What is it like to be part of the world’s largest youth-run organisation? To develop yourself in a group of people that inspire you to reach for the stars while being there to catch you in case you fall? In the series “Develop your leadership skills with aiesec.”, we interviewed different members of AIESEC The Netherlands for you about their experiences and learnings of being an AIESECer. .In this second interview, we talked to Sofie van de Ven, 22, about her experience as Marketing Manager outgoing global entrepreneur (oGT) in AIESEC Rotterdam.
What was the highlight of your AIESEC experience?
Besides my regular work in the marketing team, I also got to apply for taskforces. I got to set up our Brand Advocacy in Maastricht, which means I got to find people who went abroad with us and provide them with a platform to share their stories. This allowed me to really create my own plan and ideas to create value for AIESEC in Maastricht, but also for people who went on exchange with us. I arranged a story telling training for them, so they could learn how to share their AIESEC experience in an impacting way. During our marketing events, they could then practice their public speaking. I really got to see the value of an AIESEC experience, and I got to empower people to improve their skills.
What did you learn about yourself through your AIESEC experience?
I learned how I can make an impact through others. That was my highlight, realizing my own power, and learning how small simple actions can really help others. AIESEC dared to give me responsibilities and I learned how to carry those and create something that I found really fun and cool.
Were there any challenges you had to overcome during your AIESEC experience? How did you manage this?
Certainly! Working together in a big team, and creating things together. But with creating and approaching people to work together with AIESEC also meant getting rejected sometimes. This could be demotivating, but it also sparked creativity and taught me how to be solution-oriented. So these challenges empowered me to find my own strengths to find new ideas that would work!
What key learning are you taking away from your AIESEC experience as marketing manager?
Small actions can lead to big impacts, and it really does start in your own head. You have a lot more power than you think, you just have to dare to take action.
If you could give one piece of advice to (potential) future AIESECers, what would it be?
Don’t just join AIESEC, but join actively, look for opportunities. AIESEC is a big playground, where you can play with ideas and where they will support to you to develop them. Join taskforces, join the activities, the more you put in the more you get out. There’s so many initiatives to develop yourself in the way you want, so its up to you to go and get it. So don’t just join, but join actively.
This post is from AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth.