Sometime’s people who don’t have more, give more.

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Yesterday I was watching a video,which was heart touching and had a very good lesson. The video starts with a hungry man roaming around in streets and restaurants asking people if they can give him some food, all of them were eating something but refused to give something to the hungry man. He went to a lot of people and was disappointed by all of them.

Then starts the second part of video in which a random guy purchased 2 burgers from McDonald and volunteered to give it to someone who is in need and is hungry. He went to a park and saw a man laying on floor sleeping, he wakes him up and asks him if he wants to have the burgers, and the man accepts this heavenly gift from that guy because he was hungry. Then comes the guy who was asking random people for food in the streets and restaurants, he goes to the same guy who was sleeping in the park and asks him if he could give him something to eat and the man hands him one of the burger that was given to him by the random guy.

The old man in park handed him one of the burgers because he had experienced the situation of being hungry and people refusing to give you something to eat, so he knew about his pain and thus shared his meal with him although he had limited food but still he shared and people who had a lot were not willing to share food with the hungry guy. Sometimes people who don’t have more, give more.

AIESEC: Creating leaders of tomorrow.

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What is AIESEC?

Ever wondered what AIESEC is? Basically, AIESEC is a French acronym which translates to English as International Association of Students of Science, Economics and Commerce. AIESEC is a non-political, independent, not for profit organization run by students and recent graduate of institutes of higher education. It is a global youth network impacting the world thorough leadership development experiences by facilitating youth leadership activities, international internships and volunteer experiences for over 65 years. Its members are interested in world issues, leadership and management.

AIESEC, Globally:

AIESEC is present in 124 countries across the globe and is expanding daily. It has a 1,000,000strong alumni network which has been increasing since 1948. 8000 organizations have partnered with AIESEC which includes big firms like Microsoft, Unilever, ING, Tata Consultancy, DHL etc. 15,000 students experience volunteer internships and 5000 students experience international internships each year. Member base is of 86,000, of which 24,000 are exposed to team leadership experiences.

Leader through Values:

The vision of this organization is peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential, which basically means giving an opportunity to young people to explore their inner self and develop their self to be leaders of tomorrow. The selection criteria of this organization is standardized and purely on merit basis in all the member countries of AIESEC. 1st stage is form filling thorough which potential candidates are selected for the 2nd stage which is group discussion. In group discussion facilitators check who has the potential to be a good leader in terms of emotional intelligence and teamwork. 3rd stage is the interview stage after which final selection is done based on the Global Competency Model. There are six values of AIESEC, which every member seeks to incorporate:activating leadership, demonstrating integrity, living diversity, enjoying participation, acting sustainably and striving for excellence.

Activating Leadership:

As mentioned above AIESEC provides leadership opportunities to 24000 students annually.Good leaders are those who lead by example, which is why every team leader has to go through phase of a team member which is the TMP (Team Member Program).AIESECers lead by example and inspire leadership through their activities.Students are then given leadership positions, which is known as the TLP (Team Leader Program). Students get out of their comfort zone and work voluntarily for this organization, lead a team of 5 to 10 students, manage them and learn different skills like team work, motivation, decision making etc. Hence, they practically implement the theory that they study in class rooms through hands-on experiences in AIESEC. 

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Demonstrating Integrity:

AIESECers across the globe take AIESEC as a big family. All of them are united to stand for social issues and different issues in the world. They are consistent and transparent in their decisions and actions. Social projects are run in all the member countries so that they can bring change in their own societies and be part of the better society by changing perspectives through international internships. When interns go on exchange, their view of that society is changed by the hospitality and integrity shown by AIESECers and locals of that particular host country. Those interns then become ambassadors of that country and represent them positively back in their own countries. Members learn how to represent their country and themselves in a good way. In this way AIESECers change image of various countries which helps in bringing peace and harmony in this world.

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Living Diversity:

AIESEC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national, ethic or social origin. It is an organization which promotes diversity by encouraging everyone to be part of it. As it is present in 124 countries it has its members from 5 continents which mean that it transcends boundaries ofrace, religion, gender and ethnicity. So the leaders developed by this organization don’t judge people according to their religion, race or region. A leader should always be open-minded and accept the diversity around him/her. 

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Enjoying Participation:

If you don’t participate and get yourself involved, you are wasting your time. Participation is the foremost criteria of learning and encouraging participation is what leaders need to do. In AIESEC everyone is encouraged to participate, because there is no right or wrong answer; it’s just your side of the view. People usually don’t participate because they think people will make fun of their opinion, but you have freedom of expression when it comes to AIESEC. That is the reason we encourage our members to get the courage to speak and be heard.

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Striving for Excellence:

Leaders strive for excellence because without excellence your product becomes redundant and worthless. Members are encouraged to be creative and innovative so that they can realize their full potential. AIESECers hence strive to provide the highest quality of performance in everything they do.

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Acting SUSTAINABLE:

AIESEC works in a way that is sustainable for the organization and society in the long run. It takes account of the future generation and members so that they don’t have any problems in future.

Conferences:

AIESEC holds 500 conferences annually every year. In these conferences members develop themselves and are put into some real life simulations. Examples include those in which one of them has to take charge as a leader and solve issues related to practical work experiences. They are trained to deal with future job problems and finding workable solutions. In these conferences they are developed to be future leaders and absorb things in a way that would help them contribute more to society. After a tiring day they have a social in which they learn how to follow work with fun. Organizing these conferences is in itself an experience of working with limitations and under pressure. The organizing committee has four to five months to organize this conference with limited resources. Raising money from different companies and going to corporate meetings to sell the conference is a pretty hard job to do. Firstly you are a student which automatically gives an impression that you are not professional and secondly companies are not ready to give their money if you don’t impress them enough. AIESECers organize these conferences every year, and they raise with different companies because they have developed themselves enough to have the required selling skills, which is one of the qualities that a leader should possess.

In my opinion, AIESEC gives you a lot of opportunities to develop yourself through engagementin voluntary experiences to get exposure and discover your true potential. AIESEC teaches you how to handle stressful situations. Most of all, it teaches you how to get up from scratch and show others what you are really capable of. It gives you an opportunity to prove others wrong, but it also teaches you how to face your failures. If you want to challenge yourself and show others that you have got what it takes to succeed, then this is the platform you are looking for. JOIN AIESEC!

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Unpaid Internships and companies exploiting free interns.

“But our companies’ policy is that we don’t pay interns”. This is what most of the students hear when they apply for internship, but even after hearing this they agree to the terms and conditions of the company and opt for the opportunity. After the economic downturn job market has shrunk so much that now fresh graduates don’t get jobs if they don’t have internship experience. Every summers students search for internships to get experience to compete with in this competitive world. Companies take advantage of student vulnerability who are keen to gain experience in order to have a prosperous career.  Thus voluntary internships are offered to ambitious and talented student.

Now the internship that they offer is free and the work that they give is not worth working from 9 to 5. To me it is an exploitation of skill full and passionate students by companies who are well aware of the fact that experience is for most job criteria and without prior experience degree is worth nothing but a piece of paper. The student is so desperate to get the certificate of internship from company, he/she won’t say anything even if they ask him/her to do work that the lower wage worker does, for e.g. photocopy, serving tea, and maintaining registry etc. This thing is practiced not just in Pakistan but around the globe. Companies claim that they are paying students through experience and exposure that they are giving to the interns which is more worthy than university education. But how is lower wage worker’s work like photocopy is worthy than education that university gives? In that case students should leave studying and start working as interns in different companies for 6 weeks each. There are different class of students, some are rich but some are poor. The rich can afford daily transport and other everyday expenditure that occur during the internship time period. But poor who are already in need of money can’t afford to spend extra money on internship and get nothing in return. I met one poor intern who left his internship because he was not being paid for it and he had to spend extra money on expenses that occurred during that internship.

Companies say that they don’t have enough budgets to pay interns. Companies earning millions can’t pay R.s 4000 to their interns? Students work hard to learn something from internships but they are not even learning when they are not paid because they are taken for granted. If students learn something they won’t complain about their stipend.

In my opinion interns should be given some project or companies can start a CSR project in summer and hire interns for that project. The project should be lead by a Project manager, who will have subordinate interns working under him. The manager of the project can have an intern manager selecting from the interns working under him. This will not just increase the morale of interns but they will also learn and benefit from the internship. Interns would have some sense of achievement by executing a successful project. At the end of their internship firms can award them with certificate of best intern and gifts at the closing ceremony of the project, in which they should invite people of, hire post in the firm. In this way the students will get motivated and have some positive image of the firm they intern with.