As a newbie, I had no really no idea what to expect from Western Regional Conference. I had only heard about AIESEC two weeks beforehand, and wasn’t too sure what I was getting myself into. With 8 different Local Committees from Universities all over the West Coast present, I knew this was no ordinary club that I’d joined.
The three day conference ended up being quite the experience. Our days were filled with learning workshops, discussions and presentations. It was essentially a crash course in everything AIESEC. To be honest, it almost felt like immersing myself into a new culture. There were acronyms to learn, portfolios to make sense of, values to understand and adopt, and of course, there were the AIESEC dances! While I was confused and hesitant when everyone first broke out into song, they quickly became one of my favourite parts of the conference! That, as well as the cheers! All the sessions were really helpful though, and there was a lot of opportunity to discuss and share ideas. I also enjoyed when we broke up into our portfolios and I was able to learn a lot more about COMM, from several different perspectives.
The fact that there were 8 different LC’s present also meant lots of new friends from all over the place! I met a lot of newbies who were just as overwhelmed as I was, but I also met a ton of more experienced AIESECers who were valuable sources of information. The conference was also a way for me to meet my own LC. With a delegation of 39, we were the largest group there, and probably most spirited, which is awesome! Too bad we couldn’t award the Spirit Keg to ourselves! However, we did end up winning two awards, Activating Leadership and Enjoying Participation.
All in all, it was a unique and enriching experience. It may have been a jam-packed three days, with very little sleep, but I had so much fun and didn’t want to leave in the end. I learnt so much about AIESEC, not just on the local scale but the organization as a whole. I grew to love AIESEC, and am looking forward to learning and growing within the organization. I’m especially excited about upcoming conferences…I’m aching to do the Tunak Tunak Tun!