If you’re excited to read more of the amazing stories that resulted from the Top Writers Challenge, we’ve got just the thing for you! This time, read all about the experience of Ijeoma Agbugba, of AIESEC in Ibadan, Nigeria, during her first months in AIESEC and learn how leadership can transform your life.
For me, the best way to tell a story is to start by sharing yours.
Throwback to October 2016: I was just a young person who wanted more than what the four walls of a lecture room could offer, I wanted more than what was handed over to me, I wanted to stop asking what’s next and become part of what is next. I wanted to be self-aware, solution oriented, a global citizen and to empower others.
As an entrepreneur, I did not want to go on the journey alone because I strongly believed that if you want to go fast, [you] go alone, but if you want to go far, [you] go together.” I needed a network of true friends and I ended up with a family of youth, bonded by the same goal of achieving peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential.
Words alone cannot describe a leader, action does it better; a leader impacts the world, shaping what he/she does around what the world needs. I wanted to be that leader who collectively strives for excellence and demonstrates integrity within and around by acting sustainably and enjoying participation, both as an individual and as a team. I wanted to prove that living diversity can be real by working with Niels, Ayman and Poady, volunteering together with Tamara, Abdulhakeem, Majid, Ayokunmi, Arjun and Biyu and going on city tours with Abayomi, Wasma and Nana. Along the way, I realized how important it is to positively impact lives, no matter the country, color, continent or how many borders I have to cross because, in the end, the goal is bigger than the barriers.
It was Tom Bodett that said “The difference between school and life? In school, one is taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson”. I wanted to be proactively learning and not just accepting what I am presented with, I wanted to be committed to my learning process. I just needed the right skills, confidence and experiences to build a worldview oriented towards positive changes. I wanted to be positioned as a challenger and not the challenged, challenging my worldview built around past experiences or values. I wanted to think outside the box and live far from my comfort zone. I wanted and still want to increase my practical and theoretical knowledge, crafting my skills around having an impact on the world, correcting flaws and being open to opportunities.
While doing an exercise of reflection – much like what I am doing now – I discovered that I had taken small steps that left great imprints towards achieving a vision of a greater tomorrow and a peaceful future. Beyond all odds, I decided to grow disruptively.
Back to now, this is me, and this is my life as an AIESECer: working in a team, networking with like-minded individuals, creating and sharing experiences, and positively impacting my local community and the world I live in.
I am a global leader and this is my story.
What is yours?12