Hello dear reader! My name is Brigitte, and I was the blog team leader for this past semester. For the past months, the team crafted the blogs you read lately on the AIESEC blog. I hope it sparked some interesting discussions!

One year ago I came across the opportunity to be a blog writer for AIESEC.
For over 10 years I have been writing at least once a week in my diary. I told myself that I can take this energy to write blogs. Why not?

At first, I doubted myself since I didn’t have any writing experience other than this hobby of mine. But I had enough ambition to learn. And with the right attitude and motivation, I got selected to be a blog writer for AIESEC. My most successful blog was about helping accepted candidates get started for their internship journey. Read it here.
Six months later, the role to become a blog team leader appeared and I was determined to take it!

I wanted to inspire people

Looking at social media and whatnot, I noticed how there is a lot of good content…but also a lot of content that can influence you negatively. I wanted to inspire people to see the world through a different lens.
I wished to offer a glimpse of what the organization truly stands for, because many who never got to interact with us, don’t know exactly the importance of our work.
Today, I am still not sure if I have managed to do so, but I know I did something about it. If I wouldn’t have taken action, it would have stayed only a dream. 

I am more than happy to have taken this step! The lessons learned here were invaluable!
Offering feedback turned me into a better writer. I had to accelerate my learning curve for me to provide better feedback to my team. I learned how to plan content, come up with ideas for the whole month and most importantly, I learned how to coordinate a team virtually. Coordinating them in a way where distance didn’t influence our performance at all. With great results as well, publishing almost 50% more content compared to previous semesters.

And because my team deserves all the praise, since they were the ones to write, I asked them to share their experience!

I could become a blog writer

Hi! My name is Carissa from Indonesia. I’m an undergraduate student in Product Design. At first glance, blog writing might not seem relevant to my major, but that’s actually not true! 

I applied as a blog writer because I had a silly blog going on during middle school. The topics I wrote were totally random, with most of them just me trying to be funny. When I saw the opportunity to be a blog writer for AIESEC, I felt like “Wow this is finally my opportunity to become a serious blog writer!” 

I learned a lot from my time as a blog writer. Beyond the writing itself, I learned to be solution-oriented and how to manage my energy. The best part is that I learned to be an effective communicator! This bit helps me to become a better student at uni.

My favorite part of this opportunity would be the time I spent with my teammates. I will miss having weekly meetings with Brigi, Aymen, Iulia, and Abiem. I felt that I had all the support I needed. I hope they feel the same. 

I wrote about topics I am passionate about

Dear person reading this,

Hi, hey, hello! I’m Iulia and I’m kinda nervous writing this. I’ve been postponing writing my part for this blog for about two weeks now (sorry Brigi). Why? Because I realized that writing this meant having to accept the fact that this wonderful experience is coming to an end. I’m not the one who can deal well with breakups. I will walk you now a bit through my life in order for you to understand why this opportunity meant so much to me.

Long story short, I’m a business administration student, working as a tennis chair umpire. In the future, I aspire to become a university professor, and I volunteered in AIESEC for one and a half years. I love traveling and living abroad and ran a 20k follower Tumblr blog at some point. I played the piano, but now mostly I play video games. I’m also now giving my best to learn German.

Where am I going with this? I want to pinpoint that over the years trying new things was a way for me to find myself. However, there has been one thing that has stuck with me over the years. I always found myself in it no matter what. This thing is, and you guessed it: writing.

Ever since my English teacher back in primary school hung up one of my poems on the walls of the hallway, writing became an important part of my life. I was important even though I never really showed it. I sought solace in writing. Whatever I wrote was always too personal for me to share with anyone. 

I decided to turn things around. I’m not sure what switch flipped in my mind, but the thought of writing for an audience kept growing on me. Being able to write while bringing an impact to people and contributing to AIESEC’s mission felt exciting! And I applied as a blog writer. It was definitely a challenge for me to switch from writing for myself to writing for an audience of over 1 million people in 110+ countries across all of AIESEC’s channels. It was a challenge I was willing to take, and looking back, I am incredibly proud of myself for it.

The blog dearest to my heart is actually the first blog I wrote and posted, “6 Lessons to Learn Today about Culture Shock”. I remember feeling so proud when I published it because I wrote it at a time when I was actually going through culture shock. Therefore, being able to post a blog about a topic personal to me, and have it be so well-received gave me the confidence I needed to keep doing what I love.

This experience has been very empowering for me. I wrote about topics I was passionate about. It empowered me to speak my mind and to constantly improve. I learned how to adapt my writing based on the topic and the audience, how to write when I didn’t know what to write. It taught me also how to manage my time better, and how to implement feedback effectively. I even improved my design skills. It feels so good knowing that all the time and energy I invested in this experience has given me 10x more benefits.

I could talk about the skills I learned here the whole day. However, hands down the best part that made being an AIESEC blogger so enjoyable these past 9 months has been our team. We’re such a diverse team, coming from completely different backgrounds, with our common denominators being pretty much only writing and AIESEC.

And yet, never have I felt more comfortable and supported inside a team. I miss the weekly meetings, even though it was challenging for me to wake up at 8:30 AM. I will be forever grateful that I got to share this experience with all of my team members. I am also thankful for the whole Global Support Team I got to be part of! The people were amazing and I wish them all the best going forward.

I am excited about what’s to come. Mostly because I’m not exactly sure what’s next, which makes it exciting. One thing that is certain is that I’ll keep on writing. Thank you to everyone who has read even just a sentence of my blogs. It means the world to me.

Yours truly, Iulia. 

I followed my gut

When somebody asks me who I am, I answer, “I’m nobody yet somebody.” A Beyonce fan right across the Pacific Ocean, living in an archipelago, always anxious about what would happen in the future, yet still trying to be as positive as I can be. But Beyonce once said,

“I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.” 

This quote is the reason why I’m here writing these words. I didn’t know the exact answer to why I was here in the first place. I followed my gut and what my inner-child wanted me to do since I was five: writing. Not just writing about my daily life, or funny things. I want to write so people would hear me and understand my message. I want to write for an impact on the reader’s heart. That’s why I’m here. I still remember the day I sent the application. No expectations. I was like a blank canvas. Negativity surrounded me for days at the time. Then another Beyonce quote came up to my mind: 

“When I’m not feeling at my best, I ask myself, ‘What are you gonna do about it?’ I use the negativity to fuel the transformation into a better me.”

The dreadful thoughts gave me the power to continue my steps. I have the motivation to prove that I’m not enough, but I’m more than enough. I’m hungry for achievements—the achievements that can’t be seen in a trophy, but my works. I failed in a higher role process. The leader sent me a message that I could be better in the other place. I was confused. Where should I go? What should I do? Would I survive? All the answers have been answered with the best solutions you could ever imagine. I’m breaking the fence, and I move onward to the horizon for a brighter morning, and yes, I’m surviving, and I’m still standing.

A good journey is a meaningful journey, a journey with dozens of stories to tell. All the words that you’ve read so far are lessons. More expensive than a blue diamond. With this journey, I know myself better. It opened my mind, it sent me the most beautiful and precious people you could ever wish for, and that’s the good part: people. Conversing with the people I have worked with for the past six months is my favorite part of this journey. We laughed, we brainstormed, we argued, we generated new ideas, and so on. Believe it or not, I have seen so many parts of this world just by hearing their stories. 

I’m proud of all the blogs I write. I cannot choose one. I cannot choose because it gives me guilt over the other not-really-proud-of blogs. Every blog has been through a lot with feedback, revisions, deleting, and writing new lines again. I won’t choose a favorite to appreciate their journey to be the blog they’ve become today. I treat them like my kids. You can’t choose your favorite kids, can you?

This journey is at the end. If people ask me what is next, I answer, “I know, but I don’t know.” I don’t want to make myself expect something that is still a possibility. I rather go with an empty jar and fill the jar as I’m walking with the stones I compile from the street. I know I have things waiting for me. Beyonce once said,

“The best thing is looking back and realizing how incredible life is. If you don’t take the time to think about or analyze your life, you’ll never realize all the dots that are all connected.”

And that is what I would do. I’m Abiem, and this is my story.

I wanted to showcase its impact

I’m a young person with multiple interests and different roles in life: the student, the writer, the leader, the member, the son, the friend, the supporter, the creator, the dancer, and last but not least the AIESECer. All of these roles have played a huge part in my decision to become a blog writer, who wants to spread uniqueness and showcase what AIESEC is really about. The reason for this is because AIESEC definitely changed my life, and I wanted to showcase its impact on the world through written words. Plus, blogging is something I enjoy doing, as it makes me feel joyful and helps me learn tons of new information throughout the day.

This experience has taught me many lessons in different aspects of my life. To begin with, it definitely harnessed my writing skills through the constant feedback and review I was getting from my team leader “Brigi.” Furthermore, it taught me the diversity in communication, as my team and the whole social media team were from all over the world. We had common things, but mostly different things. 

So it taught me how to adapt to different environments and cultures. Not to mention that it also unlocked my potential when it comes to my hidden design skills, as I had to promote the blogs I wrote by creating visual content. Now, I’m creating content (designs) on a daily basis. Last, but not least, I learned how to take accountability for my actions and be solution-oriented. The most rewarding of all, I learned to be my unique self and unleash my creativity in every area of my life.

The highlights of the experience are two: the acceleration of my learning, as I had exponential growth both personally and professionally. Secondly, the people I’ve known were the most creative and open-minded people I’ve ever known. Thanks to my team leader, my mates, and other teams on social media. 

At first, I struggled to write a high-quality blog that I’m proud of. As time went by, I shifted my mindset to not aim for perfection, but for constant improvement. That means that every time I write a blog, it should be better than the one before. I would say, I’m proud of every blog I wrote because I’ve spent time writing, rewriting them, improving them, and some literally sleeping on them (waking up to have that “aha” moment).

But there are two blogs that I’m really proud of: one as an interview blog with a former AIESEC Vice President and the other also an interview blog with an AIESEC Alumnus. Why? Because I haven’t only learned a new writing style, but also learned to listen carefully and ask better questions to get the most out of the person I’m interviewing.

My next step is to repeat my blogging experience, as I still have a lot to give and also learn. So you will see more of me :).  I’ll also be using all the skills I’ve acquired to gain more financial freedom (Freelance). 

This is Aymen and this was my journey.

Wrap up

Coming back to me (Brigi), my journey has come to an end as a blog team leader. However, I gained expertise in writing. I am now ready to offer my knowledge and dedication to other platforms or people who consider they need my help. I am confident that the upcoming semester will be even better since one of our values is to continuously strive for excellence. Wishing my successor Omer all the best! 🙂

And if you ever want to experience something as powerful as connecting people around the world and driving change in all possible ways, (even with writing!) don’t hesitate to join AIESEC. It is and it has been one of the best experiences of our lives.

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