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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 21 | June 3 , 2007|


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For Global Leadership

Shamma M. Raghib

“AIESEC (pronounced eye-sek ) is the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential to have a positive impact on society.

AIESEC is a French acronym for 'Association Internationale des Etudiants en Science Economiques et Commerciales' although they do not use this acronym now since AIESEC has extended beyond only science and business backgrounds. AIESEC International's headquarter is in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Present in over 1100 universities in 100 countries and territories, AIESEC is the world's largest student organization. AIESEC provides young people the unique opportunity to work abroad, develop leadership, build a personal network, and explore the direction and ambition of their future.”

This is what I read when I first checked out the AIESEC newsletter. Developing my potential? Well, I thought I could do it on my own self. I could explore many possibilities without even working for AIESEC. I thought I could get networks even without being in AIESEC. Little did I know that this organization called AIESEC can actually help me discover so much more about myself and guide me to the goal that I have set for myself.

Being a reporter, I could not control my curious mind! I Googled “AIESEC” and the fabulous search engine came up with 1,940,000 different web pages dedicated to AIESEC! Flabbergasted, I set out to ask members who were already in AIESEC. I went to my friend Tahmid, an AIESECer (what members of AIESEC are called). “So tell me what do you guys do?” I enquired.

“Oh we do lots of stuff. We do trainee exchanges to foreign countries, we talk to corporations, those who are interested to take in foreign trainees, and we can provide them the right match. We also do lots of conferences and hold various events throughout the year which help us grow as a professional. And there is much more than just this.”

he said “Must be pretty boring!” I mocked.

“Boring?” Tahmid was wide-eyed. “AIESEC is anything but boring! Trust me, if only you are an AIESECer you would know! It is true that there are a lot of hard works, but we definitely enjoy what we do!”

And hence I took the recruitment form and filled it out. Seven days later, I saw my name in the SELECTED list. And from then on, my life was as busy as a bee! Now, with over 5000 leadership opportunities around the globe, I wondered, what better organization can I join when I am a student…rather than AIESEC?

AIESEC history: In my first National Leadership Development Conference in Proshikha's HRC in Manikganj, I came to know how AIESEC (pronounced eye-sek) unfolded itself as an organization back in 1948, when seven like-minded students from different parts of the world came together and formed an organization to develop “friendly-relations' with students from different member countries. AIESEC came a long way since then, expanding itself, exchanging a growing number of graduate trainees to other countries, recruiting high-potential people and developing them as true change agents for their future.

AIESEC and Bangladesh: AIESEC in Bangladesh obtained its full membership status at the International Congress 1999 held in Durban, South Africa. The expansion of AIESEC Bangladesh was undertaken by AIESEC in India. Representatives of AIESEC in India came to Dhaka in 1997, and selected representatives to lead the operations of AIESEC Bangladesh. The activities of AIESEC Bangladesh started with the inception of AIESEC in North South University in the same year. Since then, AIESEC in Bangladesh has expanded significantly to include three of the leading private universities of the country - BRAC University (2003), Independent University, Bangladesh (2003) and very recently, American International University of Bangladesh (2005).

AIESEC's vision: Peace and fulfillment of humankind's potential.
AIESEC's values: Activating Leadership, Demonstrating Integrity, Living Diversity, Enjoying Participation, Striving for Excellence, Acting Sustainably

Recent Activities: Meet the Leader attended by Unilever's CEO Mr. Sanjiv Mehta(an event focusing on top level CEOs of different organization) and Developing Leader's Day with Standard Chartered. Organized by AIESEC Bangladesh's ex- Vice President for External Relations Mr. Saif Ahmed

Upcoming activities: TechnoCraft '07, a historic three month long event- the largest ever in Bangladesh. For insight please contact TechnoCraft coordinator at shamma.raghib@aiesec.net

Please check out www.aiesec.org/bangladesh

Access to a pipeline of young international talent!

So why would corporations employ foreign trainees through AIESEC? Are our own country's trainees not good enough? Why do giants like P&G and Unilever partner with AIESEC?

AIESEC scrutinizes its possible members in every way before recruitment and those who truly have the potential to keep up the AIESEC's core work are recruited. The interview is only the first screening process. Every member has to go through several phases before they can be given a member status by AIESEC. AIESEC's extensive online management has truly proved to be another success story. For every one trainee that an organization accepts through AIESEC, they open chances for two other Bangladeshi talents to go abroad on a unique internship experience.

Apart from all these, various global organizations recruit trainees through AIESEC because they trust the organization and know for sure that they will be provided with the best trainee from abroad. Now why would they recruit trainees from abroad?

Well, every business has its core works, some have side projects which they have to get done as fast as possible, for this they might require international talent. Furthermore, business is diversified and every good corporation includes 'cultural diversity' as a value. AIESEC's review board handles their search process and matches the companies with the right type of trainees that the organization requires. It is not only corporations that take trainees through AIESEC, several functional NGOs and other organizations working on a project coordinated by AIESEC require trainees from abroad.

Here are what some of the top-position people from different global organizations had to say about AIESEC…

“AIESEC, in my view, is the dominant organization at the university level committed to global personal and professional development. Our partnership with AIESEC has brought incredible energy, depth and breadth to our firm.”

Richard L. Baird
Global Human Capital Leader

“I strongly support this program because it allows us to meet young, enthusiastic interns looking for opportunities to expand their horizons and also helps Electrolux meet its need for international talent”.

Johann Bygg
Executive Vice-President

“AIESEC gives young people practical experience in organizational management and inter-cultural communication. In today's business world, a lot of management takes place virtually, and as AIESEC is mainly run using web-based communication, AIESECers also walk away with this vital skill."

Hans Maerki (AIESEC Alumni)
Chairman of the board,IBM

Partnering with AIESEC

AIESEC members engage continuously with organizations to learn more on topics of business, society and world issues. AIESEC's partner organizations, literally thousands from all sectors, look at AIESEC as a way to support the development of youth and to have access to some of the top leaders from around the world.

With a network of over 90 countries, AIESEC is providing student and recent graduate talents to various organizations for short-term project needs and building a long-term leadership pipeline.

The AIESEC platform provides various opportunities for organizations to attract and engage university students and recent graduates.

Today, ABN AMRO, Unilever, banglalink, ALCATEL, Cadbury Schweppes, DPWN-DHL, ELECTROLUX, Partex, InBev, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Microsoft and UBS are working with AIESEC to access high potential talent to increase diversity, to build long term talent pipeline in key geographies and to meet project delivery demands through AIESEC interns

For more information please contact: Eshad Ekram (Vice President Communications, AIESEC Bangladesh) eshad.ekram@aiesec.net

A Decade of Excellence

Fahad Karim is the Founder President of AIESEC Bangladesh. Currently, he is the President & CEO of Karim Associates. He was educated at North South University and Harvard University. Throughout his life, he has demonstrated excellence, and has continued to contribute to the establishment and progress of AIESEC Bangladesh. In his words, “There is a massive gap between organizations and students; AIESEC serves as the bridge over that gap; communicating this to the organizations was a challenge.”

Describing the way AIESEC had helped him grow, Fahad Karim said the various duties and responsibilities that he had to carry out while he was an AIESECer prepared him for his career. “I was well equipped with knowledge and experience needed to perform in the corporate world. My AIESEC Experience has contributed tremendously to my professional life. I first came to realize the power of networking from AIESEC. Taking responsibilities early on in life helps one to start ones professional life with a steeper learning curve. As a result, when he/she enters professional life, it become easier for him/her to adapt; because they tend to feel that they have already done those things. I was well equipped with knowledge and experience needed to perform in the corporate world. During the difficulties, I learned how to rise above it. AIESEC has brought out the best in me.” This is how he described his AIESEC Experience in a recent interview.

Samuel DiPiazza on AIESEC's vision…

For more than thirty years, PricewaterhouseCoopers has been a proud supporter of AIESEC. At present, PricewaterhouseCoopers' partnership with AIESEC involves over 50 territories and is proving to be a constant success. Leading in our business means being able to foster positive change by managing complex situations on a global scale. In order to achieve this, we need to be able to reach a high level of understanding of the complexity of the external environment and succeed in operating out of normal comfort zone. For this, we need young people who strive to make a positive contribution to the world whilst celebrating cultural diversity, leadership and teamwork.

On behalf of the partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers I am honored to endorse AIESEC's vision of 'peace and fulfillment of mankind's potential'


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