposed to various people from all around the world. People who come from different cultural backgrounds are flock in the community. Connecting with them will expose you to their culture and their experience. Amazing and interesting stories from people around the world are common case in the AIESEC culture. We can see that the more people we meet, the bigger our world gets. Fun stories, cultural differences, knowledge and experiences define every individual and in AIESEC this is even more apparent since we are present in 126 countries and territories.

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1. The most important thing is how we see ourselves and how can we show others. Public speaking represents a skill which enables us to communicate with audience. All of us started at the beginning, nobody was born without the fear of public speaking. Even those who seem to be so relaxed on stage and just know how and what to say. AIESEC gives a great opportunity for transition from a starter to a pro. Drawing the line between these two helps put the problems into perspective and helps solve them. Like with all things, it is easier to start with small challenges rather than big ones, therefore and first you introduce presentations to a small group of people in your functional area first. When you feel confident in front of a small crowd, you can move to a bigger audience. Of course, one thing that really helps you here is the fact that in AIESEC no one is going to bite you or make fun of you, if you start trembling in front of the crowd. When you see that people are responding well to what you say, you quickly get more confident. You will notice fear starting to get smaller and smaller.

 

Do you think you could improve on any of skills mentioned above? Join us on: http://aiesec.si/students/future-leaders

skills of 2020 and changing leadership

The Skills of 2020 and Changing Leadership

The societies we live in today are vastly different from what they were twenty, or even ten years ago. The pace of the world is increasing exponentially, due to technology and its effects on the daily life of human beings. The most prevalent of these effects is no doubt the capacity for global connection.

TIME Magazine recently published an article with an infographic detailing the projected ten most important work skills required for the workplace in the year 2020 — which alarmingly, is only a little over four years away. Five years might feel a long way away for now, but in today’s fast-paced society, time flies

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Success lies in preparation, and so we must ask ourselves, what does this mean for today’s skills training and how we can keep up for 2020?

What may set the individual or leader apart is the ability to adapt and innovate, a keenness for learning, and zero tolerance for complacency.

There are a number of things expected to change by 2020, including increased longevity (longer life spans), the heightened role that technology and computation will play in our personal and professional lives, and intensified globalization. Simply put, the world is finding ways to do things better and to get more out of it. If we are optimistic, we can expect to live in an “improved” society by 2020.

For leaders, however, it is important to realize that this improvement begins right now at this moment, not five years later. When the skills of 2020 demand people to own a wider sense of social intelligence, computational thinking, cross cultural competency. In addition, it requires leaders to be capable of new media literacy, virtual collaboration, and transdisciplinary work — the learning curve begins now.

Those we deem worthy of leadership are those who are “one step ahead”, and who are “leading the way”. They are the ones who are willing to take risks and able to adapt to change, and in doing so, become role models for those who wish to follow.

Leaders in today’s world must have a solid knowledge of both the past and a future, and secure understanding of where they themselves fit in between or bridge the gap. The world is expanding, and people need to grow along with it — as the world becomes better, so must we.

Here at AIESEC, we also wanted to identify some of the top skills young people were wanting to develop today, and our YouthSpeak survey with 25,000 millennial respondents showed that leadership / team management, new languages, critical thinking and problem solving skills were still the most in-demand to help them get ahead over the next few years.

The skills you need today versus in the future are rapidly changing. Are you prepared for the skills of 2020?

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