Friday 2 December 2016
For those of us who haven’t heard of AIESEC before, could you tell us what it is?
AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-led organisation, which strives to empower young people through practical experiences in challenging, vibrant environments. Together with our reputable partner organisations, we facilitate cross-cultural exchanges in the form of volunteering experiences and professional internships.
AIESEC’s overseas programmes are a fantastic platform for students to activate their leadership qualities, expand their global mindset and, at the same time, make a positive impact in wider communities. We have also recently partnered with the United Nations (UN) to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which our global volunteering projects are all aligned to.
To find out more about AIESEC, please visit: www.aiesec.co.uk.
What are the main aims of the organisation?
It is every young person’s responsibility to take a positive role in shaping the future of our planet. We believe every young person deserves the chance, and tools, to fulfil their potential.
We provide young people with self-driven, practical, global experiences. We enable them to see the world, make a real difference and discover what truly matters to them through volunteering overseas.
What are the benefits of becoming a member of AIESEC?
The AIESEC experience – which includes national conferences, weekly skills-based trainings and overseas programs – will develop your leadership qualities as well as both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills.
Just within the first semester, we have trained our members ‘effective pitching’ tactics, taught them how to write and present a professional business proposal, digital marketing techniques and several more essential lifelong skills.
Furthermore, being an AIESECer means many exciting networking opportunities. You will not only network with students from 23 other AIESEC UK universities, you’ll also have the opportunity to meet members beyond the UK – given that AIESEC is based in over 126 countries with at least 100,000 members worldwide!
Ultimately, through your AIESEC journey, you will discover and develop your untapped potential to become a well-rounded, global citizen.
Give us an idea of the type of person who would do well in AIESEC.
If you espouse our A.I.E.S.E.C. (Adventurous, Integrity, Excellence, Service, Empowering and Committed) values, you will definitely thrive in AIESEC!
- Open to new cultures, ideas and experiences.
- Enjoys seeking innovative ways to positively impact our local and wider communities.
- Bold enough to challenge constructively when something is wrong.
- Accountable for both personal mistakes and successes.
- Aims for excellent performance and is willing to learn from mistakes.
- Able to use skills and resources to steer the team towards the best possible results.
- Serves others before self.
- Open to sharing knowledge and is willing to lend others a helping hand when needed.
- Desires not only to empower others but also to be empowered through developing oneself in AIESEC.
- Actively contributes to the team's development and vibrancy.
What sort of opportunities do you offer to students who aren’t members?
AIESEC organise volunteer exchange programs that provide enriching, leadership-training experiences for youths. Since our recent partnership with the United Nations (UN), our projects have been aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - ranging from ‘Gender Equality’ to ‘Eradicating Poverty’, and many more. Our global network enables students to choose from over 4,000 projects and 17 different SDGs in 124 different countries.
The Global Volunteer programme offers you a chance to experience a wide range of roles, such as being a teacher, cultural ambassador, social worker, project manager, or a community facilitator. We don’t just drop you off at the destination, but support you throughout your journey.
Students will have the chance to experience a whole different culture, wherever they choose to go. Other than contributing to society, they will be able to travel to a foreign country and meet new people with similar goals and interests. And they don’t have to be an AIESEC member to enjoy all these perks!
Could you give us a taste of the exciting events that take place in a typical year in AIESEC?
We offer a number of activities catered for both AIESEC members and non-members throughout the year. We try our best to participate ourselves in the many events hosted by the university, as we find them to be a great platform to promote our society while giving the opportunity for the members to practice their marketing skills. Our members have improved tremendously, as there was a time during the QMUL International event where some of them took up the courage to showcase their impromptu roll call in front of the whole event to promote AIESEC! We are in the midst of preparing for our big event in January. It will be our largest collaboration to date, so please keep an eye out for it! (details below)
Socials and team days are also a big part of AIESEC Queen Mary. From dinners and impromptu pub visits to trips outside the university, we always find an excuse to build our team comradery. There are also many chances in the year to mingle with other AIESECers from various universities across the country. These include the large annual conferences and other big events by other AIESEC societies. Recently there has also been a number of organisations who showed interest in collaborating with us. Thus, it is a great time to be an AIESECer in Queen Mary.
You must have so many great memories – can you pick a favourite?
Our team has been through thick and thin together for the past few months, hence there have been moments that stick out. But if we had to pick a favourite, it would be our participation in AIESEC’s annual conference, MAXIS 2016. The event forced us to be with each other for nearly the whole time we were there, but it made us much closer in the process. We took the opportunity to learn about each other – our likes and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses, our weird obsessions, and who the best dancer was in our team! There were occasions when some of us even teared up while sharing our fears for the future. It was definitely a very intimate and memorable experience, and one we cherish very much.
What advice would you give to a student who is thinking of joining but isn’t sure if it’s for them?
If you are looking to be a part of more than just a society, then this is for you. As much as we strive to bring the best exchange experience and volunteering projects to our customers, we also believe in the value of our members. We try to invest in our members as much as we can in order to improve our performance and recognise the hard work they put in.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try something new and exciting. Grab this opportunity and embark on a journey to discover what AIESEC has to offer!
How would a student go about joining the organisation or taking part in one of the many opportunities you offer?
To express your interest in joining AIESEC, please contact Tiara (President of AIESEC QM) at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a message directly on our FB page https://www.facebook.com/AIESECQM (do ‘like’ it too!).
At the same time, you can purchase the ‘AIESEC Society’ membership (£2) online via www.qmsu.org/groups/13682/ or from the Student Union’s Hub.
To apply for our UN-supported overseas Global Volunteering (oGV) programme or to check out our available oGV projects, please visit www.opportunities.aiesec.org/programmes.
Are you planning on holding any events for QMUL students next term?
Yes, we are excited to announce that we will be holding our first ever AIESEC Queen Mary Global Village in January next year! The Global Village will be bringing together a wide range of cultural societies to celebrate cultural diversity and harmony.
There will be a plethora of delicacies, engaging activities and performances that will heighten cultural understanding and of course, guarantee a fun break from midday classes!
Besides cultural appreciation, we hope to also promote our global volunteering programmes, through which youths can have the fantastic opportunity to develop their leadership qualities and global thinking.
Details of our Global Village are as follows:
Date: Thursday, 26 January 2017
Venue: Blomeley Rooms 1 and 2, Students’ Union Hub, Mile End campus