I´m going to share my experience and growth in the organization by bringing up 2 events that have made me realize my growth and experience.
First of all, the growth comes day by day and little by little but there are those specific points where you recognize the bigger impact the small moments have gathered together.
I have been in AIESEC as a Finance Coordinator, Team Leader, Vice President for projects and now currently the Local Committee President in TLU. From each of the named functions or positions I have learned different skills but mostly about myself and what I can do. About what I still want to develop in myself to become the person I know I can be.
So getting to it – the first time when I really understood what experiences and growth AIESEC has given me.
It was back when I was the team leader for a volunteer project about cultural understanding in Estonian kindergartens. We were at the Tallinn airport waiting for our first volunteer to come. He had flown all the way from Mexico for way too many hours to even count and he was about to arrive any minute now. I was waiting, my team was waiting, his host family was waiting, you could feel the excitement in the air. And then he arrived – Christopher from Mexico was finally here in Tallinn! He smiled but you could clearly see that he managed to get a culture shock in the first minutes. But not for long, don’t worry – he got over it and of course fell in love with Estonia like so many foreigners do.
But that moment made me think in admiration, that because of the hard work our team had done, there are going to be people from all around the world in Estonia for 6 weeks. That’s freaking amazing! Getting an experience on their own and at the same time impacting our Estonian community. And what a valuable experience our team got from working on a project from the scratch till the end. Experience with teamwork, with specific skills and personal growth. And the beauty of it is that everyone has a different growth and experience, one that is needed for themselves, a very personal one.
For me it was an amazing project to lead and work on, it definitely had times when I was feeling like it’s all too hard and I don’t know how and what to do, but I learned by doing and this gave me the most growth. I’m so truly happy and grateful that I had the experience and that Chris from Mexico, Sara from Philippines, Vinthya from India, Vito from China, Görkem from Turkey and Rachel from Hong came to Estonia and my life. PS! I still plan to visit all of you in the next 5 years!
The second one was happening just recently and is more about realizing what I do not want to do and that has lead me to putting effort into changing my actions and stance. Being a team leader to six truly amazing girls is a challenge I knew I would like to take and that it’s most probably not going to be an easy one. Being the leader to TLU-s Executive Board is something that has made me think deeply about what I stand for as a person and what work ethic I want to develop in myself and around me, both now in AIESEC but as well later in the future in everything I do and work with.
Realizing that even when you have truly amazing individuals in your team, you can not get the team to work if you don’t put enough amount of work into it. Assuming that just because everything seems okay its going to go upwards without any effort. Every team needs a lot of work and as a leader it is your responsibility to give what the team needs, not what seems nice or convenient to the whole team.
This seems so obvious but in the process you still end up by learning the most by doing. You learn from your mistakes and if you take them as an opportunity to grow then that’s exactly what you do – you grow.
Does not matter what you do in AIESEC or what position you have. From each and every one of them you learn and grow only when you put effort into it. You get back as much as you are willing to put in.
So take challenges and get out of your personal comfort zone!