We are young, therefore most people don’t expect us to do important things.

We are young, therefore most people don’t expect us to do important things.

This is the unpleasant truth that we don’t usually think about, or might not even be aware of most of the time. People not having high expectation of us makes things a lot easier but at the same time it makes us not expect much from ourselves neither. We are happy in our little bubble, satisfied if we do our exams before the summer starts and we have enough time to do a summer job and go someplace new. The stereotype about student years says that these are the best years in one’s life. You are considered to be young and free, with all of your life still ahead of you and you have all the opportunities in the world while your fate is still yet to be determined. You are allowed to make failures and mistakes because you are still in the process of gaining experiences and therefore it is understandable to do stupid things at times. In general you have a lot of energy to party and all that is expected of you is to finish your school year.

Still, as our experiences show us, things are not so simple. Many young people have problems with school which often results in an overwhelming feeling of a lack of time to do anything else in life, they don’t take time for their hobbies and little joys like traveling, meeting new people, doing sports or whatever makes them happy. In my opinion, however, the real reason why many young people have such a hard time finishing their studies lies in motivation. Financial and social stability is a big problem here. Many people go to study something which feels “safe” and even though they might not have an interest in that particular area they do it just to secure a job in the future. Of course it is hard to finish something you don’t feel interested in. And people who are studying something they are interested in are often scared of what will happen when they’ll finish their studies.

In times like these, apathy can easily occure. As I have mentioned above, due to problems with their studies many students put off their other interests or abandon them completely. But how does that effect our motivation?

I am sure that we can all think of a certain experience from our past when we did some unpleasant job quickly just because we had something nicer to do afterwards and we didn’t want to miss it. Why? Because we had the motivation to do it. So, if your life seems kind of vacant right now and you’re feeling that things aren’t going according to plan, maybe it is not because you are giving too little effort and time in things needed to be done. Maybe you just need more positive things, more experiences and more pleasant activities that will restore balance in your life. You will always have things needed to be done but if you don’t have something that pushes you forward, if your only motivation is not to fail in something and you are not really enjoying what do, you will have trouble accomplishing anything at all.

Some people find their motivation, peace and meaning in sports, some in acting while others find it in dancing or playing an instrument. I have always liked to read, therefore it was only natural for me to start writing, and because I like to make up stories with fictional characters in fantasy worlds I, ever since I can remember, have wanted to draw a picture of what was going on in my mind. Before I could read, I wanted to become a painter, but just before going to primary school I learned how to read and decided I will be a writer, a decision that has stuck with me ever since. This motivation led to my book being published while I was still in high school. This was a big encouragement for me and made me realize that I have potential. Nowadays I study Art History and Slovene, areas connected with my interests, but if I wouldn’t write and draw at home, I would probably be feeling like something is missing.

So, one can say that I found my talent, therefore I shouldn’t feel any lack of motivation in my life. But for the past year I felt like something was missing. I needed more. I needed more experiences in my life, more connections with new people, more positive energy. Let’s face it, writing, drawing, reading, those are all wonderful ways that brings us a peace of mind but they are all solo activities which you can spend hours doing without talking to anyone. I needed something organized, something that included a large group of people. Since I was never interested in sports and didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, I felt quite lost for some time. But then, a friend of mine mentioned AIESEC to me. I heard him talking about it before, but with the last high school year wrapping up it was the first time he mentioned that AIESEC is an organization in which I could fit in and that it would be good for me to join.

At that point, I didn’t know much about AIESEC. I didn’t even know exactly what AIESEC is and what it does. But I trusted my friend and followed my philosophy stating that, when life gives you an opportunity, in most cases it is better for you to take it than leave it. You can never be completely sure about anything in this world and there will always be reasons to be scared and yes, sometimes life will bring you down. But if you are always too scared to try something new, life will not only bring you down – it will leave you behind.

I’ve been in AIESEC for about two months now and I can already see changes in my life and my attitude towards it. I have more motivation, I do my duties faster, I am more effective, more optimistic, more positive, and happier. I feel like I am doing something good and I like the structure, where I don’t feel alone but rather like I am a part of a large group of people that shares the same goals. I feel like together we are really making positive changes. And it is a great feeling when you can see results of your work and you can see that you are actually doing something good.

Therefore, I ask you, and please, answer my questions truthfully: Do you feel like you are doing your best? Are you using the full amount of your potentials? Do you feel like you need something more in your life? Are you satisfied with your accomplishments? Are you happy?

Finally, please, don’t ever think that you did everything that you can. There is always more that you can do. That is the meaning of life for me – stay active! There are so many ways to do it…

“If you are watching a truly happy man, you will see that he is building an arc, writing a symphony, teaching his son, …double dalies or in the desert of Gobi searching dinosaur’s eggs. You will not see him searching for luck as it would be a goal …”

– W. Beran Wolfe

Amadea Kovič

Galactic Citizen – Volunteer on Mars

GALACTIC CITIZEN

Make your meaningless existence a little less depressing.

Discover yourself on the planet voted “2nd Most Habitable” by science.

IMPACT THE RED PLANET

AIESEC has been a historic provider of impactful international experiences for over 65 years and we’re going beyond global. Not satisfied with being in only 126 countries and territories, we’ve expanded our reach above the atmosphere. We’re searching for 50 young Earthicans to start this program in May, June, or July of 2016 and you’ll be on the red dot in the sky using untested futuristic teleportation tubes that may kill you. This is a volunteer (UNPAID) opportunity available to current students and recent graduates. Spend this summer doing something worthwhile and having a fun, albeit dangerous, time doing it.

Personal Development

Gain a better understanding of yourself by helping a little red planet. AIESEC will provide you with developmental sessions nightly as you cope with your impending doom.

Experiential Learning

How long can a human survive for on the Martian surface? What does death by volcanic hurricane feel like? Do evil space goblins exist? You’ll be the first to really know!

Community Impact

Connect with local Martians and learn about their culture. Be sure to disguise yourself, otherwise you’ll be sacrificed to their god Lrrr, the ruler of planet Omicron Persei 8.

Wondrous Adventure

Feel the rush from your lungs being flushed with carbon dioxide. See great sights like the face of mars and other over-eroded rock formations. Hear the sound of millions of miles of silence.

PROGRAM DETAILS

Interested in travelling to the new, new frontier? Mars has everything young people could want in a volunteer experience: quiet spaces for reflection, open skies for tanning, extreme radiation, low rent, and 9-foot-tall leech monsters that erupt from the ground with the setting sun. Check out everything you’ll need to know about your time on Mars

AIESEC does not cover dismemberment insurance, spacefare, or program delays caused by mutant-alien invasions.

Projects

  • Green on Red is a project based on the western edge of Olympus Mons that seeks to embody the red planet with environmentally friendly values. Volunteers will plant trees along the dusty valleys and hills that populate mars. Please be advised that because of wind gusts typically up to 500 mph that this project should only be taken on by those with no fear of dying alone on an alien planet.
  • Mars University is a non-profit educational institution founded long before time has words to describe. Volunteers here will be able to interact with native Martian children and teach them about Earthican cultural hallmarks such as baseball, arguing, and worshiping celebrities. Funding for this project has been provided by the Wong Family.

Details & Requirements

We have 50 positions available for students or recent graduates to volunteer on Mars for between6 and 8 weeks starting in May June, or July of 2016. Volunteers are able to preference what landmark, dried-up lake, or sand dune they would like to be placed in and the duration of their program.

  • Language Requirements: Excellent or native English; basic Martian is advantageous.
  • Background Requirements: You must be a current student of a US-based university or have graduated in the past two years. There is no specific requirements for class standing or academic major. Alien warfare tactics and experience working with Xenomorphs is preferred.
  • Visa Requirements: Earth citizens can volunteer legally on Mars without a visa for life and there is no entry requirements other than surviving the transit and landing.

 

Program Benefits

  • Advanced Cultural Immersion: Volunteering with AIESEC allows you to be fully immersed into Martian culture and experience life from a perspective beyond this world.
  • Multinational Peer Group: AIESEC is present in 126 countries and territories and young people from all of them will be volunteering on Mars on different programs.
  • Accommodation: Volunteers will be provided with their own sleeping tube at the camp they will be working in. This camp will also include a state-of-the-art panic room and the film “Panic Room” on DVD for your viewing pleasure. There is no Netflix, Tinder, or Instagram on Mars, so please be prepared. Meals will be provided in pill form for the duration of your stay.
  • Outgoing Preparation: Our skilled and trained AIESEC members will prepare you for the journey of a lifetime with state-of-the-art space training inspired by movies like Gravity andThe Martian. Our partner organization, the Galactic Empire, will also train you on important skills like how to assume to fetal position and what to do if and when a xenomorph larvae injects you with an egg (prepare for death).
  • Return Logistics: Though this is a 6 week program, please be aware that currently there is no returnee integration strategy for volunteers. By the time you have passed through the interdimensional portal that may or may not be a literal passage to hell and completed your program, we hope that there will be a method to return you home. Otherwise, please be prepared to populate Mars with other the volunteers – a copy of Barry White’s Greatest Hits on Compact Disk is also available to volunteers.

Local Culture

The bright and vibrant culture of Mars has been known to Earthican kind since their failed invasion attempt in 1996. You may not remember this because the NSA wiped all human memory of this historic event. Though still somewhat hostile, many native Martians are ready and open to learn about humans and the delicious paste that can be made from their brain stems. Please do not yodel or play Bjork albums.
Mars internship
Program Partners

AIESEC is working with a variety of partners to make this experience possible.

MARS Partners

Let’s make the other half heard.

I stand for gender equality.

I was never really into women’s studies and I never called myself feminist. I felt annoyed by this topic, especially because we were talking about it too much and I didn’t seem to notice that there is a problem. It is how it is, right? Why should we question every natural human process? Society made feminism sound as a crazy movement of crazy women who basically look like an ugly man and their main goal is to end mankind … I mean, mankind is humanity, right? Correction … and their main goal is to fight against man and nature. This is how feminism and fight for women’s rights sounded to me.

I will come back to this perception of feminism.

The following year will be the year of my graduation. I study sociology and since I am ending my bachelor I had to think of a good topic for my thesis. Since I remember I wanted to do things differently, add a bit more, do it a unique way and I had the same goal for my thesis. Long story short, I really didn’t want to write about women rights because this is really not new problem and the topic had been discussed from every point of view. But never say never, and there I was, reflecting on my life as a woman. I think this was the first time I really start seeing the huge problem in gender equality. My thinking process went back to the primary school and to the teenage era, when the hormones start to kick in and boys and girls starts to turn into men and women. It is a crucial time for both genders. In this writing I will only apply on two genders – male and female, even though we know more. This period of time was also full of examples of sexual harassment between fellow classmates. Boys were chasing girls and were touching them without their consent. This was everyday experience that went by without any visible consequences. If anyone complained to the authority, it was explained as normal. I even asked my mother a while ago if I said anything about what was happening or if they were bringing up this issue on the parents meeting. I didn’t and they didn’t. I also asked my female and male friends what they think about it now. Responses were very similar but based on the gender. My female friends were disgusted by it and were starting to share their stories and their view on the problem back then and now. We figured that we, ourselves, didn’t do much about it when this was happening, I don’t think we even took it as seriously as we should. I remember hitting a boy back after he touched me and he hit me back so hard I didn’t consider to answer like this ever again. Then, there were my male friends I was discussing my topic with. They were making a bit of fun out of me at first, calling me feminist but then we discussed the problem of sexual harassment from their point of view. I got very interesting responses which did surprise me. It was not them feeling sorry for what they were doing, it was more like blaming it on young girls for dressing the way they did and for wanting it anyway. It was also one comment about how they couldn’t handle themselves. They saw growing breasts and they just had to touch them and gosh, internet and porn sites were not available back then. I really wonder if this changes much.

The topic I chose for my bachelor thesis is Reproduction of sexism – example of intergenerational sexual harassment in primary school. From the early age women are being put in their place, and this is one way of doing it. I believe there is no women that was not somehow sexually harassed. One more interesting point I saw in this playful sexual harassment in primary school is how, for the girl, it was lose – lose situation. It was bad if you were part of it and it was also bad if you were not. But in the end, boys were the one choosing in which category you belong. When I came up with the topic, I also got a comment, well, at least you know you are a good one. I guess I should be thankful for that.

My thesis topic seems very light and not important for most people. It is hard to understand that seemingly playful sexual harassment could be anything more than it is – but it is. It is so much more and it is a very effective way reproducing sexism. With only this, girls are taught who has the power. Even the power of their own body. We are being objectified and we are being silenced.

Remember how I said I never called myself a feminist. Now I do. Also my male friend thinks it’s funny to call me like that. But it is fine by me, since we are discussing this issue, I am at least raising awareness. They don’t call themselves feminist, even though they believe in gender equality. Feminism has become an ugly word nobody wants identify with. What we forget is that this was a strong movement that got women where we are now. It is very easy to forget that women were not considered as equal in public space not that very long ago. There have been lots of sacrifices of women who fought for equality we have today here, in western society. But surprise, surprise, as I said feminism has become an ugly word. Why? Because let’s stop that madness of gender equality. Be a lady for god sake.

unite

There is a huge difference between not wanting to be something and being socialised into not wanting something. Women were kept out of public space for most of the history and even now, women do not go easily into, let’s say, politics. I remember one article about, how pictures of decision making events, would look like if men would be photoshopped out of it.  What do you think, how many people would be left on the picture? Very few, the room ends up to be almost empty.

YS Gender

Gender

Population of the world is pretty much equal – fifty fifty of each gender, but there is only half of the population making decisions for everybody. This doesn’t seem right. I think the world would be much different if it would be led by men and women equally, because we do have our differences. Tough, none of those differences are bad, they just are different. I can give you very practical experience on this. Right now I am part of the project Women of the Resistance and my part of the job is to have workshops with high school students. Above other things, we are discussing about the resistance and what would they, high school students, resist against/for today. They are working in the groups and usually they create groups based of gender. So we have a group of boys and a group of girls discussing about one topic. If I compare all of the groups I had and not even from the same school, the results were that boys usually raised awareness about different topic than girls. This exactly is my point, they both raised questions about important but different topic and they were both right. With excluding women from decision making process we are basically making it worse for all of us, because we don’t see the whole picture. We are only solving half of the problems.

I still consider myself very lucky being born at this time in this place and this space even as a woman – thanks to the women who fought for women’s rights. I can speak up about this issue and I can fight for gender equality. We are not there yet and this issue is very important. World needs women’s voice too.

Author: Špela Vučajnk

What do you stand for ? Share with us your opinion on http://bit.ly/YSmovement

 

Why the Sustainable Development Goals are relevant to all of us

Being part of the international youth-driven organisation AIESEC, you want to have impact on people’s lives and become a citizen of the world in every sense. The reason why United Nations is relevant to all of us is that the one thing that connects all AIESEC’ers: we like to engage people. By giving them the opportunity to undertake a voluntary or professional internship, young people embark on a journey in which they gain cultural comprehension and participate in projects that contribute to equality, human rights and democracy, cooperation in trade and education and economic empowerment.

The Millennium Development Goals were an ambitious set of eight incentives, ranging from eradicating world hunger to achieving environmental sustainability, agreed upon by all member states of the United Nations in 2000, as world leaders were convinced that the “time for global action” had come. The MDG Summit “launched important aid initiatives and generated unprecedented agreement by Member States on the importance of human rights in efforts to achieve Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, as Mac Darrow states in his article The Millennium Development Goals: Milestones or Millstones? Human Rights Priorities for the Post-2015 Agenda. The aim of the 2000 agenda was to reach the objectives by 2015 to be followed-up by the sustainable development goals.

Remarkable achievements regarding some of the Millennium Development objectives included in the 2000 MDG agenda have changed the lives of many people. The eradication of hunger and extreme poverty, defined in the goals as people living on less than $1,25 per day, has been the most successful achievement as the MDGs as 1 billion people now have better living conditions than 15 years ago. Moreover, today more girls than ever are in school which proves that there has been an unprecedented effort to achieve universal primary education and to promote gender equality.

“Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven”, declared the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon in the Millennium Development Goals Reportissued in 2015. In addition, many voices, among which human rights activists, NGOs and public opinion, have pointed out the fact that many objectives remain ideals written on paper and not carried out in the field. For example, the gap between the rich and the poor is expanding worldwide and moreover, much has to be done to combat climate change and to create sustainable cities and urban development as these affect the poorest most.

“Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven” – Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon

In a call for continued endeavour by all the UN member states towards a better world for all, Ban Ki-moon emphasized that “[e]xperiences and evidence from the efforts to achieve the MDGs demonstrate that we know what to do. But further progress will require an unswerving political will, and collective, long-term effort”. Especially in the light of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations proclaims that global actors among which nation states, NGOs and international institutions must show the durable commitment to implement the 17 newly adopted goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

As a the largest NGO worldwide, AIESEC should and will aim to improve people’s live in many ways: by transforming remarkable AIESEC’ers into responsible future leaders, by encouraging youngsters to live diversity and to act sustainably, and above all by continuing to engage in projects that improve the lives of people.

Will you be part of this story?

Join the movement today on www.aiesec.si/youthspeak

Thoughts on improving education from a Harvard professor

The Education sector is a fundamental pillar of society, but it has been unable to keep up pace with rapid changes in the way society functions. Key trends surrounding the internet economy, youth unemployment, digital skills, new learning methods and entrepreneurship has continued to disrupt the education space.

YouthSpeak has activated thousands of young people to speak up on how we can improve education, but we couldn’t do it without experts. Mark Esposito, Professor Business and Economics at Grenoble School of Management and Harvard University weighs in.

1. Q: How should the education system evolve or look like in 2020 to meet the needs of the future?

Education should become closer to the needs of employers and capable of capturing those trends that are currently in the making, but have not become visible yet. Rather than developing skills for a reflection of a world of the past, education should prepare students to think critically about the “emerging paradigm” rather than the emerged one. It should also allow people to build confidence in taking risks and generate new ventures rather than providing a false sense of security by sharing models that worked in the past but are now obsolete or saturated.

Think critically about the “emerging paradigm”, rather than the emerged one.

2. Q: Is there anything that worries you about young people today and the way they are spending their time and developing themselves?

There is a lot of futility in the way youth spend time today. Social media has become a surrogate of our own lives and I’m worried about the amount of time that youth spend in interacting virtually, rather than building real people networks, conversations, real bonds. This also leads me to fear of an unfocused generation, unable to understand that the world in front of them is far from being an idealistic place and the grounds are shifting more rapidly than what we have ever experienced in our modern history. If there is a time where togetherness needs to serve the purpose of society, it is now more than yesterday!

Build real people networks, conversations and real bonds.

3. Q: What is the one thing you would tell yourself if yourself in your early twenties?

In my early twenties I was obsessed in how I could create an impact and how my actions should serve a greater purpose. I have never stopped thinking it, even today.

In summary, Mark advocates for an education system that can empower a young person to think critically about what’s the come in the future as opposed to preparing for the existing one. Mentioning that our generation (millennials) may suffer from our inability to focus in a hyper-connected world full of distractions that are one click away. The fact that most of you reading this are your twenties, yields a lesson to start thinking about how your actions will serve a greater purpose than yourself.

You can reach Mark on Twitter at @exp_mark and share your opinions with us via #YouthSpeak

Take the Global YouthSpeak survey: http://bit.ly/YSmovement

The Unique Benefits of Volunteering Abroad

Lately there have been countless discussions about the benefits of volunteering and about the benefits of traveling. But what happens when you put the two of them together? What happens when you don’t only travel but you dive into a new culture? When you have to work with volunteers from 10 or 20 different countries?

Well, this kind of experience doesn’t offer you just a random range of benefits but it changes you fundamentally. It challenges you and it makes you strive to be at your best.

So what exactly makes these volunteering abroad experiences so unique?

While volunteering, you will face events that will challenge your mindset

An internship abroad will give you the chance to travel to new places, make new friends, make new memories and learn newskills. But it also challenges you; it teaches you first hand what intercultural communication really is; it will challenge your mindset and it will help you become more openminded and more culturallyaware.

“I’ve worked on the project with people from Ukraine, Russia, Bahrain, Poland, Egypt, Turkey, Portugal, Argentina, Germany and USA. I now feel that student exchange programs are crucial in getting to know so many different nationalities at once. It’s never too late to learn new things. The awesome experience has just taught me that life is not all about yourself, it’s about you in a society and how you adapt to it.”  – Jaya, on her internship in Ukraine

Volunteering abroad changes you because it gives you the chance to change others

The volunteering internships that AIESEC is providing are focused on solving particular issues in society, such as: cultural education, environment, cultural understanding or career development. This means that in most cases interns work with children or with students, and they have a chance to impact their life either directly in the short-term, or long-term, providing them with the skills and knowledge to be more successful.

Raluca was a volunteer in Poland. She says that: “this experience is about stepping out your comfort zone; about being crazy and letting go of what others think about you; about leaving a mark on some people’s lives. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to do this. To be that person that changes lives. But one day, during the last moments we had in one of the schools, the teachers came to us and told us: “You don’t know what an impact you had on these kids. You changed their lives.”

But we must admit there is one downside of volunteering abroad: it’s addictive.

Mihaela, who volunteered this autumn in Ghana, says that “now I’m even hungrier for adrenaline and adventure so I can’t wait to see what the future will bring regarding any new internship.”

 

AIESEC provides over 26,000 young people with the chance to go abroad each year. If you are looking to go on an internship or volunteer experience abroad, please go to opportunities.aiesec.org and check out all our available opportunities. 

 

5 Reasons to Hire an International Intern

 

1. Diversity

The science of staffing mandates the need for a multicultural work environment. Such a surrounding enables employees to understand international market trends as well as new cultures. Multiculturalism brings diversity – of sex, race, gender, nationality – but most importantly of mind.

Uwe Doerken, Former CEO, DHL Worldwide Express remarks, “I am convinced that AIESEC is our most direct link to tomorrow’s business leaders. These training opportunities will become a stepping stone for bright, ‘can-do’ people to join DHL and learn, advance and one day lead.” 124 countries and territories contribute to our enormous talent pool. AIESEC is the easiest way to access a group so vast, skilled and regarded.

2. Innovation

Global interns tend to think out of the box. This can be owed to the simple fact that they are ever ready to grab new challenges given to them, since they are already out of their comfort zones.  Apart from enhancing creativity, they widen their perspectives as well those of their coworkers, leading to new ideas and a lively work spirit.

3. Growth

With a diverse workforce, different ideas and approaches can seem in opposition. Therefore, with more ideas in the room, employees undergo co-development. This is because cultures have an ever-lasting impact on how people generally think and come to decision. An open-mind to accept how others think gets to play a great role in paving way for organizational growth.

4. Flexibility

While hiring international interns, there is an advantage in the flexibility of extending the duration of work, depending on the combined interests of the company and the intern. Eligibilities can be easily negotiable and hassle-free arrangements can hence be made. Using organisations such as AIESEC allows you to reach a global talent pool that are available outside of the graduation cycle of your domestic universities.

Alicija Taraskevic who is the Branch Manager, LTC Forwarding Company, Lithuania says, “We signed a contract on Thursday, the intern from Belgium was in the office on Monday. That was very fast.”

5. Access to Gen Y

A culturally assorted as well as young work community assures good energy at work and curiosity. This curiosity can lead to a promising pursuit of learning as well as stimulate learning through new experiences. This makes them great sources of fresh ideas!

 

AIESEC provides thousands of companies with the chance to hire international talent each year for a variety of different job descriptions and flexible time periods. If you are looking to source a smart and savvy intern for your company, please visit www.aiesec.si. 

You can sign up here!

How experience in a non-profit organization can shape the way you act and work as an Entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy journey. Many people have great ideas in mind that they would love to develop, but very often these ideas remain just ideas in their heads that don’t get off the ground. Very often, it is because they lack the skills, or they are scared to take the risk.

Even I was not ready to start my company when I did, and right now I still feel that I lack the skills and knowledge to become a successful entrepreneur. But, the past 4 years I have learned that I thrive when I take risks. I can tell you that this is not easy, but the most important thing is to take this first step and then just see what happens.

My first step was when I joined AIESEC, a Global Youth Organization, which has a mission to develop leadership in every young person in the world. AIESEC during the past 4 years changed me to become a person who is more confident, who knows exactly what to do in the future and how to influence other people. AIESEC also developed leadership skills in me, and gave me the confidence to take a risk and become an entrepreneur.

What I have learned during this experience are the most valuable life lessons I could ever have before I turned 26. And I would love to share these lessons with you and so that you may also take risks and follow what you are really passionate about!

Go outside of your comfort zone

Do you want to see magic happening in your life? Of course, everyone would love to. But, this magic that I speak of will not come to you if you will not go outside of your comfort zone! You have to take actions and start learning, practicing and doing what you really love! For example if you want to become a better public speaker, but you are afraid of speaking to the crowd, you will never become one if do not try! This was my dream, when I joined AIESEC — to become more confident, confident enough to stand on the stage and speak to people. By taking small steps I finally made it and right now I feel comfortable to deliver a speech in front of others. I am still not perfect, but I strongly believe that I will continue to improve. I wish that you also take a jump outside of your comfort zone and start doing things that you are the most afraid off. After some time you will realize that this fear just disappear and you are totally a different person and what’s more, magic will start happening around you.

Capitalize on your strengths

All of us have some strengths. One can be a perfect musician, another amazing football player and other have great math and programming abilities. The most important thing is to figure out your strengths and what you are good at. It will definitely not take you one day or even a week. This is a long process and some people are trying to figure out their strengths and passions throughout their entire life. The sooner you understand your strengths, the sooner you will be able to capitalize on them and do amazing things! Just look at famous musicians and athletes. They are good in one particular thing and become professionals in their fields. You need to also find your one skill and be the best at it, by practicing and doing it over and over! Believe me or not, when you will figure out this you will give your passion and your love to it.

Figure out your weaknesses
and work on them

What about weaknesses? Some weaknesses can stop you from achieving your dreams. Have you ever thought “I wish to be better in this field, but I’ll never be good at it”. Even, I have thought like this and still sometimes catch myself doing it! The most important lesson I got in AIESEC was to change my way of thinking. The moment when I heard about the fixed and growth mindset theory changed the way I approached my life. When you are thinking in a fixed mindset you will always perceive everything to not be achievable, even to change your weaknesses to your inner strengths. When you change your way of thinking to the growth mindset you will feel that only the sky is the limit, and you can achieve everything you are dreaming off. So, first of all figure out your weaknesses and things which are stopping you from being happy. Then, just by changing your way of thinking to growth mindset start working on them doing small steps and believe me, finally your weakness can become your real inner strength!

Accept who you are

Some time ago I have heard that you cannot be a good leader, when you are not a true leader for yourself. Everything begins with accepting who you really are and from where you come from. Try to imagine, how you can have good relations with other people, when you are not in a good relation with yourself. I was like that before I joined AIESEC. I was not able to accept the introverted side of myself and I was always looking on the negative side of myself and could only see things that I was not good at. I was even comparing myself to others and trying to be like them, and through which forgetting who I truly was. Later on, I figured out that each one of us is totally unique, beautiful and simply amazing, because of where we are coming from and how we develop through our childhood. There is nothing wrong with being different, or to do not have skills that others have. Be yourself and accept who you really are and if you want to change just work on your strengths and weaknesses to be the best version of you for you.

Believe in yourself

Once you have already started accepting who you really are, the next step is to start believing in yourself. Easy to say, right! But let’s look at this differently. Try to imagine, what if there is just you and there is no one and nothing else, which can stop you. There are also people who are eager enough to support you in what you are doing. Where would you be and what would you do? Would you travel the world and meet different people and experience new cultures along the way, while working virtually, if that was your dream? That was my dream! Firstly, I wanted to move from my country and work abroad and I made it by working with AIESEC International, the headquarters of AIESEC, based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. To be honest with you, I could not believe that I was able to achieve it! Finally, thanks to huge support from my teammates, who were believing in me, when I was not, this experience of mine was the one where I developed more and was inspired more than I have ever been in my life. This, took me to the place where I am right now! I am traveling around Southeast Asia and working virtually for my company. Sometimes is really hard to believe in ourselves, but remember that there are always people who believe in you and that are more than eager to help you when you are doubting yourself. Never forget about that and surround yourself with the people who are not stopping you, but pushing you to achieve your dreams! Later on, you will believe in yourself and nothing will stop you!

I was really lucky that I found AIESEC on my life path. This beautiful organisation changed my life in many ways and still inspires me as an AIESEC Alumnus to become the best version of myself and to strive to change the world. If you felt inspired by this article please share it with others and let them know about AIESEC and give them a chance to change their lives.

Are you an active person, looking for new experiences? apply for AIESEC experience here!

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