Monday, August 25, 2008

Profile of Candice Popiel

We are happy to offer a profile of Candice Bataille Popiel, an alumnus from AIESEC Venezuela now living in the United States. Although she's married to an alumnus of AIESEC United States (No Excuses Chair, Jeff Popiel), she's an active member of AIESEC Life. We welcome alumni from any LC and any country!!

What do you do today?

I am the confounder of Glowmundo and I am an author of children's books. Glowmundo is dedicated to empowering children to think beyond their circumstances via literary and media tools. I also work as an organizational development consultant.

How did your AIESEC experience influence your career path?
If I summarize what I gained from the seven years that I was involved with AIESEC from my days in a local committee in Caracas, to national committee in Venezuela, to the years in AIESEC International, I can say that it was a series of professional and interpersonal skills and values all intertwined with a resilient, open minded and ethical attitude. All of this not only affected my professional life but my personal life. If it was not for AIESEC, I truly would not be here, not only because of my personal ties to America, but because AIESEC is how I got to know what the U.S. was really all about. (Believe me, the media and Hollywood were not convincing me to make the big life decision to move here!)

I believe that AIESEC is a space that allows young people to discover their true self and understand their own skills and life purpose all with a global awareness. It truly prepares young people to face and lead the world in whichever role they choose to play. The more I interact with alumni from all over the world, the more I see that “Golden Thread” of leadership abilities, organizational skills, globally mindedness, and ability to think and act beyond the circumstances, that makes AIESECers stand out. And I say AIESECers, because I think that the values that AIESEC instills becomes a lifestyle. All you have to say to a stranger is that you were in AIESEC and if they were too, you immediately trust, and the connection is made.

For me it has been no different, no matter the job I’ve had, I always managed to lead my responsibilities to great results, and to be open to learn. Today I am dedicated to bringing these set of intrapersonal skills and core values to the youngest ones, the children. After my childhood in Venezuela, my time in AIESEC living and working around the world, currently raising two children of my own, and understanding the needs of our world, I decided to direct my work to offer that what I call that “Golden Thread” to children. If children are taught to think beyond their circumstances at a younger age, and are raised with a sense of globality from the get go, they will show up in life with a stronger sense of self and of empathic living, and bigger are the chances of humanity taking conscious larger steps or leaps towards peace and fulfillment of mankind’s potential.

Career Advice for AIESECers and alumni
I always say, “once and aiesecer, always an aiesecer”, but for the purposes of the question, if you are currently active in the network my best advice is to take as many responsibilities as possible and learn as much as you can by exposing yourself to the international environment offered by the network that is AIESEC. By taking responsibilities without falling on politics but doing things for the right reasons, at the right time, the right way, you already have gain a ton. Also establish relationships, by taking on responsibilities within a team, you develop special bonds that can affect your life at a personal and professional level forever. As well, if you do not make it to work on another MC or AIESEC International, take a traineeship, there is nothing like the experience of living and working abroad to enrich your life.

For alumni, reconnect, reconnect, reconnect. First, reconnect with those AIESEC values that sometimes because of the “busyness” of life some of us forget and understand that it is all in our minds. We can create the AIESEC atmosphere by either starting a business of our own or living the values in whichever role we play. Second, reconnect with the network and the old relationships. The internet has revolutionized the world and with it AIESEC. Yes “the world is flat” like Friedman suggests. We have but to take advantage of it. If for the average person the internet has opened the world, for an aiesecer who has been in the world and has connections, the meaning is infinite. This is the reason why I see AIESEC Life succeeding: it is so important in reclaiming those AIESEC values and in contributing to empower us to make a difference in our surroundings.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Current Events: AIESEC Life and the AIESEC US Board of Directors

Earlier this week, representatives from AIESEC Life met with representatives from the AIESEC US Board of Directors to discuss how the two organizations can work together. The outcome of that meeting was very positive and the summary of the discussion is included below. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to get involved.

Summary of Points Discussed:

- AIESEC Life was founded and should continue as an organization by alumni for alumni. It is independent of the internal workings of AIESEC US and has no stance on AIESEC US’s internal issues. It exists purely to help alumni connect with each other and to support AIESEC US’s growth.

- AIESEC US will maintain its operational support of AIESEC Life (through HR and IT support) while AIESEC Life continues to find ways alumni can give back to the organization (scholarships for students to go to conferences, leads for exchange, etc)

- AIESEC Life should be, structurally and from a governance perspective, independent from AIESEC US.

- AIESEC US and AIESEC Life would, with the assistance of their respective legal counsel, work towards a simple agreement which sets forth the terms of the relationship between the two organizations (including the nature of the support for AIESEC US and the use of the brand by AIESEC Life only for XYZ purposes, etc).

- Rickesh and Jim will make a presentation at the Oct AIESEC US BOD meeting about AIESEC Life and the plan for the relationship.

- The new national committee and/or representatives from the AIESEC US BOD are invited to attend two alumni events so that they can talk directly with alumni about what happened in AIESEC US and the plan for the future:

1. National alumni conference, Chicago, Sept 26-28, 2008 [expect 150+ alumni mainly from the 90s and 2000s]

2. Reunion of alumni from the first 30 years of AIESEC (1948-78), Harvard Club of NYC, Oct 11th 2008 [expect 50 alumni from the earlier generations of AIESEC]

- AIESEC Life will share announcements from the AIESEC US BOD about what is going on inside AIESEC US to alumni using our monthly newsletter (distribution 8,000+ alumni)

- AIESEC Life will help identify alumni interested in helping the AIESEC US BOD in the process of vetting and recommending LC member applicants for the new national committee team.

Through the growth of AIESEC Life, we hope to strengthen the relationship between alumni and AIESEC US which, in turn, will help AIESEC US’s success.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cheap Flights to Chicago!

Hey everyone,

I'm not sure how long this link will be useful, but I just saw a travel deal on Fall flights to Chicago. (ahem...NO EXCUSES!) Check it out here:

If anyone has any other money-saving tips, please post them here or let me know!