AIESEC Life

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Re-live Your AIESEC Days While Receiving a World-Class Education at Thunderbird

By Michelle Gansle, who currently works in Rotterdam for Mars Foods Europe, the Center of Expertise for Innovation. Michelle's AIESEC years include AIESEC Austin '94-98; Ireland MC '98-99; U.S. MC '99-00.

For all of you recovering AIESEC alumni looking to re-invigorate your life or re-direct your career path through a graduate school option, I highly recommend considering Thunderbird, the Graduate School of International Management (a.k.a. a second chance at reliving the glory days of AIESEC.) Remember that buzz of excitement that used to come from being at a conference with 40 different nationalities? You can experience that every day in class! No drinking games during class, but there is always the Thunderbird Pub afterwards. Alright, I digress...

Michelle Gansle photo

I joined AIESEC my sophomore year in college at the University of Texas in 1994 and stayed active in AIESEC through 2001, working in most positions at the local level, after graduating, I joined the Irish National team in 1998, then eventually came back to work for AIESEC US in 2000. A few years after leaving AIESEC, I decided it was time to go back to school and get my MBA. In my search for schools, I knew cultural diversity and an internationally focused education was important. I assessed several schools in addition to Thunderbird. After speaking with several alumni from various schools and attending events, it quickly became clear to me that while all were satisfied with their education, it seemed Thunderbirds were the only one who loved their time at school. I actually had more than one person say to me, “it was the best two years of my life”. And now I can say that as well.

Why Thunderbird? Most importantly - because it is ranked #1 in the world for international business. Enough said, right? Let me give you some more facts, in case you aren’t convinced. At least 50% of the student body comes from outside the US, ensuring a global presence and the faculty are either international or have international experience. Therefore, every class is taught from an international perspective, versus having one class focus on intrernational business, while the rest are US focussed. If you are serious about wanting a global mindset, there is no comparable alternative.

It must also be noted that another unique aspect of Thunderbird is its strong connection to doing good in the world. The President, Angel Cabrera is often recognized for his work on CSR (corporate social responsibility). One reflection of this is the creation of Thunderbird for Good. The efforts of Thunderbird for Good help to fight poverty, secure peace and improve living conditions in communities throughout the world through education. As a student, you can participate in activities related to events focused on CSR and international development.

Going back to Thunderbird has been one of the most invaluable choices I have made in my life. Thunderbird enabled me to acquire my dream job after graduating and has helped me to open doors to allow me to work in Europe, even during an economic recession. I cannot recommend Thunderbird highly enough as the perfect complement in an AIESECers educational journey.

Thunderbird logo

Thunderbird offers an array of different degrees both for full time students and working professionals with or without prior work experience. For more information about Thunderbird's program offerings, and to find out about opportunities to visit the Thunderbird campus, meet one of Thunderbird's representatives in your city, or connect with an alumnus, please go here.

Application Deadlines for Spring 2010

First Round - June 30, 2009
Second Round - August 30, 2009
Third Round - October 30, 2009 (recommended deadline for international students)
Final Round - November 30, 2009

Application Deadlines for Fall 2010

Early Decision - November 30, 2009
First Round - December 30, 2009
Second Round - February 28, 2010
Third Round - April 30, 2010 (recommended deadline for international students)
Final Round - June 10, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Anyone Who's an AIESECer Gets an Interview with AJC International Automatically


Last month, Kelly Fuson, AIESEC Life's newsletter contributor and Angelika Ilina, AIESEC Life's Editor-in-Chief, had the pleasure of interviewing Gerald L. Allison (Jerry), an AIESEC Life Founders Circle member. Jerry exemplifies someone whose professional life has been entirely shaped by AIESEC. His story began with starting the chapter at Northern Illinois University in 1961 and going on a traineeship to Lima, Peru.

Today, Jerry is the CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of AJC International, Inc. He serves on Georgia Tech's Board of Advisors and received the AIESEC Global Alumni Contribution Award in 2003. Incorporated in 1972, AJC is a global company trading meat, poultry, and pork. With 10 global offices and current sales over $1 billion, 50% of worldwide staff works outside their country of birth. In addition, there are approximately 28 languages spoken among employees. AJC has also hosted over 35 trainees since 1974!

Kelly: What was your first introduction to AIESEC, what prompted you to start a chapter at Northern Illinois and what did it look like at the time?

Jerry: I had just completed two semesters studying Spanish in Mexico, and was starting my last year of school when my roommate said, “Hey, I’ve got a great idea – we can go overseas and work there.” I said, “What is it?” and he said, “It’s through an association called AIESEC; I don’t know what it means but we’re going to find out.”

So, we investigated and started a small chapter on the Northern Illinois University (NIU) campus. After getting approval from the National Committee, we raised a traineeship in Illinois and attended the National Conference at Yale University as well as the International Conference at Princeton University, and between the two, we gained a lot of valuable AIESEC experience.

We traded our own pink or green forms (as they were called) and my roommate negotiated a traineeship at a bank in Europe. I felt I would benefit from the most sought after traineeship, even though it was in the least desirable location, Lima, Peru. I said, “I’ll take it!” My 3 month traineeship with Standard Oil (of New Jersey) was extended twice and I ended up staying in Peru for a total of 9 months.

Kelly: Did the chapter continue after you graduated?

Jerry: Yes, the chapter continued until the 90’s. A few years ago, the NIU Dean of the Business School contacted me and asked for my help in designing an international curriculum. She arranged for me and 4 other alumni, involved in international affairs, to attend a panel discussion. In return, I asked her to help re-introduce AIESEC to the Northern Illinois University campus.

Kelly: You didn’t get involved again until a few years later?

Jerry: In the early 70’s, I was working on my master’s program at Georgia State when I saw a sign on one of the school billboards that said, “AIESEC Party,” and I crashed the party as an alumni. The chapter was looking for a Board of Advisors, so I started helping them raise traineeships. I was on their Board for six or eight years until they collapsed. I am happy to report that after a long absence, Georgia State is an active LC again; restarted this year!

Emory University also started a good LC, which I was a part of but recently it has been Georgia Tech that I’ve been helping raise traineeships, working on projects, and providing moral support to.

Kelly: What did the alumni presence look like at that time? Had you kept in touch with other AIESECers that you knew?

Jerry: We had a very difficult time connecting. Much effort was made over the years to get an alumni group organized. The process is getting better but it still requires fine tuning.

Kelly: Did you have an immediate group of friends that were AIESEC alumni that you would interact with in the area?

Jerry: As Board of Advisors, we made sure that all graduates were added to the alumni group before leaving campus. Half of the Board of Advisors consisted of alumni. And, of course, when I started AJC in 1972, I immediately hired AIESEC trainees from different countries, and that kept me in touch with the organization at all times. These trainees were introduced to the local chapter and we’d often host parties for them, etc.

Kelly: Describe the experience of being on the business side and hiring traineeships as an alumnus. Who was your most memorable trainee that you had working for you?

Jerry: Boy, we had so many, and each one of them was memorable in their own way. We just had a visit last summer from one of our first trainees – he interned twice actually, once in the late 70’s and then again in the early 80’s; he brought his wife and his two grown boys on a family vacation, but they also came by to see us in the office and to see how the company has changed. There were about 25 people when he was there and now we have 250, so it was an eye opener for him to see how far we’ve come. He’s now formed his own trading company in Italy.

Of all the 40 trainees our company has hired, I think there was only one that wasn’t successful. Over the years we’ve probably offered seven of the trainees’ permanent positions, and some of them are still with the company. One was a Brazilian trainee that came into our operations department as an intern and then went back to school. Once he graduated, he called us from Brazil and said he’d like to work for us again and we brought him to Atlanta. He stayed here for about a year and then went back to South America to open an office for us. He is still with us today. At one point four of our senior managers were all AIESECers. As a matter of fact, anyone who’s an AIESECer gets an interview with us automatically.

Kelly: How has AIESEC influenced the direction of your personal and professional life?

Jerry: AIESEC had an enormous impact on my professional career because it enabled me to focus on international business. If you’re good at international business and you understand that you need a mix of people to do it, it really helps your career. It set the tone of what I did with my life. AIESEC had an enormous impact on me and that’s why I continue to promote AIESEC whenever I can, both in terms of funds and support because I believe in it. And I find people like myself over and over and it’s a life-changing experience.

Kelly: What benefits have trainees brought to your company?

Jerry: We are very culturally diverse company and I think my experience working in Peru and then going to Puerto Rico showed me the importance of cultural diversity. Today, for instance, 60% of people in our Atlanta office were born outside of the U.S., and as a group they speak about 28 different languages. That’s pretty much the norm in every office that we have. Our office in Switzerland has only two Swiss people and everyone else is from a different country. Bringing in these diverse people – which we learned in AIESEC – has made a really strong company.

Kelly: You received the Global Alumni Contribution Award in 2003 at the International Conference in Serbia. What did it feel like to be awarded that honor?

Jerry: It was humbling. I was very impressed by the people who were inducted into the Hall of Fame that year. I mean, they were incredible people: the CEO of DHL and others who have been enormously successful, so it was an honor to be in such a great group. It was worth it to me just to have a chance to meet all of those people.

Angelika: You mentioned you had difficulty connecting to other alumni, is it still not perfect today?

Jerry: It’s difficult both nationally and internationally. We had a small group at our LC; our membership never consisted of more than 6 people, and it was a very short time frame from the time we started to the time I went on my traineeship and graduated, so I didn’t have many AIESEC connections. I find that’s still the case today. For instance, I’ve had about 40 trainees at my company and some of them keep in touch with me, but some haven’t, and I would love to know how to find them.

It takes effort on both sides; it takes an outreach by AIESEC. That’s one reason I’ve contributed to AIESEC Life – and it has helped. It’s amazing, we think there could be 50,000- 60,000 alumni out there, and right now our list is only 6,000-7,000, and even if it was 12,000, it might only be 20% of the actual number. It’s going to take reaching out to all the LCs and digging; it’s going to take a lot of hard work.

AJC Human Resources is looking for seventeen people this year to hire and we would love to be able to find some ex-AIESECers with 1-5 years into their career to interview. We have specific language requirements and jobs in just about every part of the world, and we are not slowing down. We believe in this diverse cultural population, so it’s natural for AIESEC and AJC International, Inc. to work together.

The mission that we started with AIESEC Life is correct, it’s the execution that’s going to be difficult – the mission is to connect with each other and then support AIESEC’s cause.

Kelly: Tell us about your experiences in Cuba.

Jerry: The U.S. had a policy of "no trade" with Cuba for 40 years – still has – but there was a large hurricane seven or eight years ago and the U.S. offered to supply free food and medicine to Castro’s people. He refused it, but then said that he would buy it if we sold it to him. So, the Congress passed a law that allowed Cuba to buy food and medicine from the U.S.

During that time, the various States Departments of Agriculture delegates from about 47 different states would go down to Cuba to put local pressure on congress to open the trade barriers. I happened to be on one of those trade missions, an agricultural mission from the state of Georgia, when the Congress passed the law allowing food & medicine trade with Cuba.

Since then, I have been back five times and on some occasions, I attend a large food show (there’s only one buyer -- the government -- so I don’t know why they need a food show) and invariably Fidel will speak to our group. They’re always gracious and highly technically, competent people. We’ve been shipping them a boatload of frozen chicken every month and we get about half of their poultry business. This has been going on for at least seven years.

Kelly: Your company is able to sell to Cubans because the U.S. government changed the law?

Jerry: Yes, the ban has been broken in the area of food and pharmaceuticals. The travel ban is still in existence. You’re not allowed to travel there except for four or five exceptions: if you’re a journalist, doing community service, or are in the food business (you have to apply for a license from the Treasury Department – our company has about 15 people who can travel there). It’s a really interesting place to do business. It’s clean, it’s safe, and it’s well-organized and well-run. It’s just very poor.

Kelly: What kind of cultural exchange are we missing out on by not being allowed to travel there?

Jerry: I think we should open the travel ban; I see no reason not to. It would help them economically, and it would help us by giving us a low cost place to have vacations. To me, it’s just a no-brainer to open travel there. It would help the Cuban and American people understand each other.

Kelly: Do you feel at all that their culture should be preserved and if the ban was lifted that they might lose some of their culture by being exposed to others?

Jerry: No more than any other country. I guess you could say that about any country, that they lose some of their culture. Sure, they adapt a few foreign things, but they’re still pretty much culturally different. Look at the common market, they’re all different and they’re still different after working together for many years, so I don’t see any danger in it. Cultures are going to evolve and languages are going to evolve and that will happen. That’s already happening in Cuba. If you walk down the street you’ll notice they are speaking a sort of an English-type mix when they talk to tourists; and you can say that’s a negative? It seems similar to Mexico; I think the benefits far outweigh any risk of losing a part of their culture.

Kelly: It sounds like Cuba is really the one missing out due to this travel ban.

Jerry: I think it’s both us and them. Here we have this beautiful country, 90 miles from our shore, that we’re not allowed to go visit it and I think it’s bad for us. It’s easy to get to, it’s great when you get there, and things are fairly low cost. It’s a great place to go on vacation.

They’re missing out on the U.S. dollars and revenue because it would help them with their economy. I don’t think you should just stop exchange because of a regime change. If anything, when people are exposed to another culture that they think has some appeal, or some system of government, then they are more likely to work for change within their system.

Kelly: Aside from Cuba, what travel recommendations would you give to a fellow AIESECer?

Jerry: I’d go to visit as many places as you can. There are a lot of places and they’re all great and they’re all different. My favorite country will be the next one I travel to. I’ve been to about 145 countries and there’s always one greater one out there.

Angelika: Where do you see AIESEC Life going?

Jerry: This summer’s Founders Circle retreat is going to have a big effect on how we’re going to evolve from here. We all want to change and we realize that we didn’t have a sustainable business plan in the past and that it’s going to take a different way of going about it. Just building a database or putting a platform out there where people can input in the data – that’s not going to do it.

AIESEC U.S. Alumni effort should be separate, but it needs to be part of AIESEC altogether. We’ve now got three to four AIESEC Alumni groups: AAI, MyAIESEC, groups like Georgia Tech, and a lot of cities have their own little groups, and we’re not connecting everybody. I don’t know how to solve that issue myself. There’s a certain amount of need to stay connected to all of the U.S. AIESECers, but if you think about it, it’s far greater. We’re not about having only U.S. students connecting, we’re about having U.S. students going overseas and students coming here, and connecting the world. I don’t think it can be AIESEC Life vs. MyAIESEC, it has to be something bigger. We can be part of it.

Jerry’s AIESEC Resume
  • 1960’s - Founded LC Northern Illinois University, Conference-Yale University, International Conference-Princeton University, Traineeship-Lima, Peru
  • 1971-present: Board of Advisors at GA State, GA Tech, Emory Univ.
  • 1974-2007: Hosted over 35 trainees in AJC International, Inc., global offices: U.S., Netherlands, Argentina, China
  • 1981 – National Conference Emory / GA. State, Atlanta
  • 1997 - International Conference, GA. Tech, Atlanta
  • 2003 – International Conference, Serbia, Admitted to the Alumni Hall of Fame

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Help Open Travel to Cuba Now!

As AIESECers, we are the biggest advocates of sharing cultures across borders, visiting and exploring a completely new culture, introducing others to our world, and embracing the differences of diversity. The AIESEC exchange network is comprised of over 100 countries and counting. Can you imagine not being able to visit another country that you want to learn more about?

Especially as AIESECers who are Americans, we have travel access to any part of the world - that is, except Cuba. It's about time the U.S. ends its Cuban travel ban and give Americans the right to travel to and experience a country that we have only had access to vicariously.

You can help change this through the campaign, www.OpenCuba.org. Petition for U.S. leaders to end the Cuban travel ban now.

With the current administration showing a willingness to cooperate with Cuba on new grounds, it is imperative to continue the momentum. Support www.OpenCuba.org and help further AIESEC's mission in opening up minds through the exchange of culture.

AIESEC US 360 Campaign

Most, if not all AIESECers, can say that AIESEC impacted their lives in an incredible way. Whether gaining an amazing professional experience, making friends for life, or becoming open to a culture you've never once thought about, AIESEC made a difference.

As alumni, there are many ways to get involved and help current AIESEC members get the most out of their experience. AIESEC US has a new campaign and goal for incoming exchanges in 2009/2010: The 360 Campaign: 360 incoming exchanges through 36 LCs.

Join the campaign today and help AIESEC through your connections, experience, and knowledge. It's simple, just sign up with your name, LC, contact info, and a bit about your AIESEC experience. Make a difference by leveraging your network to support AIESEC. Watch the Youtube video featuring current AIESECers on the campaign and join the 360 Campaign!

Monday, May 18, 2009

AIESEC US 2009 in Numbers

EXCHANGE

532 – Students recruited and ready to go abroad so far in 2009 – 61% increase on 2008 and the highest for at least 10 years.
160 – Students matched so far to opportunities across the world including Iran, Uganda, Colombia, France, Qatar, Bahrain and 40 to China, 25 to India – two of our target countries in 2009.

We have 5 trainees who have arrived or are arriving in the next few weeks all over the country and they are:

• Berkshire Advisors (signed by Yale) - Fay Alshawi and Mariam Alsamahiji both going to be working in Chicago.
• Cadbury (global partner) - Abhishek Jadon (previous AI Vice President of Information Systems and launched myaiesec.net) He will be working in New Jersey.
• CH Robinson (National Partner) - Niklas Storch who is working in Chicago.
• DHL (Global Partner) - Marysol Ramirez Valencia who will be working in Florida.

LCs AND MEMBERS

36 – Official number of LCs – 31 full members.
1533 – Number of members according to the LC Q1 survey.
7 – August is Summer Conference in Madison (alumni event being planned)
National Presidents Meeting in Chicago was a great success. All 31 full member LCs were represented and took part in the conference and legislation. And all 3 expansions were present and their proposals were accepted by the national plenary.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The New AIESEC Generation: Are They Like Us?

Kelly A. Fuson, our newsletter contributor, interviewed Alex Royalty, AIESEC San Luis Obispo new member, about joining the chapter and attending his first regional conference.

Kelly A. Fuson: How did you hear about AIESEC?
Alex Royalty: I was a member of international business club at Cal Poly, which has an AIESEC charter. Professor Geringer (a long-time friend of AIESEC) encouraged me to join. I was interested in meeting people with similar interests, studying abroad, and going to other countries in the form of an internship. I also knew two other friends who were members. First, I attended meetings at the end of my sophomore year and then became an active member after returning from Italy, where I spent four months studying abroad.

Kelly: What motivated you to become a member?
Alex: I wanted to go on a traineeship and I knew it would be an excellent opportunity, opening doors in many directions. The more I become involved the more I get out of my college experience. AIESEC is that opportunity to build connections, provide students with great experiences, and develop as an individual.

Kelly: Since joining, what have you found out about AIESEC that has surprised you? How is different than what you expected?
Alex: As for our recent regional conference, I was expecting it to be a purely professional scene. Immediately, I was shocked to find an entirely different approach to conferences. It was extremely personable and entertaining. It was not as strict and uptight as a typical business conference. From the dance routines to the emcees, it was definitely a fun informational time.

Kelly: Who is the most interesting person you've met in AIESEC so far?
Alex: The regional conference was my first introduction to AIESEC members from other schools. Denis, on TN from Germany at the Arizona chapter, is one person I found really interesting. Not only has he been traveling around but he has had great success, earning employee of the month multiple times. Learning about his cultural background and how positive of an experience he’s been having, you could really feel his enthusiasm. It was very motivational and exciting.

Kelly: Do you plan to go on a traineeship? If so, where would you like to go and what would you like to do there?
Alex: I do plan on doing so, either over summer after I graduate or for more than a year. I’d be more than happy to take a position that would challenge my abilities and be a learning experience. As far as location, I’d like to go anywhere in Asia, India, or Eastern Europe.

Kelly: What was on the agenda at the regional conference?
Alex: It started off with a meet & greet, then it went intro to the history of AIESEC, what it stands for. They also discussed the different dynamics of each chapter. We learned how to pitch to professors & other organizations, becoming change agents, attracting talent, the application process, using the website, and the process of bringing trainees to the chapter (paperwork, housing, etc.).

Kelly: What had the biggest impact on you at the conference?
Alex: Apart from getting a feel for what you can do as an AIESEC member, it was experiencing the culture of AIESEC. It was a motivational way to meet people and see where AIESEC is going and who is behind the movement.

Kelly: What changes do you foresee in AIESEC in the next 5 years?
Alex: Specifically for the SLO chapter, we’ve fallen away from our involvement with AIESEC and I hope to step up into leadership role to become a stronger AIESEC chapter. Most students come to meetings, listen to speakers, and then head off – we need to increase opportunities for them to be involved. Part of that is going out and looking for talent, adding more positions, and creating teams. It’s difficult for our chapter to find companies who will hire international students; I think that’s partly why we’ve strayed from the original AIESEC structure. I am extremely excited to see how our chapter can develop and embody what AIESEC represents.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

AIESEC Proposal to Career of Achievements


This month we are pleased to share an interview with one of our most successful and devoted AIESEC US alumni. Joe Loughrey is the current Board Chair of AIESEC Life. He was President of AIESEC United States in 1971-73. An AIESEC fundraising proposal eventually led to a job offer and his professional career of 35 years at Cummins, Inc., where he attained the position of Vice Chairman as well as President and COO. Enjoy a slice of amazing AIESEC history in our interview with him below.

1. When, where, and how did you join and get involved in AIESEC?

In the summer of 1968, after my freshman year at Notre Dame, I read an article in an alumni magazine about a Notre Dame student (actually a star linebacker for the football team ) who had taken an AIESEC traineeship in Europe and had a great experience. I had not heard of AIESEC before that. It caught my attention. Ironically, shortly after my return to Notre Dame for my sophomore year, my next door neighbor in my new dorm stopped by to introduce himself and ask me to attend a meeting to get an organization called AIESEC re-energized on campus. I went and everything else flowed from that.

2 . Please describe your AIESEC career (positions, traineeships, conferences).

Shortly after joining AIESEC I made my first visit to a company to try to raise a traineeship and walked out of the door with a signed green form. As a direct rsult of this I then became the VP-Marketing and raised a dozen or so traineeships that fall. After doing so I became concerned about the quality of the reception program for the foreign students so I stayed in South Bend the summer of 1969 and raised enough money to keep me afloat while I was Local Committee Reception Officer. I got elected LCP therafter and built an LC with over 100 active members.

In the spring of 1970 I was elected Midwest Regional Director and that summer I lived in New York as the National Committee Reception Officer. That was fun. At the December 1970 National Conference in Houston I was elected NCP. I stayed on for two years.

I attended more Regional and National Conferences in the US than I can remember. I was even asked back to be the Chairperson for the 1978 (Seattle) and 1983 (New York) National Conferences. I was very fortunate to attend many International Congresses and International Presidents Meetings as well. As best I can remember I attended International Congress in Tokyo (1970) as a US delegate, in The Hague (1971) as US NCP-elect, in Berlin (1972) and Copenhagen (1973) as US NCP, and Vienna (1975) and Boston (1988) as Congress Chairperson. As NCP I attended the 1971 Basle and 1972 Bangkok International Presidents Meetings. In 1973 I was a guest at the Barcelona IPM because I was fundraising for AIESEC Spain at the time and had just done so for AIESEC France. In 1974 I was the Chairperson for IPM in Medellin.

I never took a traineeship. Had I not remained as NCP for a second year I would have had a traineeship in Sweden or East Africa.

3. When you were AIESEC US President in the early 70s, what were the unique challenges for AIESEC then, such as communications, travel, US/geopolitics, and others?


Where do I start.

The anti-war student movement was strong and growing in the US when I was in AIESEC. Students and business were not seeing eye to eye and it made it difficult to attract active members and keep LCs alive and well. On the international front the association was expanding fast to Eastern European countries and a major effort to kick South africa out of the association was launched. The association adopted a theme around the importance of the 'Social Role of Management' to try to make the organization more relevant and to create ways to bring students and business people together to talk about substantive issues with the hope that students would conclude that AIESEC was a good thing and worthy of involvement and business would decide to support it. It worked reasonably well.

As for communications, not only were there no PCs at that time but the fastest method for international communications were by using 'telex' machines which pre-dated the 'fax'. It's hard to imagine that now.

4. How did the AIESEC experience help you in your professional career?


Immensely.

It clearly broadened my international exposure as well as my understanding of the world and its issues. I learned that I could intereact well with people of many different cultures, enjoy it and be willing to go anywhere. I learned a lot about the challenges in running a large organization that was disperse and I gained a lot of confidence in my ability to approach anyone to gain support for what I was trying to do. I developed my skills of creating targeted presentations to companies and foundations and motivating and organizing students to get actively involved. I learned that doing your homework well and getting to the point clearly and simply make all the difference (still do). All of my experiences and skills served me well when I joined Cummins more than 35 years ago and enabled me to move faster through the organization than I otherwise would have done.

Over my years with Cummins it has been great to keep in touch with a number of other AIESECers who became close friends as a result of the work we did and the fun we had together.

5. Were you involved in introducing AIESEC to Cummins and subsequent dealings?


Yes I was.

In 1972 AIESEC South Africa was told to extend AIESEC to the black and colored universities or risk expulsion from AIESEC International. When they began the extension process in earnest, a few other NCPs and I said we would raise money for travel scholarships for black and colored students who got traineeships as well as raise traineeships in the first place. Research played a big role in identifying which foundations and companies might support this effort in the USA. Cummins and the Cummins Foundation came across our radar screen. We mailed a proposal them and I flew out to pitch it. They decided to support both the travel scholarship effort through the foundation and also offered two one year long traineeships. As it turned out Cummins welcomed both a black and a colored South African student.

In the spring of 1973 I was asked to visit Cummins again to brief their new young Employment Director (Tim Solso) about how unversities and their placement processes worked in Europe. As a result of that meeting I helped set up Tim's first trip overseas - to Europe. While there he met several AIESECers -- even hired a couple. Tim went on to become Chairman of Cummins in 2000 which he still is today. When he returned from that 1973 trip I was asked to think about joining Cummins and I finally did in January 1974. At that time the company had about $600m in sales with 10% of it outside the US. In 2008 Cummins' sales were $14.3 billion with 60% of it outside the USA. It has been an honor and pleasure to help grow the company profitably and globally during my 35 year career. I had some great opportunities such as running an overseas subsidiary, managing the company's worldwide manufacturing operations and developing a global production system, being the company's Chief Technical Officer for several years and improving and broadening the product lines even though I was a liberal arts graduate, helping to update the company's historically strong vision/mission/core value statements and bring them alive through the creation of a new operating system, being a big part of the company's effort to grow fast and profitably in the BRIC countries, and in the process learning how to develop and manage partnerships and collaborations with global companies all over the world to the benefit of each partner.

I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I have had and for the doors it has opened for me for the future.

6. You have just retired recently as Vice Chairman and President/COO of Cummins Inc. What's next for you?

While I have retired from Cummins on April 1st of this year, it would be wrong to say that I am retiring. My passions are around better aligning education with the future skill needs of our country especially, but not only, regarding manufacturing. This is a subject I have spoken about widely around the USA because I believe, without major change soon, the lack of alignment will be the single biggest reason why the American standard of living as we know it will weaken significantly. I also belief strongly in the importance of supporting community-led development efforts that carefully integrate simultaneously the improvement and alignment of education and workforce development, the pursuit of better health care at lower cost, and enhancement in the quality of life for everyone as part of any economic development effort.

My 'work' time and attention will be overwhelmingly aligned with these activities and as such I have joined three public company boards, a foundation boards, and I chair 2 new public private partnerships that are all aimed at one or both of these areas. I will also become the Chair of the Advisory Council of Notre Dame's College of Arts and Letters and have become directly involved in a Notre Dame initiative in Uganda to create a more robust model for helping very poor communities lead themselves out of poverty.

But my wife and I are planning to visit family and friends (including AIESECers) around the world and go to places we have dreamed of going together with some time being reserved for my hobbies -- sea kayaking and reading biographies and historical novels.

As I said earlier I am not 'retiring'.

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