Friday, June 15, 2007

Learning Journey

Had my AIESEC NTU transition today. Loaded in my brain a whole lot of AIESEC vision, mission, values, numerical goals, history...... Through the very vigorous thinking and brainstorming session and the post-transition chat with Imran my exchange boss, my passion for AIESEC has been renewed. Sounds evangelical?

One thing that charms me in AIESEC is the diversity. In an organisation that values diversity, people aren't afraid to be unique. People aren't afraid of being different as who they are. We don't pride on homogenity. AIESEC wants variety, as variety is the source for creativity, is the training for us to understand and appreciate differences, to make us truly global citizens. The diversity within AIESEC is so much greater than what we thought diversity is. AIESEC in Singapore is proud to have a very high level of cultural diversity due to the various background of members. These people have different ideas, different concepts about the same issue, different dreams, different goals in life. This is the unfailing charm that keeps me in AIESEC, wanting to see more, through interaction with members within, or out through conferences and AIESEC forum.

AIESEC is the place for motivation as it has a group of members who are committed to learning and self-development. It's a group of young people who aren't afraid of failture, aren't intimidated of difficulties, aren't back off by challenges. And they aren't afraid to admit 'I don't know', 'I am lost'. To them, these are all learning opportunities. This afternoon we were learning about the AIESEC balance scorecard, key performance indicators and critical success factors. And Alvin the president made us think of how to link back these in-the-heaven ideas to what we do daily in AIESEC. It wasn't an easy task. We are still very far from being able to appreciate the importance of branding and having a systematic organisational structure. But we didn't give up. We tried. May be we haven't scored too well in linking. But I'm sure my appreciation for such structure has increased. It's the culture of unfailing spirit and persistence to learn that motivates me to conquer greater heights in things I do and knowledge I learn.

I feel safe in AIESEC, because I know I am not alone in this learning journey. AIESEC is committed to providing the best place for learning, and perfecting itself to be the first choice for youth to activate leadership. In such caring environment, I know I can grab leadership opportunities here, I know I can seek help from seniors or mentors when I am lost, I know I have enthusiastic friends to discuss our views on various issues, I know I can make an impact in the society by carrying out projects. It's a place, where I know it's safe and challenging enough for me to develop and discover my potentials, such that I can transform into mature adults groomed with professional knowledge and a caring spirit for the community and people.

I feel actively learning in AIESEC. There're so many things in here to learn, not just the direct skills that we do, such as leadership or sales technique, but also the indirect skills, such as resilience, courage to think hard, ability to think deep and wide and creatively, people skills, goal setting skills. These aren't too visible in the daily execution of plans. But you see them being sharpened when you deal with other issues in life. This is when I know, AIESEC has changed me.

I'm in love with AIESEC once again. It's the greatest source of stress but also the greatest source of empowerment. But in AIESEC, you are guaranteed, that the amount of learning you gain will be proportional to the amount of contribution you made. You are in charge of your learning. But opportunities are always there for you. If there are, it's an opportunity for you to create it!

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