National Leadership Development Seminar 2007:
Future leaders in the making
AIESEC is the international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential so as to have a positive impact in society. To reach this aim, AIESEC provides over 5,000 leadership positions, organizes over 350 conferences, and runs an internship program as part of their development experience that offers 4000 members the opportunity to live and work in a foreign country.
Having over 3,500 organizations engaged with and presence in over 800 universities in over 90 countries and territories, AIESEC is a proven
and innovative route for sourcing high-potential university students and graduates from all over the world.
From 7th to 10th November 2007 with a whooping 150 delegates and Executive Body members NLDS 2007 took place at Manikganj Proshika HDRC trust. GMG Airlines sponsored the event. The four participating Universities were namely NSU, BRAC, AIUB and IUB. The workshops were carried out through extensive sessions chaired by Sazidul Islam (GP). Neda Saqiba(NSU) led the organizing committee. And the Member Committee (MC) from each university moderated the sessions through hypothetical situations and projects involving active participation from the delegates. During the 4-day seminar, there were externals visiting the groups from different organizations and companies namely Standard Chartered, Citycell, GMG Airlines and Arafat Kazi from Bitopi sharing their views and perspectives with the delegates.
A peek at the General Body (GB) sessions: Why am I in Aiesec?
The activities pretty much covered vital points such as how to improve one's communicative and professional skills. It put the question
"why am I in Aiesec" on the table and made them answer it on their own which in the end brought out an array of interesting outcomes.
"Being in Aiesec means you have to strive for excellence in each step you take. And that you have to do with some basic facts keeping in
your mind, such as you are to break the diversity barrier and mingle with different people coming from different culture with diverse background" Says Sourav(MC, AIUB). He adds, "While taking a rather lively session on how to sell one's brand and in turn Aiesec, I gave them activities that required them to stand up and compete with their fellow members. Interestingly enough they all started fighting with each other trying to prove each one's skill and selling points. But what they failed to acknowledge was that it was not only about selling but also how appealing your offer is. So by the end of the session they learned the actual strategy behind selling a brand."
"The P-Box as in the team projects where we were put in hypothetical situations and asked to deal with them was one of the most stimulating sessions. It was mainly focused on CSR, underprivileged children, HIV etc. Here we had a session with a person who is suffering from this deadly disease, who came out to us and motivated us to get together to fight it." Says Rahib Maruf Iftekhar (GB, BRAC)
While the General body members were being put in hypothetical situations and evaluated judging their potential as future leaders,
the Executive Body (EB) from all four universities were dealing with
real life cases and judging their scenario in terms of grounds reality.
EB sessions: "While studying the global positioning, we assessed the exchange rate and came to know about the recent statistics. Though it shows our rate to be comparatively low, we also found the exchange rate of other countries in a similar
context." Says Rabi (EB, BRAC)
"In our sessions, we also sorted out the loopholes and problems that we are facing in Aiesec Bangladesh, most of which are lying in our management in individual LCs (local committee). Next came our team evaluation, where we judged our LCs. For this we all sat for an IQ test for 6 hours, which is called the Belbin's test. According to the statistics Aiesec in BRAC University turned out to be the most balanced team in the session. The last topic was Aiesec 2010 that mainly featured our future plans for 2010. Vigorous brainstorming and discussion instigated a good outcome that we are all looking forward to fulfill within the next two years." Adds Rabi. A few words from the Aiesec Bangladesh President Daniel Afzalur Rahman:
Star Campus (SC): Tell us about how your journey as a president started.
Daniel R: It's a long story! When I joined Aiesec, I didn't know what to expect, but my first international conference the 'International Development Congress' in India totally changed everything. I could see the potential of Aiesec; I saw how it changed people's lives all around me in different countries. I saw how it was impacting the world. That's when I became serious, and the thing about Aiesec is that you can't
go anywhere unless you perform. So I put in a huge amount of effort at that time to improve myself. The goal was to be able to change my society and myself. Here I had AIESEC which was giving me the platform to do so. So why not! I also think it's really important to think about your society/country. And Aiesec instils that spirit in you. At the end of the day when I go to sleep the biggest motivation for me is the 300 dedicated members I have working under me, sacrificing their time, energy and money (to a certain extent) to help themselves and the society.
SC: Do you think Aiesec in Bangladesh is active enough to go to other countries and handle interesting projects?
Daniel: One of the best parts of Aiesec is that it allows you to work in different kinds of interesting projects, and I mean "actual" projects
and not just solving mere case studies or making imaginary projects on flipcharts! Over the years Bangladeshis have been working on various projects revolving around Education, Corporate Social Responsibility and so on. Recently we have started our initiative around the issue of HIV AIDS and we are very soon hoping to partner with Standard Chartered Bank. Regarding getting the chance to visit different countries, in little over 3 years through Aiesec, I have travelled to India, Turkey, Egypt, China, the Philippines, Thailand along with Macedonia Spain and Japan. A big Bangladeshi delegation went to Turkey with me while another just returned from Malaysia. A very big team is going to Jamshedpur the home of TATA in India to join the International Development Congress on the 1st of December. At any given time there are at least 10 conferences/trainings going on in different countries of the world...so an exciting foreign trip is just minutes away!
SC: What's your view on this year's NLDS?
Daniel: NLDS 2007 has been amazing like any other past NLDS. This is the place where leaders are born! NLDS is basically a 4- day conference outside the city where people work from 9 am in the morning till 3 am at night. Even though it feels pretty intense yet at the end of the day the delegates can't get enough! There were sessions on leadership, management, balanced score card, competency management and sessions on specific issues hosted by externals from reputed companies. Delegate motivation is at its peak since people still can't stop talking about NLDS! Everyday I am getting numerous calls from members who want work and can't seem to get enough of it! So things are looking fantastic!
NLDS is where every Aiesecers start their journey. It's where they all meet their LCs and interacts and bond for a future full of innumerable opportunities to work together and make a difference. This is where the leadership platform suffices with individual selves. They call it a student organisation and not just a club; an organisation that covers 90 countries and with over 800 universities including NSU, BRAC, AIUB and IUB where each member counts for what they are. "Even though we had 4 sleepless nights with many workshops to attend to, we all enjoyed each and every moment of this seminar. And as for what I gained from this; after I came back, my parents found me to be a changed person." Says Rahib(BRAC).
(R) thedailystar.net 2007