Manulife’s Smart Tech Challenge: Developing Entrepreneurs and Making Change

Smart Tech ChallengeCommunitech and Manulife Financial are challenging Ontario post-secondary students to come up with a way to improve the Canadian financial services industry. The first prize includes $12,000 for the entire team, a new MacBook for each team member, and a four-month work term at Communitech in Waterloo, Ontario.

As Generation Y replaces the aging Baby Boomer population in the work force, the financial services industry is experiencing a change. We, the millennials, prove to be a completely different target audience. We are a new generation, setting new goals and blooming with new ideas. We are creative. We are innovative. We are looking for ways to change the world.

So who would be better to ask for a way to revolutionize the financial services industry than us? We are a generation of entrepreneurs, of activists, of action-takers, of change-makers. Improving the way this industry works would take us one step closer to a better world.

The Smart Tech Challenge dares groups of post-secondary students to fix a problem in the industry. All they have to do is explain what the issue is and provide their solution in a 30 to 60 second video. They must upload their video to the competition website before 5:00 p.m. on October 15th. The winning group will receive $18,000 in prizes. On top of that, the individuals in the group will still have the rights to their intellectual property.

Karen Klink, the Enterprise Account Manager at Communitech, recently spent an evening with part of AIESEC Laurier. At the social, which was sponsored by Communitech, she spoke to the attendees about the Smart Tech Challenge and stayed behind to answer any questions. The event proved to be a big success—everyone who went had an excellent time.

AIESEC is an organization that strives to produce globally-minded youth leaders. Of course, one way of doing this is to bring out the entrepreneur in its members.

Intrapreneurial spirit in particular runs strong in AIESEC Laurier. All the members of this local committee are constantly encouraged to push their limits and discover new things about themselves, while generating new ideas and ways to improve not only the AIESEC Laurier community, but the greater community outside of the local committee.

We want to share that passion and drive with other post-secondary students, and the Smart Tech Challenge is an excellent way to do so. This competition will undoubtedly see some great ideas. So, we, the members of AIESEC Laurier ask you: why don’t you give it a try?

Words from the 2015 President, Shinjni Sharma

chung shinjWe all set expectations and goals when we start a project. Some might be interested in the end results, others in the journey we take to get there. I was always a person who liked seeing the results of a project, because it meant the end of one thing and the beginning of something new. There are countless opportunities available in the world—I just happened to stumble upon the leadership opportunities that AIESEC provides. When I first joined AIESEC, I didn’t know what to expect, especially since my first impression of AIESECers was that they seemed like a bunch of crazy people who just danced all the time. However, I knew AIESEC was different from all those other campus clubs. It was a platform for individuals to develop themselves and, consequently, help develop the world. That was an idea that always appealed to me, so I applied to the Local Chapter (LC) and became a Team Leader. I continued to challenge myself, taking on a role as Vice President, and now I am the Local Committee President (LCP) of AIESEC Laurier. This is a project I’m very excited and very nervous about. While I hold this position, I want to experience an amazing journey and create a positive impact on the world with AIESEC Laurier.

tam shinjThe idea of me being LCP did not feel real until the day the applications were released. The application had only four short questions; however, they were difficult questions which challenged my ideas and beliefs of my role within AIESEC. I was unsure if LCP was what I wanted to pursue in 2015, because my plan was to do another term as VP term before running for LCP in 2016. This was what I was going to do until I talked to a close friend of mine who made me realize I wanted something different.

People within the LC spoke to me about being LCP next year (2015), but I never knew if they were joking or if they were crazy. Now, this is only because I thought I still had so much to learn before I could take on that role, but my friend pointed out that you could learn even as LCP, and you could develop yourself so much more. I knew she was right, but I was hesitant, doubting my capability to lead. What if I was a bad leader? What if I messed up certain things within the LC? What if I could not do what I had intended to do as LCP? The fear of failure was my main demotivator. But then again, what if I was a good leader? What if I changed things for the better within the LC? What if I actually achieved the goals I set? Success is something I thought I wanted to achieve within my role, but when I sat down to write my application, I didn’t focus on fear or success. What I knew I wanted to do was bring change, not just to myself, but to the LC. I sat down for nine hours straight and thought about my growth within AIESEC. I started off as Team Leader of Events in the Talent Management (TM) portfolio and later applied for VP of TM within my first month of being in AIESEC. It was a bold, daring move, a type of challenge I was always interested in pursuing. I did not get that specific position, but was instead offered the position of VP of Incoming Exchange (ICX), a portfolio I knew nothing about. It completely changed me.

candidatesI thought that I would go into marketing and events in the future, because that was something I was good at. Then, I started my role as a Sales Agent for AIESEC Laurier, and it changed my whole outlook of the future. I know now that my future lies in sales because of the experience I got from AIESEC. On top of that, the challenges I faced as an individual has helped me become more self-aware of my strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs. I worked on a lot of my weaknesses throughout my VP term in AIESEC, and I overcame personal challenges along the way.

But even after all these amazing experiences, I still doubted my ability to be LCP at such an early stage in my AIESEC career. I have been in this organization for one year, and in that year, I went from Team Leader to Vice President to President-elect in such a small time frame. I know leading a sales team is not the same as leading a team with many different functions. You have to be a targeted leader who acts according to the leaders who are within your team and the function they work with. I knew that LCP was going to be the greatest challenge I would face during my AIESEC journey, and I knew that I wanted to take on this challenge. I have so much to learn and develop as a person, and as a leader.

I set aside my fears, and applied to be LCP 2015 for AIESEC Laurier. Filling out the application was scary, but what was even more terrifying was going in front of the members of AIESEC Laurier and talking about how passionate I am about this wonderful organization. Being able to discuss all the plans and ideas you have within an hour was hard. I’m glad that the members of AIESEC Laurier understood and supported my vision for our LC going forward. I’m honored to be leading such an amazing organization filled with change agents whom I believe are the leaders of the future. Together we can make a positive impact within our lives, and within our world with AIESEC.

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It’s a Fact: Laurier is a Top-Notch University with Excellent Alumni

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LinkedIn recently unraveled its new “LinkedIn University Rankings” page. They analyzed “employment patterns of over 300 million LinkedIn members from around the world, [and] figured out what the desirable jobs are within several professions and which graduates get those desirable jobs. … Continue reading

Join the Global HR & Recruiting UnConference Movement

unConference

An unconference is an event where the emphasis is in attendees who drive the discussions and share the common interest around different HR topics. This year, HR Unconference will be held on October 17, 2014 at Waterloo Region Museum, 10 Huron Road (off Homer Watson Blvd), Kitchener, ON.

The conference is all about people who are one way or another related to the people businesses. HR people, HR Tech vendors, Recruiters (agency, in-house), Social Media and Employer Branding Experts, Career Advisors are ll are welcome!

Speakers include:

1. Cindy Tarasow: Right Management, Cindy is a Vice President, Client Services with Right Management for Southwestern Ontario and joined our organization in 2011.

2. Aki Kakko: Joberate, HR Unconference, Co-Founder, Head of Product at Joberate, Partner at HR Unconference

3. Geoff Webb: AON/Hewitt, Global Manager Digital Talent RPO

4. Michael Beygelman: Joberate, CEO at Joberate

5. Kristian Vanberg: Spoke Innovation, Co-organiser #HRTechTank

6. Laura Milne: CANDHR, Director at CANDHR

7. John Rose: Resourceful John, CEO and Chief Bottle Washer

For more information and registration, visit: http://www.globalhru.com/events/hruwaterloo/

Youth President – What Does it Mean?

With AIESEC Laurier’s Presidential Elections happening in just this evening, I figured this would be a good time to reflect on an intense learning curve known as being a Local Committee President.
A year and a few days ago, it was me who was up in front of the Local Committee telling them my belief of what AIESEC can be. The weeks leading up to the Elections was an emotional roller coaster. One day, I would be set on running and many other days, questions would just create doubt. After being away from the country for a whole year, how will new members react? Am I who AIESEC Laurier needs? Do I have the right people that can become VPs to manage seven or eight departments? Is it worth staying back in school another eight months to see this vision through?
All of these questions constantly haunted me during the days and kept me up at night and it really didn’t stop until a good friend of mine said, “If you were not going into this role scared sh*tless, then you are not the right person for it”. That’s when I realized that the doubt was just me being uncomfortable with the new responsibilities.
Looking back at myself a year ago, I can barely recognize who I was then. The only part that is still the same is my physical appearance.
Throughout the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to do many things besides constant fire-fighting.  I had the opportunity to select my Executive Team, come up with our year plan and recruit fifty new youth leaders to help us reach our goal: facilitating leadership development through international exchange. With the team collectively putting in at least 250 hours a week, we send abroad 2x more people year over year. Moreover, we have created relationships with fifty more companies and have created partnerships with a handful of them – including Google, Maplesoft, and Communitech. I have personally presented to many senior managers and have aligned long term strategies to become mutually beneficial for both parties. Leaders of all ages and levels have seen me as an equal individual: a globally-minded youth leader.
Best of luck to all three candidates – Faiq Shad, Gunjan Marwah, and Shinjni Sharma. Although only one person can become that President, I can ensure you that results and experiences can only be created with people who together want to see it succeed.


To all those who wish to watch the Elections virtually, please stay tuned to our Twitter for the link available later today. The Elections will be live from 7-10. Please note that there will be absolutely no live tweets during the Elections. 


Here are some words I wrote at the beginning of this term – soon after this picture was taken:chung

As the blindfolds went on and the doors were open, the whole body becomes completely sensitive trying to find hints of what will happen. Feeling the change of surface, I knew it was about to begin.
The chant started. The chant I’ve heard dozens of times in Canada a year before. However, this time around, everything sounded much more foreign. But the moment the word “hey” was heard, I closed me eyes, thought to myself that this will always be a memory regardless of the result. Then it happened.Thank you everyone who’s supported and inspired me since day one. For those who had to deal with me over the last month – I sincerely thank you for all the emotional roller coaster that you had to deal with. To AIESEC Laurier – thank you for supporting my goal. Our journey has only begun but know that you have already changed a person’s life.
Guest Blogger: Chungsoon Haw, Local Committee President

AIESEC Canada team stays connected with help from Blackberry

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Blackberry announced that they’re working together to help AIESEC Canada‘s seven-person executive team to document their year-long experience as they lead the international leadership-development organization. Over the next 12 months, the executive team will stay collaborative, connected, and productive with the BlackBerry Z30s.

More about the article here: http://aiesec.ca/blog/made-in-canada-aiesec-canada-execs-stay-connected-help-blackberry/

 

 

AIESEC Laurier representing Canada in Taiwan for AIESEC International Congress 2014

AIESEC International Congress (IC) is one of AIESEC’s biggest anticipated conferences that unites youtth delegates from all over the world at one place and time to communicate goals for the next period, celebrate the sucesses and share the experience. IC takes place annually and consists of 10 days of discovery, collaboration and inspiration for the current AIESEC top level leaders from all over the world. The conference consists of 10 days of discovery, collaboration and inspiration for the current AIESEC top level leaders from all over the world.

AIESEC Laurier’s Local Committee President, Chungsoon Haw, is currently representing AIESEC Canada along with other youth leaders from different universities within Canada.

AIESEC Laurier's LCP, Chungsoon Haw, with other Canadian youth leaders representing Canada in International Congress 2014.

AIESEC Laurier’s LCP, Chungsoon Haw, with other Canadian youth leaders representing Canada in International Congress 2014.

jean choplin

Founder of AIESEC, Jean Choplin, shares a powerful speech at International Congress 2014.

To know more about International Congress, visit: http://ic2014taiwan.org.tw/

Watch them live stream now in Taiwan: https://new.livestream.com/AIESEC-international

Canny Chiu’s Global Citizen Exchange in India

Last month we sat down with Canny Chiu, our current Vice President of Outgoing Exchange, to hear about his Global Citizen exchange experience in India.

1. What were you expecting to get out of your exchange experience? Did you get what you expected?

I wanted to have an adventure of a lifetime, I wanted to see a new world and be thrown so far outside of my comfort zone.

2. Can you describe one of your most memorable moments from your exchange?

One of my most memorable moments was my goodbye dinner where 30 other interns/aiesecers wished me farewell. Another really memorable moment from my exchange was when I was volunteering for the NGO, I also worked with a couple of local volunteers, they became some of my closest friends, and even though they weren’t the ones to drive me back to the airport, they came anyways and spent the last hour of my time in India waiting with me.

3. Was there anything that surprised you about India that you didn’t know before you went there?

I think I underestimated how busy/high traffic life is compared to the suburbs of Toronto.

4. How was your experience with the local AIESEC chapters in your host country?

AIESEC Chandigarh is an absolutely amazing LC. Not everything was perfect about the place I lived in or my job, but this AIESEC Chapter did everything in their power to make my experience as good as possible. Sometimes you can’t predict what goes wrong on an exchange and when they do you can’t fault people for trying their best.

If you haven’t already be sure to check out what he had to say here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uxpQQ3bi5o

Did you know… AIESEC History

AIESEC International created a video that outlined the history of AIESEC. Told through AIESEC International members, it describes the creation and relevance AIESEC has had in the world since the 1950s. This videos helps students and companies understand AIESEC a little more and be able to understand the impact AIESEC has had on the world.

What new piece information did you learn about AIESEC? Tell us in the comments below!

Four WLU Students Selected for AIESEC Canada’s National Support Team

The National Support Team (NST) consists of bright, active, and intelligent members all over AIESEC Canada and four of Laurier’s amazing members were appointed to become National Coaches! Not only are these youth leaders representing the Waterloo region on a national level, but they are also working beyond their role within Laurier’s Local Committee (LC).  The NST ensures that AIESEC Canada is maintaining high synergy between the Member Committee (MC) and LCs to drive national growth.

The following AIESEC Laurier members include:

  • Stephanie Yi – currently our Executive Vice President taking on the role as a New Sales Coach
  • Canny Chiu – currently our Vice President for Outgoing Exchange taking on the role as a National Coach for Outgoing Exchange
  • Shinjni Sharma – currently our Vice President of Corporate Relations taking on the role as an Account Delivery Coach
  • Joelle Leung – currently our Director of Internal Marketing taking on the role as a Brand Manager

northoncoastal and atlantic team student marketing