In the last blog post, we showed what you are going to encounter after joining AIESEC.
This time, however, we are presenting a story of Lene Rasmussen, a member of the National Support Team of AIESEC in Denmark. She shares her story of first moments before and after joining AIESEC. Enjoy!
I joined AIESEC to gain a network and professional experience – but I got so much more than that
When I moved to Copenhagen in the late summer of 2015, I didn’t really know anyone. I quickly realized that I had to do something proactive to get a network. At the same time I also realized that I would soon be graduating university and my CV was not exactly filled with relevant experience. That’s when I heard about AIESEC and decided to apply for membership. It would give me both the network and relevant experience I wanted. Little did I know how much more it would give me.
I became a member of Outgoing Exchange which was, to be honest, a bit challenging for me. I had to give presentations at different universities and career fairs. As an introvert, it takes courage to actually do that. But with support from my team, I managed to do it and it felt amazing. It gave me a huge confidence boost to step out of my comfort zone and I’ve been doing a lot of public speaking since then – and I even enjoyed it. I was also responsible for ensuring quality exchanges for our exchange participants. This meant making sure that everything was taken care of, communicating with externals, organizing outgoing and incoming seminars and supporting the exchange participant throughout the whole process. What motivated me was the fact that I was able to give young people the chance to go on these experiences abroad and it made me proud to be a member of AIESEC to hear how they developed and what they learned during their experiences.
After a while I decided that I wanted to do more in AIESEC, so I applied for a leadership position and was elected as Vice President of Talent Management which was perfect for me because I have a passion for HR and working with people. I was mainly responsible for recruitment and member development. This position gave me the chance to use the theoretical knowledge about Human Resources I learnt from my university in practice and I got to experience what it means to work with HR. For example, I learned how to recruit the right talents for an organization in order to achieve organizational goals and create an organizational culture where people want to stay. One valuable lesson I learned was that your CV is not everything. Especially in AIESEC, it is also about the personality and the values. At the same time, I was a member of the executive board, setting the strategy for our local committee. This taught me what it means to be in a leadership role, implement strategies and initiatives and I learned to use some of the management tools they also use in the professional world.
After my AIESEC experience, I got a job as a research assistant at a research center within psychosocial work environment, where I get to work with my interests within sociology, psychology and HR. I often use the skills I learned in AIESEC in my job, such as doing presentations at conferences or meetings, communicating both with colleagues and externals, team work and time management. I was also told at several job interviews that my AIESEC experience was the reason why they invited me for an interview, which just proves to me that AIESEC really helps you gain skills that will boost your CV and your future professional career.
However, looking back on my membership in AIESEC, the most important change for me was not necessarily all the new skills I gained: It was that I realized what my values really were. I realized that I want to spend my life helping others, take care of the environment, and take care of the planet. I become passionate about sustainability and changed my worldview. I realized that even though I’m only one person, I can make a huge difference. When it comes to values, worldview, personal and professional goals, the person who joined AIESEC in 2015 is very different from the person who left in 2018.