Long overdue - - here is my recap of AIESEC Canada's National Congress 2010 in Quebec City (hosted by AIESEC Laval), Dec. 30th 2009- Jan. 3rd 2010.
What a conference! Over 200 delegates from 27 university chapters across Canada. The conference was designed for those in the Leadership stage or Taking Responsibility stage of AIESEC. We came to Quebec City to get training on how to perform our volunteer positions in AIESEC, to get professional development, to develop our leadership, to challenge our worldview and to network. And we got what we asked for and more!
Here are my personal highlights:
-Tracks. We all separated into our different portfolio tracks: Talent Management, Corporate Relations, Communications, Alumni Relations, Finance, Outgoing Exchange, Organizing Committee, Local Committee President – Elects, and Outgoing Local Committee Presidents (my track). My delegates had nothing but great things to say about their track's facilitators. The sessions were extremely well done. And for the first time (at least since I've been in AIESEC), we had cross-functional tracks. Portfolios met with other portfolios to learn how to work better together on areas such as recruitment, local committee sustainability and outgoing exchange projects.
-The Cooperators, one of our national partners gave us a sustainability challenge. We were divided into groups and came up with ideas on how the Cooperators could encourage others to adopt green practices.
-We had other partners come in and give us professional development sessions on topics such as project management, crisis management, ethics, microfinance…to name a few.
-A social entrepeneurship session in which all of us, after learning about social entrepreneurship, branched into groups based on issues we cared about most and discussed ways we could improve social problems around the world.
-Getting on stage with all of the other Local Committee Presidents and AIESEC Canada National Team to announce our results from the year. There was a feeling of pride in the room as each of us spoke. We each knew, regardless of whether we achieved our goals this year that we had worked extremely hard and done our very best.
-A simulation in which everyone tried out their roles in AIESEC. Whether it was selling our Global Internship Program to a company, recruiting university students or asking a professional contact to sit on our Review Board Panel, everyone engaged in some heart-pumping, competitive fun.
-Sharing our knowledge with the Local Committee President-Elects. We may have scared them a little, but it was wonderful passing on advice and encouraging the next leaders of AIESEC Canada.
-Legislation. It was a much shorter session than last year's conference. While legislation can be long and boring at times, it is pretty inspiring to see a group of LCP's passionately pass motions and vote on what they believe is important for AIESEC Canada.
-Getting to ring in the New Year, with many wonderful AIESEC friends that I have come to know over the 13 AIESEC conferences that I've been to.
-Member Committee President elections. After speeches and 3 question and answer sessions, we elected our next Member Committee President of AIESEC Canada – Vitor de Avelar!
-The conference team. Chair, Secretary, Member Committee, Facilitators ---they were all energetic, inspiring and just overall amazing.
-The organizing committee. I don't think I've ever been to a better organized national conference. We had a great rate at the Hilton. The social events were fantastic. Everything ran smoothly. The hardest-working group of people at any conference is the organizing committee. We could tell they were tired, but they always made time to smile, make us feel welcome, help us out, play some amazing piano, and always be friendly and professional. We love the O.C. we do! L-A-V-A-L Laval let's go!
- The unveiling of the Experience AIESEC campaign. AIESEC Canada created country partnerships with Brazil, Kenya, Malaysia, Turkey and Ukraine. These countries are expecting our exchange participants. We just received promotional postcards and posters for this in the mail yesterday and it was very exciting to unwrap. Check out www.aiesec.ca/experience