Story Time: My AIESEC Story

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How it all began.

I first had an idea on what AIESEC was about when I saw the photos of my friends from UP Diliman and DLSU Dasmariñas. I also read about it on the blog of my UPLB friend who transferred to UP Manila. (Plus I have some friends that are already members of the organization at UPLB) The artistic and eye-catching publicity materials really got me. Because of this, I got curious so I eventually searched the web on what AIESEC is. The first thing that I came across after viewing the official website of AIESEC Philippines was it’s blue homepage and the line “Developing the leadership potential of youth through experiential learning, volunteer experiences and professional internships.” It captured me and I became more curious after continuously scrolling through the page and watching more videos. I then told myself that I would like to hear more from this organization and that I would love to attend its orientation.

Development. Leadership. Volunteerism.

Three words that could describe why I joined AIESEC.

Leadership.

During my pre-college years, I have been very active as a student leader inside and outside the campus. I can still widely recall campaigning for the student council way back when I was only Grade 4, leading my platoon for the Girl Scout of the Philippines, being the consistent Class President of every class that I had and many more. But when I entered the University of the Philippines, I told myself that I would focus more on academics since UP is an entirely different world and I felt like I couldn’t manage studying and being involved in an organization. Also, I felt as if my self-confidence dropped as I get to meet new people that are so much better than me. In this world full of great people, I slowly belittled myself. I lead group works and class performances but I became afraid to do more besides from that.

But then this year, I started asking myself: what is hindering me from doing what I used to do? Why am I so scared to take risks and try?

Development

I wanted to do more with my life while trying to regain the confidence that I slowly lost as I enter UP. And since AIESEC is a platform for development, I felt like it would be a great start if I join this organization. I believe that humans are bound with endless potential and capabilities and I feel like through the opportunities that AIESEC could hand me, I would develop while imparting the knowledge that I have that could hopefully help develop somebody else.

Volunteerism

As a child, I grew up loving volunteer works. I have been fond of teaching kids, helping in relief operation, visiting charities and the like. I love imparting a part of me to others that will somehow make them happy. This is the reason why when I first heard that AIESEC is involved in a lot of volunteer works, I wanted to join so badly right away.

During the special orientation, while I listen to the experiences and the stories of the speaker, I was truly inspired and I had in me the desire to be able to experience what the members have experienced. Thus, after the special orientation, I signed up to continue the process. And this is where the real story begins.

The family that I never had.

In the short span of time that has passed, I met a family through this organization and a single blog post could never narrate all the experiences that we already had and that we are yet to experience together. I am the clingy and attached type of person (I guess this is mainly because I am an only child and I grew up away from my dad) which results to me being uber clingy and attached to my batchmates right away, this is the reason why every time someone from our batch would quit, I become really sad. Starting from the Assessment Center to the practices for our batch presentation, our bond grew as the days pass by. I find it somewhat surprising actually since we are a lot in our batch.

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After the apps night, we had the Acquaintance Week where in we had to date the members of AIESEC. It was a truly amazing experience, listening to truly inspiring stories and surrounding yourself with people who believe in the same goal that you have. People who believe that change is possible, even as young citizens of this country and of the world. It is inspiring to hear how each one of them, though young, has experienced life in a whole new level. I truly admire the professionalism in this organization where in the members truly embodies what the organization wants to portray. During the A-week, we also had to accomplish the bucketlist which I enjoyed so much!

When we finished the Acquaintance Week, we were then divided into groups and were placed into specific departments which we applied for.  During the 2-week internship, I learned a lot and I was really challenged, most especially with regards to my skill in time management- being able to balance my academics while accomplishing all the tasks that I ought to do. Although tiring, I had a lot of fun during the internship and my bond with my co-interns indeed grew deeper. All the sleepless nights were worth it every time  I see our output after a long day and when I hear them happy with the result of our hard work. Also, it was very delightful every time the members appreciate our work.

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From the batch shirt designing, to the Global Village documentation, the Market Research Survey and the analysis that comes with it (It’s amazing how I got to survey 100 people for just 3 hours. I owe this so much to my friends from different colleges and to my old professors turned friends), to the Birthday Pubmats that we did, to the fact that my co-interns have been staying at my dorm for the 2-week span, we became closer and we really got to know each other more. From each others crushes, love life to dreams and aspirations and many more. From our endless laughs to walking to Mcdo at 2am only to stay awake. All these are memories that I will surely remember!

I never expected that I would learn and grow that much in such a short period of time. I swear it was such a crazy experience! I could not wait for more experiences, challenges and tasks that awaits me in this organization.

With all the hype, love and enthusiasm,

Cathy a.k.a. Batch SCINTILLATE’s Direk ❤️

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Catherine is a 20-something BS Nutrition student of the University of the Philippines, but her heart screams for the art. She is a freelance creative and model, an artist and a writer, and an advocate of human rights and the environment.

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