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

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