We 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.
The 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.
I 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.