One of the best parts of being a student is that you’re faced with endless opportunities to broaden your horizons through new experiences, new people and, if you’re involved in AIESEC SFU, new places!
AIESEC is an international student organization that focuses on youth leadership and development through international internships, events and networking opportunities.
Simon Fraser University’s chapter of this impressive organization, AIESEC SFU, allows SFU students and students from around the world to gain valuable skills and experience through international exchanges and global development projects. They’re dedicated to turning high-potential students into globally-minded, responsible leaders. And for that, they’re our Student Group Of The Week!
Tamara Hombrebueno, VP of Communications and Local Committee President Elect for 2013, and Layla Clarkson, Public Relations Coordinator, told us all about AIESEC SFU and what they’ve gotten out of their involvement (besides getting to go to awesome destinations). Tamara is pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Human Resources, and Layla is studying Communications and International Studies.
How did you get involved with AIESEC SFU?
Tamara: In my second year, AIESEC stood out to me in particular. I was inspired to get involved with the organization because it focused on two things that I was very passionate about – Exchange and Leadership. I have now been elected Local Committee President 2013 for the AIESEC SFU chapter.
Layla: The way I found out about AIESEC was through a class presentation from an AIESEC member. I am now a Public Relations Co-ordinator and I help get the word out about AIESEC through online articles as well as other mediums.
Before joining, how should students decide which student group will provide the best experience for them?
Tamara: Students need to be aware of where their passions lie. Once you know what it is you would like to get out of a student group experience, you can narrow it down to the ones that would give you the most value. Hearing from current members and reading testimonials will also provide insight into the organization.
Layla: My advice is to start by attending an information session. If you find the group sparks your interest, take the next steps toward becoming a member. Student groups that will provide you with the best experience often have core values that match your own.
What has been your most memorable experience with the group so far?
Tamara: My most memorable experience is being elected as Local Committee President 2013. Before joining AIESEC, I feared public speaking and sharing my ideas in front of groups. Yet, two years later, I gathered the courage to run for president. The moment I heard the results that I was chosen by the membership to lead them, I realized how far I had come in the short span of two years.
Layla: The first article I got published about AIESEC!
What valuable experience and skills have you gained?
Tamara: I have gained leadership skills which include team management, delegation, planning and implementing. Functionally, as a VP of Communications, the knowledge and relevant experience I got in marketing has influenced my career choice. I learned how to create and implement a marketing plan, develop marketing campaigns, utilize social media networks, have articles published on media channels and more.
Layla: I have always loved to write and being on the AIESEC communications team has allowed me to strengthen those skills. I’ve also developed my interpersonal and leadership skills.
What are your career ambitions? How do you think the skills you’ve gained will help you in your future career?
Tamara: Before joining the organization, I lacked direction in terms of my future career. Though I was a business student when I joined, I had no set concentration. Getting involved with the communications department allowed me to explore the world of marketing. It sparked a passion in me and it directed my career path. Since then, I’ve been able to get relevant real-world experience. My other interest is Human Resources, which I was also able to develop through AIESEC. Being a VP has enabled me to partake in recruitment and organizational development processes. I continuously recruit for my team, empower team leaders, and currently, I am working on succession planning and training. I believe that all these experiences will contribute to my future career ambitions in the field of Marketing and Human Resources.
Layla: The golden question! I’m interested in career opportunities that will relate to my background in Communications and International Studies. Specifically, a career in journalism, communications or working in immigration would be ideal. AIESEC taught me what a press release was and the best way to contact editors, and now I’m much more confident with my skills.
Why is it important for students to get involved in groups such as yours on campus?
Tamara: Getting involved in a student group is an important part of the university experience. While we come to university to gain knowledge, student groups offer the opportunity for us to apply what we learn in our classrooms.
Layla: Not only does this involvement qualify as experience on your resume, but it also allow you to make connections with other students who share your interests.
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