Nov 15, 2009

AIESEC Parody of the song "Everybody's Free"

To go along with the "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" video we watched during our goal-setting session at our General Assembly last week, here is a very funny version of the song by Baz Luhrmann re-written with AIESEC content.

I found this on the MC Bahrain blog who found this from a note on facebook written by a Luis from Portugal. So Mr. Luis Magalhães thank you for writing this entertaining song.

Oct 29, 2009

Developing Globally-Minded Leaders

I just came from our review board, where we interviewed exchange participant candidates. After asking gruelling questions to assess these candidates on their cultural awareness, leadership abilities, AIESEC knowledge and expectations, they all passed. We were impressed by their experiences, their cultural sensitivity and their motivations for going on an AIESEC internship abroad.

As I was driving one of my fellow panelists home, we talked about some common qualities that all AIESEC members possess. It's that sensitivity, that global awareness, that sense of social responsibility, that strong work ethic, that entrepreneurial spirit and that desire to always be learning and growing that makes AIESECers so special. The opportunities to develop yourself through local leadership opportunities, international internships and conferences are great, but what makes those three things so special are the members of AIESEC who make them happen. The real benefit is the network and community that you are a part of.

Ever since Western Regional Conference (WRC) something has felt different. And now I've realized what it is. Now more than ever, I've reached a point in my personal development, where I have learned enough about AIESEC and leadership that I can focus mostly on developing others to be leaders in AIESEC.

In the words of Jack Welch "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is about growing others"

I've never felt so much like a leader. Before I joined AIESEC I didn't even see myself as having leadership potential. Now I'm the face of AIESEC Victoria.

Earlier today, my friend took a photo of a slide that listed the names of the local committes that were present at WRC
and tagged all the local committee presidents to the name of their local committees. At first I just smiled. And then I realized how cool that was to have your name attached to something like that. It's really cool to be an LCP. You're a brand ambassador of your LC. And I find that exciting.

What I find more exciting is getting to learn even more about leadership as I help to develop the next generation of leaders in AIESEC Victoria. Our new members are awesome! And so are our new Exchange Participants!

Oct 26, 2009

Western Regional Conference

It finally came! And everything came together awesomely. The venue was perfect, the OC was on top of everything, the faci team was immensely entertaining and informative, the chair was inspiring, and the delegates had spirit like I had never seen before.

We danced. We cheered. We networked and connected with other students from all over Western Canada. We thought critically over the different challenges and obstacles we and others have had to face. The new members had a great introduction to AIESEC while us more experienced members got more advanced training. We exchanged ideas as a region. We celebrated over a lovely banquet. We wrote sugar cubes. We said our goodbyes and so long's until the next conference.

Sounds like your typical AIESEC conference, but it wasn't this time. At least not for me…

Never have I felt so present and so energetic at a conference before. 12 conferences in my 2 years in AIESEC and one would think that I would be sick of conferences by now. So far from the truth.

There is something so special about hosting a conference. There's nothing like getting to open your arms and say "welcome to our beautiful city" to over 140 people coming from as far south as Seattle and as far East as Winnipeg. Actually we had one faci from Toronto and two MC members from Toronto as well. It is also fantastic not having to travel to get to a conference.

There was so much work put into this conference, but it was so worth it. While I wasn't part of the organizing committee, I had an unofficial position of project management trainer/OCP (Organizing Committee President) coach/ cheerleader /delivery girl. We always talk about how hard the OC works to plan and run a conference, but I had no idea until this year. Their hard work has paid off exponentially. Not only did everyone have a great time and learned lots but I can already see the difference in our local committee. And I'm sure the conference experience has helped the other LC's (local committees) that attended as well. We have so many motivated, capable and bright new leaders to pass the torch on to now. I'm so excited to see our LC grow. Out of all the hard decisions I have had to make as an LCP, bidding on this conference was most likely the best decision we have made!

We got a second shot of motivation right after the conference with an LC visit from our MC coach. It was super-fast but we now have loads of fantastic advice to bring up our performance. And that visit just made my job a lot easier. Now to sit back and relax, coach and connect with my executive team and do some succession planning (which hosting WRC has also made easier). I hope lots of LC's bid on next year's regional conferences. The only risk is wanting to host another one!

Oct 13, 2009

Learning to Sell

Friday night, six of us from AIESEC Victoria headed over to Vancouver. After waiting in chaotic line-ups due to Thanksgiving and a ferry accident, we finally made it over.

Saturday was National Sales Day in Vancouver. After two great events on Toronto and Montreal, the event came to Vancity. It was led by a National Committee Member and three alumni. The day was packed with energy, excitement and lots of sales tips I had never heard about. We can't wait to bring back everything we learned this weekend to our AIESEC Victoria. And that's starting this week with a marketing blitz.

While our marketers are busy picking up the phone, the organizing committee of Western Regional Conference is even busier putting together last-minute preparations for the conference this weekend. It's gonna be amazing!

Oct 4, 2009

International Congress

Finally, I have found the time to write about my experience at International Congress 2009. I wish I could have written on IC each day, but our internet connection there was very poor. So here’s a recap of the entire experience.
What a conference! 10 Days. 107 countries, 500+ people gathering at the Palace of the Golden Horses in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

Here are the highlights:

The Palace of the Golden Horses. We stayed at “6 star hotel”. And at a very affordable rate too. The palace was beautiful.

Global Village. First day of the conference. In two hours I had visited booths of 107 countries. Incredible. The Canada booth was awesome. It was covered with maple cookies, maple candies, Canada flag pins, hand-cut paper snowflakes, cut-outs of beavers and more. And we were dressed in our finest Canadiana hockey gear as our traditional costumes.

Opening Plenary. 3 minutes per country. 107 countries went up on stage one by one to present a skit, dance, video or whatever they felt like. So cool.

The Chair. Arthur Josephson. Director of Western Europe and North America from a few years ago. Now he’s a leadership consultant and is doing amazing things to better the world. He did an amazing job of guiding us through the conference, helping us connect with our personal passion, motivating us to achieve our goals and helping us get the most out of this conference.

AIESEC International (AI). That 12-person team working out of Rotterdam, Netherlands led our sessions and were absolutely amazing. Before this conference, I always felt that AI was that distant group of incredibly talented people setting this global direction that didn’t really apply to me and my LC. I was wrong. They are still a group of incredibly talented people that have also gone through similar AIESEC experiences—they’ve just been in AIESEC a little longer. But everything they do applies to our LC’s. And they keep the LC perspective to heart. Our LC’s are the people there who are doing the work—creating these life-changing experiences to produce the next generation of global leaders. I really understand the role my LC has in our global network now. And it is also very cool to have our past MCP Emily and past MCRVP Ontario, Carolyne on AI.

The Congress Committee (CC). We love the C.C. we do. This incredible team of people from around the world was there to organize the conference and help us delegates out throughout the entire 10-day journey. It was also awesome to have 3 Canadians on the C.C. Being on the C.C. is also another awesome opportunity that you can do in AIESEC that not enough people tell you about. You go at least a month in advance. Food and accommodation is usually provided. You get to work with an international team to put on an international conference. Next year’s IC is in India.
Partner Launches. It was great getting to see our Global Partners get up on stage, tell us how they use AIESEC’s Global Internship Program as part of their HR strategy, tell us how their company and AIESEC are similar, and hear about some of the amazing jobs our alumni have done in their companies.

Youth 2 Business Forum. The first ever. Three tracks: sustainability, entrepreneurship, and labour mobility and diversity. The morning consisted of workshops from organizations. The afternoon consisted of speakers and open space conversations. I joined a conversation about entrepreneurship in the non-profit sector—a topic I am particularly passionate about. It was nice to connect with delegates and externals with the same passion and to hear about their opinions and experiences. The final part consisted of a panel of AIESECers and AIESEC alumni, and dialogues between delegates and externals about AIESEC’s role in business and society.

Generation 2010. 5 years ago the AIESEC International team set out some very ambitious targets for us. We found out that we’re on track to making it there.

Workshops. How AI managed to make sessions that were relevant and clearly understood by delegates from over 100 different countries is astonishing. How AI managed to make sessions that were relevant, motivating and applicable to every local committee in the network is even more amazing. I understand our global direction, I am better equipped to bring my LC in the right direction, and I have taken my leadership development up another notch. But what makes the sessions so powerful and successful, is the collective intelligence from people in over 100 countries. Being in a discussion circle with 9 people each from a different country is the coolest thing ever.

Country Meetings. Here’s a typical day’s worth of country meetings. Breakfast – Brazil, First half of lunch – Australia, Second half of Lunch – Korea, Dinner – meeting with a global exchange partner, Free time – Spain and Greece, End of Day – UAE. During these meetings, the MC VP Exchanges would talk, while the LCP’s would break off and talk about exchanges between their LC’s our just share information on our LC’s.

Making Connections. By now you’re probably thinking that the sessions and the meetings are amazing. But the best part of the conference is what happens outside of the conference. It’s the conversations you have and the connections you make in between sessions, at the end of the day, at meals or on the post-study tour. No matter where you come from in the world, everyone at this conference has had very similar experiences in AIESEC. Before you meet, you already have a lot in common.

The final banquet. The last night of the conference and we were all dressed up. Delegates of the nearby Alumni Congress came to see the banquet. We had this incredible multi-course Chinese wedding dinner. In between courses, AI gave out the awards. AIESEC Canada won the regional achievement award for Western Europe and North America. It was so exciting! The results that were submitted counted for back when I was a Vice President and becoming an LCP. It felt wonderful to be one of many who had worked hard to help AIESEC Canada to achieve the award. The other UBS Award winners were: Russia, Egypt, Kenya, Mexico. AIESEC India won the Global Achievement Award.

The Post-study tour. 3 days in Langkawi. There were about 60 of us from the conference. We took a bus from the hotel after the conference ended and arrived in Langkawi the next morning. We went island hopping the first day. Our first island had a beautiful freshwater lake in the middle. I have never swam in clearer water. Our second island was a feeding ground for eagles. We saw a dozen eagles swoop down to catch fish in front of us. And the final island had a beautiful beach. That evening we had a Malaysian dinner and were entertained by traditional Malaysian dancers. On our final day we learned to paint batik, visited a zoo with many animals we had never seen before, went souvenir shopping and saw some more beautiful beaches.

What happens next. It’s been a month since I have gotten back in IC and I still wish I was back there. I feel so fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience. I’m doing my best to share my new knowledge and experience with other AIESECers back home. And I’m really excited to help our newly recruited EP’s find their internships. I can’t wait to experience AIESEC abroad next year.

Aug 20, 2009

A Monkey Stole My Peanuts

Today, Thomas and I visited the magnificent Batu Caves just outside of Kuala Lumpur (KL). After walking in circles around the confusing streets of KL, while dodging motorbikes in high heat and humidity we found the bus stop to take us to the caves. It was only a block away from our hostel. After a 45-minute bus ride, we arrived at the bottom of the caves. We walked up 200 steps and passed about a dozen monkeys. At the end of the stairs, we found ourselves in a very large cave filled with beautiful Hindu shrines. It was very cool to see.

Before we went back down the stairs, we stopped to have a snack. I pulled out a package of peanuts and tried to open it. Before I was able to open it, a monkey grabbed it out of my hands, climbed up the cave and ate my peanuts. It happened so fast and it was hilarious. I'm just thankful that the monkey didn't run off with my credit card like in those commercials. My hunger didn't last long because we had a fantastic Indian meal at the bottom of the stairs. One of the best things about KL is that there is fantastic, cheap food everywhere you walk.

We arrived at the hostel just as a downpour started. The rain lasted the rest of the afternoon and into the night. The rain here is heavy, usually accompanied with thunder and lightning. It's exciting. You have to run to get undercover when it happens. And it seems to be happening every day here at about 4 p.m.

So far in my Southeast Asian travels, I have seen Mosques, Churches, Buddhist temples and Hindu temples. There is a lot of diversity here. In Malaysia, the most prominent religion is Islam. There is even a Bank Islam. Many women wear the tudong, the islamic headscarf. Only muslim women are required to wear it. According to my Lonely Planet guide, women in Malaysia had great influence before the country became predominantly muslim. The following website has information on issues facing Malaysian Muslim women

Only one more day left until the start of International Congress.

Aug 19, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities and a Village of 107 Countries

Monday was my last and only full day in Singapore. I started it off with a trip to the beautiful botanical gardens, including the national orchid garden. Then I headed over to Chinatown and walked over to the biggest hawker stall center, La Pau Sat. After eating some hainanese chicken rice, mango juice and an egg tart, I headed to the Merlion statue, perhaps the most famous landmark in Singapore. Next, I visited the asian civilizations museum. It had exhibits on West Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia. It gave me a better idea of how the many different cultures surrounding Singapore have influenced its history. In the evening, I watched the light show at the Fountain of Wealth and walked around it clockwise three times for good luck.

Tuesday, I took a train to Kuala Lumpur. It was a long, slow train ride, with many stops along the way. But the scenery was beautiful and the price was to my liking. I checked in to our hostel by Chinatown. The outside of the hostel is pretty dodgy and hard to find, but inside, I found a cozy space, some funky decorations and some AIESECers.

Kuala Lumpur is very different from Singapore. I don’t even know where to start. There are so close to one another but worlds away. Singapore is unlike any other Southeast Asian city. It’s the cleanest, prettiest, most efficient city I have ever been to and likely will ever see. It puts Victoria to shame. Everyone is incredibly well-dressed. The streets and buildings are in tip-top condition. Rules are in place everywhere. No spitting out chewing gum, no eating on the subway, and no jay-walking. In KL, you have to be careful with every step so as to avoid cracks in concrete. You need to constantly look both ways when crossing the street. There is a complicated matrix of train lines: LRT, MRT, monorail and more. And each and every pass or ticket you buy will only work on one of the lines. Also, the weather here is much more hot and humid. I have gone through six bottles of water today and could have easily drunk more.

Today (Wednesday), Thomas, the LCP of Saskatoon, and I visited Chinatown and the Petronas Towers. We also stopped by the Canadian High Commission to get some giveaways for our Global Village table on the first night of IC. We managed to score some “Study in Canada” flyers to hand out. During Global Village, every AIESEC Member Committee attending gets a booth to promote their country. We are to wear our traditional costumes (in our case hockey jerseys, toques and red and white) and hand out traditional food (in our case maple cookies and candies) as well as little things to promote our country. There will be over 100 countries together in one room celebrating one another’s cultures. I can’t wait!
See a video about Global Village here:

Aug 16, 2009

Getting Ready for International Congress

Before I mention my latest adventures, I should explain the reason I'm travelling to the other end of the world. That reason is to attend AIESEC's International Congress 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is the biggest international conference in AIESEC with over 600 delegates from over 100 countries. There are five of us will be representing AIESEC Canada, our MCP (AIESEC Canada Member Committee President) our MCVPX (Member Committee Vice President of Exchange) and two other LCP's (Local Commitee President's). We won't be the only Canadians though. There are 3 Canadians on the Congress Committee who are helping run the conference, 2 on AIESEC International, 1 who is on the MC of AIESEC Spain and 1 on the MC of AIESEC Vietnam. Please let me know if I have left anyone out. What we will be doing at this conference is receiving direction and training from AIESEC International, meeting with other countries and local committees in hopes of creating exchange partnerships, meeting with international partners and much more. The conference is from August 22nd-August 31st. I can't wait to truly experience AIESEC in a global level. This is the first year, that our members worldwide who won't be attending the conference, will be able to virtually. Check out these videos for more information:, Everyone is also twittering about this conference with the hashtag #ICMalaysia09. And we will be having IC bloggers writing about different discussion topics at Along the navigation bar on this page are links to the "Youth to Business Forum" which will be happening at IC, as well as links to three topics areas that we will be writing about: entrepreneurship, mobility and sustainability.

Now on to my travels. Thursday night, I took a ferry to Vancouver. Friday, I hopped on a plane to Hong Kong. I had an 11 hour layover starting at 7 p.m. Hong Kong time, so I left the airport, took the express train to the city center and from there hopped on the Star Ferry to the Kowloon Peninsula where I ate late night dim sum (char siu bau, hau gau and rice--my favourites) at the largest mall in Hong Kong, and then walked to the harbour where I took photographs of the skyscrapers across the water (see picture). After that, I hopped back on the ferry, went back on the airport express train and slept at the airport until it was time to check into my flight to Singapore.

I was lucky enough to travel on the fantastic Singapore Airlines. I arrived at noon and checked in at the YMCA International House, which ended up being a great pick. It's incredibly central, clean, friendly and affordable. I spent the afternoon walking around Little India. I checked out a Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple. I bought tevas and a memory card for my camera at the fantastic Mustafa Center. The only way I can describe it is the Indian and more excellent version of the Army and Navy store in Vancouver. I had curry for dinner. Then I headed back home and slept off my jet lag. Today is my last day in Singapore and tomorrow, I will be taking a train to Kuala Lumpur.
There is something about both Hong Kong and Singapore that make me feel at home. Maybe it's because I'm Half-Chinese and I'm from Vancouver. They are both lovely cities that I could see myself coming back to.

Aug 9, 2009

Why it’s cool to be an LCP.

Last weekend was National President’s Meeting 2.0 in Toronto. It was overall, a fantastic conference. There were delegates there from 28 different local committees, most of whom were also LCP’s, as well as our 6-member AIESEC Canada Member Committee Team and two National Support Team Regional Directors. We met inspiring AIESEC alumni who taught us how to sell our internship program to companies and how to manage our teams. We learned about projects, strategic planning and national campaigns. We learned about life on the MC and all felt better connected to our new MC team by the end of conference. We shared our successes and our challenges. We connected to 27 other people all going through the same experience as us. We worked together to solve each others’ problems. And we all re-connected to our personal visions and personal passions. This conference was all about connection.

Most of us had experienced a loss in motivation this summer. Many of us had less members and less activity over the summer. But after this conference, we were all motivated and ready to bring back our weekend’s experience to our LC’s.

I was definitely feeling a decrease in motivation. But now I’m ready to challenge myself to be the best leader I can be. And as an EB we are challenging ourselves to lead our LC to be the best we can be. More than ever, I am realizing just how cool it is to be an LCP.

And here are some reasons I came up with of why it’s cool to be an LCP:

You really get to explore and develop your leadership potential. You are the head of your Local Committee, a non-profit chapter of the world’s largest student-run organization. You also manage about six Vice Presidents who are managing their own teams. You represent your local committee in National Legislation. Personally, I really feel like I’ve developed more self-awareness, awareness of others, resilience, effectiveness and flexible thinking.

The well-rounded professional skill set. You are managing and coaching others in team management, HR, marketing, sales, public relations, communications, project management, event management, finance and more. Even if you don’t know a lot about these areas before you start your term as LCP, you will become very knowledgeable in these areas by the end. As a result of my AIESEC experience I have had amazing jobs. The summer I was Vice President Talent Management, I worked for the federal government and wrote a youth recruitment strategy for inclusion in their annual strategic HR plan. This summer, I am putting my marketing and public relations experience to good use as a development assistant for non-profit.

he external contacts. Deans of faculties. Your Board of Advisors. Companies that hire interns. AIESEC Alumni. Learning Partners. And more. These are all people you get to meet as an LCP.

-The National Network.
VP’s and other active members have 4 AIESEC conferences a year that they can go to. LCP’s get two extra conferences- both are called National President’s Meeting. This year we started a trend of having limo rides just for LCP’s on the last night of National Conferences. In Canada, you’re part of a team of LCP’s representing 28 different local committees. Out of all the Canadian LCP’s, a few I would call good friends, some I would call friends, and others I would call warm acquaintances. ALL are people I intend to keep in touch with for years to come. But it’s not just the LCP’s that you get to know well. You also get to know many other AIESECers in AIESEC Canada. Other members from outside your local committee look up to you as well. And you’re also a part of AIESEC Canada’s National Team. And you get a nice black collared t-shirt that says so.

-The Global Network.
I’ve had someone from China call my cell phone in the morning before classes start telling me about some internships they had. My intern from Mexico gave me a fancy sombrero when he left back home as a thank you for all the time I had spent in helping him feel at home in Victoria. On August 22nd I will be at AIESEC International’s largest international conference. There will be 600 delegates from 107 different countries there. I can’t wait!

-There’s just something in the title. You are the CEO of your local committee. There’s that instant respect you get for being an LCP. My predecessor told me that while not everyone in the local committee will remember the past VP’s, everyone will remember the LCP. When I was elected, a past LCP from my local committee who served 5 years before me told me that I was now a part of an elite group of AIESEC Victoria LCP’s. I’ve met a number of past LCP’s from my local committee….some who served even ten years before me, and we all share similar experiences and pride in having been an LCP.

My next post will be of International Congress 2009 Malaysia! Watch it virtually here.

Jul 30, 2009

My first blog post

This blog is a way for me to share my experiences of being the Local Committee President (LCP) of AIESEC Victoria. For this post I will explain what AIESEC is and the crazy things you get to do as an LCP.

AIESEC is one of the best kept secrets out there--at least in Canada. It’s an organization of post-secondary students and recent graduates with chapters in 107 countries and 1700 universities. And it’s been around for 61 years. 51 years in Canada. And over 20 years in Victoria. Between all these chapters, or local committees as we like to call it, we run a global internship program. Each chapter finds companies to hire AIESEC students or recent grads and in exchange, each chapter recruits students or recent grads to go on these internships. AIESEC has over 5,500 international internships each year.

By running the global internship program, each student member gets practical, professional experience. In Canada, each of our local committees are divided into 6 teams, or portfolios as we call them: Talent Management (HR), Corporate Relations (sales and marketing of incoming exchanges), Alumni Relations, Communications, Outgoing Exchange and Finance. In addition to these experiences, we occasionally have opportunities to participate on organizing committees that run conferences, career fairs, corporate breakfasts, alumni dinners and so on.

And as an LCP, I get the role of overseeing all these activities in my local committee. In addition, add on managing our Board of Advisors, participating in National Legislation, communicating with the National Committee, University Relations and just overall, being an Ambassador of AIESEC. It’s a challenging role, but also fun and rewarding. If there was one job out there that I would do for free, this would be it. Oh, wait a second--I am doing this for free.

Stay tuned for my next post—“Why it’s cool to be an LCP”.

More about AIESEC:,,,