We’re excited to kickstart our blog with a new installment within our Local Committee: Faces Of AIESEC. What exactly do you do in AIESEC? What is it like being a member? Is it true that you’re actually a cult?
We often get a lot of questions about going on exchange, but there’s still some mystery behind the scenes with AIESEC members. Fortunately, the experienced Julia Tse will be demystifying these common questions whilst also putting her own unique experience into perspective.
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I am the VP of Marketing and Communications at AIESEC SFU. I am a crazy dog person and I hate rain because I love the summer and all that it comes with!
What do you typically do in AIESEC?
I typically do most of the managing and delegating tasks, I make sure everything’s running smoothly and I need to always make sure the members are getting a good experience too. I also look after the logistic side of things like sending emails and I help manage the general AIESEC email as well. As the VP I also have to make sure to be up to date in every aspect of the our marketing, this includes the social media, the daily boothing and also the training for all members of AIESEC SFU.
Tell us about an interesting experience you had in AIESEC
An interesting and memorable experience I had was going to my first conference, WRC 2014. It was a great intro to AIESEC because I learnt most of my AIESEC knowledge from that conference and it is known as one of the most spirited conferences in Canada. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet people from all over Canada, and I am still in contact with a lot of them to this day!
Why did you join AIESEC?
I initially joined to get more leadership experience but I became a lot more passionate about the organization after being a member for a while. After I joined and learned more about AIESEC from the WRC conference, I really started to identify with the values of AIESEC as it matched my own values as well. It shaped me as a person and gave me many new experiences I would never have had otherwise. Since I joined in my first year, it also gave me something to believe in, I don’t know what I would be doing in university without this organization, I would probably be quite a loser! In other words, it has given me something to look forward to each week, as it is now an organization made up of some of my best friends.
What are some misconceptions people have of AIESEC?
Some misconceptions are that because we’re a non profit and student run, we’re not very professional and we’re just a party club. However, because we’re a student run club, we actually feel a lot more responsibility and ownership towards what we do. For example, the recruitment process is very intense with 2 interviews and an assessment centre, everyone who’s here knows why they’re here because of the intense selection process they have to go through. People may also mistake us for being exclusive when in actuality everyone just works together a lot so we have a tight knit culture. Ultimately, we all share the same values which is why we’re all here in this organization, and why we are all good friends.
How would you describe your AIESEC experience in 3 words
Hectic, rewarding, family.
Who do you look up to in the organization? What does that person do?
Our local committee president, because he chose to take on such a heavy role and he is only a year older than me. It is also his 3rd year in AIESEC, so he has sacrificed a lot of his free time to do this volunteer work, and he’s become very good at it. He is also very easy to talk to and I believe that is a very important trait as a leader, therefore everyone respects him. Although he nags a bit sometimes, it shows that he really cares about this organization and he also shows the kind of passion everyone should have in AIESEC.
Why do you continue to stay in AIESEC?
People say that since you don’t get paid and you don’t have to commit, but I believe it’s for greater good. If I had quit because I didn’t get paid, I wouldn’t have gotten a director position or VP either. This organization has given me some incredible experiences, therefore I want to give back and do the same for future members as well. I want to become a part of someone else’s inspiration.
Any last words?
Everything stopping you from doing something different is an excuse, if you really wanted to do something out of your comfort zone or if you want to be a part of something bigger during your university career or even your lifetime, don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you ultimately want.