Thursday, December 24, 2009

The child of AIESEC HYDERABAD for every child in the city!

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
~Stacia Tauscher

And that someone might just be an artist.

BALAKALAKAAR-the world’s largest painting workshop for under privileged kids to 'bring out the artist in every child'. If you know what you want to do, but do not know how - then AIESEC will come to your rescue.

With the city not sleeping in peace there were ups and downs that we faced. Then came December 18. The day we started with the “packing”. The time where the entire Local Committee gets to stay together, eat together and most importantly WORK together.
The amount of excitement and thrill that was within each of us cannot be penned down; especially for me, as this was the first event I was going to witness after being recruited. I couldn’t get myself to sleep the previous night thinking What if I don’t wake up and report on time? I did not want to miss a thing. After all this event was going to set a benchmark for years to come.

Right from picking up children from their NGO’s, setting the venue, getting the stationery and food ready and wearing the Balakalakaar t-shirts; it was ONE ride! Even though there were more than 2000 children at the venue, managing them was not a problem. AIESECers and volunteers were on their toes distributing all that we could get for those children.

They would come wish you a good morning and by default you would smile :) They would hide themselves every time you tried to click their pictures. They would feel shy to ask for another cup cake and their paintings would make you smile, wonder and some might remind you of your own childhood.

I noticed three different kinds of kids:
Ones who drew the borders on his page the minute the papers were distributed. They were eager to start drawing. Ones who scribbled thoughts on the paper and later asked for another sheet. And the ones who drew exactly what his neighbour was drawing. :)

As the saying goes "All good things come to an end.” Well, may be they have to.. because the better ones are on their way!

I remember a few kids coming up to us and singing “May god bless you”. One group of children came up with a roll-call for the event which goes like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Balakalakaar is Super Star!!” :)
These are the moments that keep you satisfied at the end of the day.

It was truly a great experience and there are many more to come!
-Pallak Sancheti
Manager, Corporate Sector
Student, St.Francis College

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Priceless Journey

Ever wondered or thought how increasingly monotonous and routine a student's life can be... Are we, as students challenging ourselves to break free from these cobwebs we have built around ourselves? For a lot of us, it is quite difficult to find opportunities through which we can make our lives much more interesting, challenging, fun and adventurous. AIESEC is one such organization that is offers numerous such opportunities. AIESEC gives an excellent opportunity – A practical experience, an international work environment, cultural exchange and a vast global network.

"To be in AIESEC is a very empowering experience. The world that is constructed there, is a world where we strive for the world of can be rather then the world that has to be. The world of possible rather than full of fears, the world of listening and dialogue rather than judgment and division, the world of friendship rather then hostility, the world of love and compassion rather than hate and anger."

My AIESEC Experience:

It all began with a phone call from AIESEC in the month of February 2009 which had confirmed my spot in the Local committee of AIESEC Hyderabad. I was one among the 60 people selected from about 1500 applicants. I was told to attend a 2-day local training seminar which would give me all the details about AIESEC.

Thus began the most fascinating and enriching journey of my life. Initially there was a great uncertainty of what was in store for me ahead. I was recruited in the Global Entrepreneurs Programme under the OutGoing eXchange portfolio , which is responsible for sending young individuals from 17 – 30 years of age for short-term development internships impacting various issues such as Entrepreneurship, Corporate Sector Responsibility, Education, and Finance etc. to over 107 countries that AIESEC is present in. I was also now a part of an Organization which had more than 30 interns from different countries present. It gave me a opportunity to learn different cultures along with different mindsets from the interns.

I distinctly remember the first appointment that I had been for, fumbling with words and losing out on the flow in the middle of important sentences, the fear of judgment crossing my mind constantly. But with every successive appointment that I did, my skills improved invariably, and I discovered that I had an innovative and convincing side to me as well. After those appointments, I got an opportunity to give my first Information Seminar in Osmania University to talk about AIESEC and the internships it provides. Soon i gained confidence in my abilities and started giving seminars in a list of top colleges and Buisness schools including the Indian school of Buisness along with my team.

Apart from this, one of my job roles was to understand the student market in Hyderabad and try to partner AIESEC with it. I also had to make a research on the markets around the world to try and understand which country required the Indian market, thus giving me an idea on the way the markets in the world work. I soon realized how big a responsibility it was to convince someone to go for an international internship and then making sure that they get exactly what they were promised, the AIESEC experience. But at the same time, how satisfying and enriching it was for a 20 year old to be able to impact someone’s life in such a positive way.

After 3 weeks in the organization, I signed up a student named Apporva for a Development Internship in Turkey to help and teach mentally disabled children. After a successful internship in turkey she impacted close to a thousand children of a foreign land in a very positive way. The satisfaction was immense!! To make "WORLD A BETTER PLACE" is something most of us hope or plan to do. But to actually do something about it made me feel like a true citizen of this world. It goes without saying what an immensely challenging and testing task it was with handling and managing everything starting from student market research, manpower planning and promotions. I knew then I was ready to challenge myself to even greater heights.

A 3 day residential conference called May Local Congress was held after that. The awards night is an important ceremony in this conference where the performance, hard work and potential of the deserving members is recognized and awarded. I, fortunately enough, won an award for the most progressive member for my work in the OutGoing eXchange portfolio among the many talented people in the organization. It was symbolic of the love and dedication that I have towards this prestigious organization. It was truly an honor to be recognized and glorified and it now motivates me to work even harder and strive to achieve all the goals that I have in mind for my career in AIESEC.

Currently, I am a team leader of the Outgoing Exchange portfolio handling technical, management, education and development international internships. Handling a team of 4 brilliant individuals under me, working on the same project has taught me a lot on team building, motivation and driving skills. Knowing that I play a role in the growth of an international student organization and personally as well, has made me a more aware, dedicated and mature person. My AIESEC journey so far, has truly been an enriching one and there is a lot more that I would want to give to this organisation and at the same time, derive from it. The change and growth I have seen in myself since I have been a part of this organisation is immeasurable and AIESEC is definitely the best platform one can get to discover and develop potential to the fullest.

Srinath Dhalavai,
Team Leader, OutGoing eXchange

Passion Fruit

There are very few things I'm passionate about. I never imagined that I'd be as passionate about something else apart from 'Cricket'...till I joined AIESEC Hyderabad. It is my 'Second Home'! I remember one person who has made a difference in my life, saying, this could be your second home and it is now, indeed! To me AIESEC Hyderabad has always been that place where I can be MYSELF without pretenses with people who share the same passion and ideas, if not better. The day I joined AIESEC, I knew it was what will change my life and it has in many ways. It is the manifestation of Leaders today. It has given me so many opportunities, some of which I couldn't have thought of otherwise and I'm sure nobody can ever imagine.

When I first joined AIESEC, I always wondered what those opportunities were that people talked about. Now I think about the opportunity I cherish the most... Is it the opportunity to see 3000 odd underprivileged children shaking your hand like you are a celebrity or maybe the opportunity of interacting with hundreds of students from 20+ colleges across the city or the chance to meet and work with interns from different countries all together or the chance of being under the same roof with 100 different people from different colleges in the city or the chance of leading teams at this age or the opportunity of meeting MDs or CEOs of the biggest companies today, or just the chance to be an AIESEC'er!

Being in AIESEC has made me look at the world with a new perspective. There are 3 kinds of people, One, who only dream and do nothing about it; Two, who don't dream and believe in only themselves; AIESEC has the third kind, the ones who believe in themselves and their dreams to conquer them. I am indeed extremely privileged to be here today and would love to thank everbody who have contributed in making this experience one I will cherish forever.

"Don't follow anyone's footsteps, make your own for people to follow"...

Cheers to AIESEC Hyderabad!

-Kritika Naidu
Manager, Business Development
Student, J.B.I.T.

Discovering Myself

AIESEC- The six letter word that had put my failures to rest, and ignited my spirit to be an achiever over a range of diverse aspects that AIESEC deals with. It started off in September 2008, when I was recruited as a new member into the organization. All the learning about how people as young as 17 year olds and as old as 22 year olds, take up leadership positions, responsibilities that are mammoth not only in task but also in their difficulty, enhanced my understanding about the qualities of a leader and the various steps required to become one.

The first step was the learning generated through my leaders in the organization, introduction to the work, and the act of taking up responsibility so on and so forth where one meets with challenges a 20 year old would not have met. Issues like work culture, team bonding, team work, adaptability, networking etc. which looked like minor issues to address in the beginning tend to take a major turn in priorities and requirements which prepares us to face the world filled with countless opportunities.

It has been 15 months since I was recruited in AIESEC and I have held team leader positions involving giving interns who have traveled long distances from various countries for internship opportunities, a cultural and a traditional experience which defines India and the city I belong to. People all across the globe have access to internship opportunities in India and vice versa in world class firms/companies, and the kind of platform that has been set for young leaders to take shape by laying strong foundations is unimaginable.

I feel very proud to be part of an organization that provides equal opportunities to youth all over the world, mobilizing vital ingredients of growth in an individual such as networking abilities, cultural understanding, global reach etc. which is a rare combination of traits you cannot find in other organizations.

AIESEC was the right kind of opportunity that I had waited for and I look forward to an amazing AIESEC career filled with leadership opportunities, cultural exchange, and loads of learning from fellow members.
I hope AIESEC ignites the spirits and minds of youngsters across the globe and India in specific and allows them to bank on the opportunities it provides.

Hoping for a young future on this planet,

Signing off,

Shashank Kanuparthi

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Place where I belong

As an army kid, growing up involved lots of moving around the country, where I spent a large part of my childhood in the North of India. My dad's retirement from the services bought me to Secunderabad in the beginning of the new millennium and very honestly, I felt like a fish out of water. And the new college didn't help things either. After 7 years of not fitting in, the year 2007 came as a breath of fresh air.

A friend of mine spoke to me of AIESEC, and back then I knew nothing about it. But my gut told me I was in for something special, something I would cherish for the rest of my life. After getting through the recruitment process I was put into Out-Going Exchange department as a member, and learnt the basics of providing the AIESEC experience, and how everything in AIESEC revolves around it.

What followed my membership experience was my first National Conference, June National Conference 2007, Agra. As an onsite Organizing Committee member, and as runner to the Member Committee President back then, I had what was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. As I received kudos for my work as a runner, I learnt what it was to be a part of AIESEC in India, to think, live and dream nationally, as I watched AIESEC in India and the Member Committee (MC) together for the first time in my life.

My first Middle Level Management (known as Management Board at that time) application was to the position of Information Systems, and I took on the post, as a part of which I was responsible for branding AIESEC Hyderabad globally and set the platform for my global network and designed the Knowledge Management policy for AIESEC Hyderabad that year. And for someone who didn't know what Knowledge Management was back then, designing the policy was a great learning experience.

During my Information Systems term I applied for MC work days, a period where I got to work in close quarters with the Member Committee, in Mumbai, and was responsible for handling clients like Satyam and Tata Consultancy Services.

During such a close association with the Member Committee I had one of my greatest learning experiences and my work with them earned me a call from the MC to be a part of the National Stakeholders Dinner, a platform for me to showcase my work and interact with industry bigwigs. For a 19 year old to have dinner with the National board and other dignitaries easily showcases the unlimited opportunities a platform like AIESEC has to offer.

The month of December signified something special in what was to come in my AIESEC career. The applications for the Executive Board (EB) of AIESEC in Hyderabad opened up and I applied for the positions of Outgoing Exchange (OGX) and Communications and Information Management (CIM). And contrary to my expectations, I made it to the EB. On a freezing December night, with the whole Local Committee looking at you under the bright winter sky, the moment could only be described as 'heavenly'. What followed was Natcong 2008, my first national conference as an EB member that year, and an occasion to bond with my and other executive boards of AIESEC in India.

My term as VP University Sector gave me a good perspective of the market in India and abroad, about the people that AIESEC delivers the international experience to and what the word 'globalization' really means now- A situation where everyone works everywhere; in a world without boundaries. During my term I honed the art of selling the great AIESEC experience to people needing an international experience. But my biggest learning was leading a department, motivating members, working alongside them, and making them believe in what we, as a global organization stand for. During all this I learnt what it was like to bond with a department, and found one of my best friends in my fellow Vice president, together when we for the first time, achieved our goal to be the best.

After almost a year of working with sending people on international experiences, I got my first International experience in the form of a facilitator for Organizing Committee Presidents in Serbia and Montenegro. Natco92, Kladovo. As facilitator my work involved teaching them about project management and the idea of exchange around a project. My international experience involved learning about how another AIESEC country does its exchange, functions at the Member committee level and most of all how Europeans perceive the AIESEC experience. If a national conference taught me to think in terms of AIESEC in India, Natco92 taught me to think in terms of AIESEC globally.

My experiences in AIESEC so far were inspiring enough to fuel me for a longer stay in the organization, as I applied again for the executive body, AIESEC in Hyderabad 2009. My experiences with AIESEC till date fuelled my desire for taking the leap one more time, the pressure, the drive and the striving for excellence that makes the AIESEC Hyderabad EB what it is, was something to live and breathe for.

As VP University Sector this year, my profile involved working with more experienced people, people with professional experience and selling them the idea of an international experience through an internship. Delivering them the AIESEC International experience was as fulfilling as it was the first time around.

The most fulfilling of my AIESEC experiences was my second international one, this time around for a whole month, November 2009 in Germany. It was a very close interaction and my work this time entailed promoting Indian professional talent in Germany, creating more opportunities for Indians there by interacting and selling the AIESEC experience to German professional organizations. It also involved teaching AIESEC members in Germany the Indian way of doing things, and learning from them the German way. My stay there involved lots of travelling, and one of the most memorable experiences of my life was to see the people I met way back in 2007 in India, now in Germany. AIESEC truly makes the globe your playground.

It is through AIESEC that I experienced things most people my age could only dream about and truly understood that despite all our diversities our world is indeed very small. In my international experiences I found friends and lessons that make me who I am, a young man who has seen what the world has to offer. AIESEC gives you loads of opportunities where you can discover yourself and the best in you. In AIESEC and in AIESEC in Hyderabad specifically I truly found a second home and family. In AIESEC Hyderabad I found a dream for myself, the dream to be the best I can, and to bring out the best in those who work with me. My experience with my Local Committee was truly like that of a 'family' as I know we all share one common invaluable experience, the AIESEC Experience.

Hari Lahari
Vice President, Outgoing eXchange
AIESEC Hyderabad

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

BALAKALAKAAR 2000 and 9! Woo-hoo!

Statistics are proof that there are about 40,000 children living on the streets of Hyderabad leading a miserable life with no money, no food and no education. Born into the cycle of poverty, these street children are doomed to spend their entire lives on the streets unless someone intervenes to affect drastic changes.

This intervention, slight as it may be, has come in the form of AIESEC Hyderabad’s Balakalakaar! Essentially a child rights initiative of the local office of AIESEC in Hyderabad, Balakalakaar is the world’s largest painting workshop held for underprivileged children across the twin cities. AIESEC, being the world’s LARGEST youth-run organization is present across 107 countries and 1700 universities and acts as the international platform for young individuals to explore and develop their leadership potential for a positive impact on society!
As AIESEC Hyderabad’s biggest event in a calendar year running annually since 2005, Balakalakaar is aligned to the cause of building an environment that helps improve the quality of life that is faced by these underprivileged children in our city. It promises to be a one of its kind event; conducted at a much smaller scale in the year 2005, engaging about 150 street kids at an NGO - Don Bosco Nav Jeevan, moving to over 3000 children this year! Today, Balakalakaar has emerged as the creation of an opportunity to help these children discover and develop their skills in art forms of various types.

Balakalakaar, as an initiative, is a medium which tries to unravel the imprisoned expression in every child by providing them with a platform to not just showcase their talents but also to indulge in a day of innocent fun, frolic and simply put, happiness!

This year, AIESEC in Hyderabad aims at engaging over 3000 such children through Balakalakaar 2009 and endeavours to impression their young minds for a life-changing impact. See them smile.. that’s something you can’t put a price-tag on.

This event is sponsored by Sujana Group of companies in association with Global Art India and Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation, Radio Mirchi being the radio partner.

Date: 13 December 2009
Venue: Lalitha Kala Thoranam
Time: 9:00 onwards

Students interested in volunteering for the event may leave a comment here or contact +91 99892 29733 or +91 9966427278. We greatly appreciate and welcome your participation :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Bridge

I would like to tell you a little about myself before I start telling you the story about the bridge that changed my life.

I am a nineteen year old undergraduate pursuing my engineering in electronics and communications field. Engineering these days is just another degree and its really not easy to find a job out there with just this one degree. Being above average at studies and a very good athlete is of no big use when there are 2,80,000 engineers graduating every year and competing for the same jobs as myself. I would be lost somewhere in the crowd struggling for an opportunity to showcase the best of my abilities.

Every person in the world has a dream in his/her life. Even I have one. The dream of achieving something in life. About being remembered me for something like starting a company and creating opportunities for fresh minds that are filled with brilliant ideas. But when I tried to visualize my dream, I always found myself standing on one side of the river bed and my dream on the other side. I never really understood what I lacked to make my dream turn reality. Was it focus? Determination? Or was it the will power to achieve it? I never really understood what bridge would take me to my dream.

I remember the day I went for the AIESEC Interview (after having heard so much about it). Going through all the rounds of the interview and then getting a call from someone telling me that I have been selected to join AIESEC gives me a great feeling of joy even today after being a part of it for more than 10 months. I was called for a training seminar with other people where they showed us the AIESEC way of doing things. That very day I realized that I had finally found the bridge that would help me reach my dream. I figured that the AIESEC way of ‘Taking Responsibility’, taking up a ‘Leadership Role’, going on an ‘eXchange’ and ‘Heading For The Future’ was the base of this bridge. It was the substance out of which my bridge had to be built. Networking and interacting with the most dynamic youth in the city that had been selected out of the two thousand people who applied formed one of the cables which held this bridge together.

As a part of AIESEC I have been in the corporate sector meeting a number of clients in reputed companies from whom I have learnt a lot of things like professionalism, client relations and so on. I have raised funds for a project, handled a project which has given me the best experience of project management, fund raising, crisis management, cultural exchange, leading a bunch of talented and diverse individuals which I couldn’t have got anywhere in the world. I successfully completed the biggest project in the Corporate Sector of AIESEC India and I realized the bridge was becoming stronger every day. Whenever I gave time to AIESEC it would give me in return a new learning eXPerience, right from solving the smallest of the problem of an intern to raising lacs of rupees. I have grown professionally as well as personally being a part of this wonderful organization.

The bridge to my dream has become very strong today as I have added a lot more cables - I am a mature, young professional and a much more focused person who is all set to create a positive impact on the world.

Even after ten months of being in the organization I still feel like a new recruit in quest for more and more knowledge from this ocean called AIESEC. I just want my experience to continue till I finish the ocean :)

Rohit Mishra
Organizing Committee President, Tourism Project-Corporate Sector
Student, S.V.I.T

Thursday, December 3, 2009

'An AIESEC can change your life'

Like it changed mine! Read on:

I was always a back-bencher, watching the play unfold from the shadows. I was never serious about anything, which was only reciprocated by people not taking me seriously either. 19 years of my life summed up to only 9 in the eyes of my family. ‘Grow up Ankit’ was something you’d hear too often in my house, not just by my immediate family, but also my extended family. This was Ankit before AIESEC happened.I’ve been in this organization for more than 15 months now and these have undoubtedly been the best days of my life. AIESEC has completely changed my life!

I never thought I had it in me to clear all the 3 rounds of selection and be one amongst those 60 people who were recruited out of 1800 applicants in Aug ‘08. This very selection was an eye-opener in itself! It kindled a strong sense of self-confidence and self-realization in me. From that moment on, this confidence has grown leaps and bounds and has made me the person that I am today.

AIESEC has given me a platform to explore my leadership skills, a platform to explore the world, a platform to explore myself! Being a part of this organization has helped me acquire a lot of skills that have made me a much more focused person in life. I have learned the art of multitasking; managing AIESEC activities with my regular studies and other activities and striving to strike the perfect balance between the two without compromising on the quality of my performance.

The amount of exposure I have received by meeting new people, not only from different cultural, but also different geographical backgrounds has made me more culturally sensitive and tolerant towards different genres of thinking and living. Conversations with people who are established achievers in various walks of life have given me the inspiration to dream big and set out to turn those dreams into reality. My experience in AIESEC can be best described by comparing it with the metamorphosis of a butterfly.

I recently happened to go to my native place for attending a cousin's wedding where I met all my uncles, aunts and relatives. At the end of the trip, one of my uncles remarked that I have transformed completely, that he can see a spark in me now; that I am more confident now in dealing with people and I socialize a lot better than I used to.

The credit for that wonderful compliment goes totally to AIESEC!!

I’m an AIESECer!!!

- Ankit Sharma
Team Leader, Education Sector
Student, Guru Nanak College of Engineering