THE X WORLDS OF OTHER MOLDOVANS

29/07/2010

With the development and growth of the “eXchange” programme of AIESEC Moldova more and more young people from the Republic of Moldova manage to obtain colourful internship experience in other countries. Thus, more and more blogs with interesting stories of their X Worlds appear in the World Wide Web. This trend allows us to find out about the daily reality in other countries, located even far away from our home.

For instance, recently two more adventure-seekers from Moldova have gone on internships to two different corners of the World: Africa and Asia. Elena Scutaru has decided to visit the “Africa in miniature”, as the Republic of Cameroon is usually called, and nowadays she shares her experience on the blog Cameroon in plain Moldavian (in Romanian). Sergiu Matei has chosen the busy streets of the great China – you can read about his adventures on the blog Din Moldova in China (in Romanian).

It is evident that the increasing number of interns would display their X Worlds, giving other people the opportunity to get to know more countries and visit them in the future. Quite good basis of mutually beneficial international relations, isn’t it?

As for me, I will not be able to benefit from the “eXchange” programme… at least for some time. However, visiting other states is still on the “To Do” list, so new stories are waiting their turn to appear here.

Stay tuned for more life-changing experience from all over our grand and beautiful World!

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AIESEC: THE MONAD MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT

10/03/2010

It is not a great surprise that the non-government organization of young people AIESEC is considered to be one of the fastest growing and highly innovative NGOs in the World. To support the statement the following facts can be given:

– Successful history of more than 60 years (since 1948);

– Available good case practices (GCPs) of team / project / innovation management and organizational culture that serve as examples for other organizations and private companies;

– Long-term partnerships with large transnational corporations: Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Post DHL, Electrolux, Indersoll Rand, Microsoft, Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), UBS, Unilever, Vale and many more;

– Numerical achievements (based on the data of 2009 – 2010): coverage of more than 107 countries and territories, presence in approximately 1700 universities, around 45000 members and 9000 leadership roles, more than 5500 internships provided and 470 conferences organized per year, over 800000 alumni.

However, an obvious question arises here:

How an organization of students and recent graduates with few or no working experience engaged in its activity on a volunteer basis is able to deliver such impressive results and maintain constant growth?

Well, the answer can be found in the Monad Model of Development.

Monad (from the Greek “monas” – the whole) can be described as a single, neutral, and balanced system containing all existing elements. A well-known example of monad is the Chinese Tao that represents the interconnection and interdependence of seemingly contrary forces within a united system (the yin and yang concept).

Now, let us place the Tao monad in a system of coordinates, where the X axis represents the time, and the Y axis – numerical achievements (Gross Domestic Product, investments, sales results, etc.). And here you have it: a single segment of the economic growth cycle with its active growth (boom), growth peak, recession, crisis point (trough), and recovery.

In long-term scale monads can also represent the Kondratiev waves, or Supercycles, used for describing the development of world economy and civilization on the basis of innovations.

As you see, the Monad Model is a universal one and can be applied to the development of economy, society, organization, etc. Therefore, it is also suitable for displaying the growth of an AIESEC entity (committee). I have chosen an example of AIESEC Moldova, as I was a part of its history and possess detailed information about it. The timeline shown in the following diagram reflects the period between the committee’s reestablishment in 2004 and till the end of our National Executive Board team’s mandate in 2009.

One can apply the presented diagram to any local or national AIESEC committee in every country where it is present. Only the numerical data and description of periods and achievements will change, the overall structure should remain the same.

Now, what KEY SUCCESS FACTORS of organizational growth are shown here:

1) Each new monad (segment of growth cycle) is based on certain significant (even revolutionary) achievement / innovation that transfers the following system onto a new level (transfer point). In simpler words, during a mandate every generation of leaders in AIESEC create a solid platform for their successors to capitalize on and achieve greater results.

2) In order to create the transfer point the organization requires significant amount of resources (people, time, finance, etc.). That is why the preceding period is characterized by downfall in organizational performance and effectiveness. Still, as you have noticed, the downfall is the lowest point not of the whole cycle, but only within the current monad. This means the organization always has the possibility to gather resources from the lower level, combine them with the ones on current level (obtained from the booming period within the current monad), and invest all of them in creating the necessary achievement / innovation.

3) The stability of the whole cycle depends on interconnection of the current growth level, the preceding one, and the succeeding one. Each monad is present in all three levels at once, indicating that the organization actively uses current trends and opportunities, involves people (partners, alumni) and resources already obtained in the previous term, and performs strategic planning for the period ahead (5-years strategy “AIESEC 2010”) – all within one balanced process.

Additionally, what IMPORTANT LESSONS can be learned from the Monad Model of Organizational Development:

1) In order to gain something significant, you need to invest much in it. Often it leads to a certain downfall in performance. The key to further growth here lies in not crossing the limit and performing the investment in the right time and place to stimulate the recovery process.

2) The overall victory of an army depends on all preceding battles, be they successful or not so. For in victories the soldiers gain motivation to move further, in defeats they obtain the knowledge and strength to win. This is also true for the organization: the current growth is impossible without the achievements and failures of all previous generations of its members and leaders. You need to be grateful and respectful to them, and capitalize on their advice and support as much as possible.

3) The so-called Power of NOW is an impressive and inspiring thing, but it is extremely limited and useless without the Powers of PAST and FUTURE. For only the preceding results, present actions, and planned initiatives and innovations entangled in single process will create the enormous synergy of growth.

Of course, the information on the Monad Model is not limited to this article – there are many peculiarities to be found in various scientific sources. And the Model is appropriate not only for AIESEC – it is able to explain the development of any organization, company or public institution. The reason I have used it particularly for this organization is that the Monad Model allows explaining the global growth by using a part of it as an example, determining key success factors and coming up with lessons to be learned and implemented in order to support organizational development.

Thus, you have the answer on the question at the beginning of this post. No brainwashing, just pure science of AIESEC.


FIND YOUR AIESEC

18/02/2010

Currently there is a spring recruitment period in the non-government organization AIESEC in all 107 countries and territories where it is present (including my home country Moldova). This can be determined by various posters and banners with powerful messages or simple, but real stories, presentations (called “Big Picture”) and info desks at universities, on-line articles and so on.

If you noticed any of these banners or posters, then you might have asked yourself: “What is this AIESEC? What is in it for me? And should I really join it?

Truth to say, I am not so good in inspirational speeches and promotional articles. So, I will answer these questions as objectively as I can, with positive and negative points, with successes and disappointments, with personal examples and opinions of other AIESEC members.

When you look at all those happy faces from the “I am an AIESECer” posters and photos / videos of various events, you perceive AIESEC as a positive, successful and rapidly growing organization, where all members live and work as in a fairy tale. Yet, this is not quite the truth.

The organization itself is neutral. It does not transform you into a successful leader – it only gives you a large variety of tools and environment you can use to “mold” this leader out of yourself. The descriptor clearly points this out: “AIESEC – the international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential.” You see: this is only the PLATFORM for you to use as a trampoline to reach new heights, which is much harder to do without it and alone.

Emerging from the previous fact, the second one becomes obvious: in spite of the 60-years global growth and many successful experiences AIESEC is not the ideal place. It is all about PEOPLE. And all people make mistakes. Due to this point I have tried to quit AIESEC about seven times during my 3-years experience here… but even after becoming an alumnus still remain close to it. Why? Just let us look at this fact from the other side that considers such well-known idea: “Your most powerful learning experience is obtained through your own mistakes”.

Compare two young persons of about 21 years old, who plan to start their business. The first one, who just graduated from a university, has no or little idea of what is project management, how to manage a team, and what to do when risks knock boldly on your front door. The second one, who combined university studies with volunteering in AIESEC, has already experienced these and many more things, and now is able to use them effectively and efficiently. A rhetorical question here: Who has more chances to become successful entrepreneur?

Now, I propose to combine the “neutral” character of the organization and all challenges and not so pleasant experience it might hide. And what do we get here? Yes, YOUR OPPORTUNITY! It means that it is YOU together with other members who make the organization as it is.

You do not like the destination it goes to? – Become a leader of the project / conference / committee, propose your direction and strategy, and lead your team.

You consider there is lack of professionalism and quality in providing internship services? – Apply for the so-called eXchange Quality Board and improve them on the global level.

You notice unethical attitude and behaviour? – Go for the International Ethics Subcommittee or even establish your local one and educate members on the importance of ethical leadership.

As you see, the present and future of AIESEC depends on each member of the organization, including YOU. It will be what you all, together, make of it. No more, no less.

Thus, my suggestion here is: Think carefully about this opportunity and

Find YOUR AIESEC! (Literally)

More information and videos can be found HERE.


WITH AIESEC TOWARDS SUCCESS

30/12/2009

In the year 2008 while being in the National Executive Board (MC) of AIESEC Moldova we applied for The Most Active NGO That Promotes Volunteering in Moldova Award given during the annual event called “The Festival of Volunteers”. And… what do you know… WE TOOK IT!

You can read about the event and all awards in the articles HERE and HERE (in Romanian).

This year I decided to test my luck and apply for The Most Active Volunteer Award available also within the above-mentioned event. In my application form I described my experience in the National Board of AIESEC Moldova in 2009, internship within the project “Learn to Change the Future 2009” of AIESEC in Craiova (including work for “Habitat for Humanity” there), various training / facilitation and ecological initiatives related to AIESEC and not only, and the outcome of all these volunteering activities.

Fortunately, the pleasant moment occurred again at this year’s edition of “The Festival of Volunteers”, when I was announced to receive the III-rd place within this Award. The moment extended with a diploma, a small financial reward, and warm congratulations from my AIESEC friends being at the Festival.

The information on other winners and the whole event is available in the following articles (in Romanian):

– “ONG.MD”: A 7-ea ediţie a Festivalului Voluntarilor din Republica Moldova, 2009.

– “Timpul”: Jos pălăria în faţa voluntarilor.

– “InfoPortal”: Jos pălăria în faţa voluntarilor.

– “Guvernul Republicii Moldova, pagina oficială”: Prim-ministrul Vlad FILAT a participat astăzi la inaugurarea celei de a VII-a ediţii a Festivalului Voluntarilor 2009, cu genericul „Jos pălăria în faţa voluntarilor”.

– “Monitorul Civic”: Prim-ministrul Filat a participat la inaugurarea celei de a VII-a ediţii a Festivalului Voluntarilor.

Alexandra Bivol: Află cine este voluntarul anului!!!

Yes, this is not the first place, however still a very nice thing to remember. But most importantly, the receiving of this Award indicates once again that the organization AIESEC provides effective and efficient instruments and methods on all levels (local, national, regional, and global) for its members to benefit from in their self-development and personal growth. Whether they wish to demonstrate this fact or not – it is up to them. I am sure there would be a lot more Award winners from AIESEC to display here, if they find some free time in their large schedules filled with managing projects, applying for grants, performing sales meetings, delivering trainings, leading department teams, etc. and fill in the application form for this Award.

Another evident conclusion comes to my mind here: not a single significant achievement can be done without other passionate and devoted people to support it. And people – this is what AIESEC is all about.


3 X WORLDS… FROM THE INSIDE

03/11/2009

The eXchange Department

Internship in Romania through the “eXchange” programme of AIESEC described in the previous post “PRICELESS GEM IN MY COLLECTION” is a valuable and unique exhibit in my collection of the X Worlds. Still, it is neither the single, nor the first one. Before applying and going to the internship through “eXchange”, I was responsible for managing this programme on the local, national, and international levels, supporting other people in obtaining their high-quality internship experiences.

X Guys

The very first X World revealed its benefits and challenges, when I entered “AIESEC in Chisinau” here, in the Republic of Moldova, and joined the eXchange Department as the so-called eXchange Development Responsible. We were a small, but quite united team with a kind and passionate leader, Irka Perdeleanu. Although we did not achieve significant results, still our team was the first one to introduce various eXchange management instruments in organizational projects and activities, establish the basis of reception practices, negotiate country-to-country partnerships, and implement other important innovations for the growing “AIESEC Moldova”. Members of this generation of the “X Guys” obtained significant leadership positions and organized impactful projects in their further AIESEC career.

Here is a short video showing some moments from the wonderful experience of that period:

Then came the Evolution: the National Executive Board (usually called MC EB or just MC) of “AIESEC Moldova” was established, and it happened so that I became the first “eXchange” programme responsible (Vice-president of eXchange or MCVP X, as it is officially called) on the national level. Thus the excitement and passion, as well as multiple challenges continued with both old and new nice, hard-working people already in two local committees: Chisinau and Balti. Together we also brought valuable improvements and innovations to the “eXchange” programme here, achieved certain growth both in quantitative and qualitative parameters, and promoted the potential of “AIESEC Moldova” on the national and global arena.

A glimpse of that extraordinary and memorable term is presented in the following video

The local and national experience was followed by an international one, when I got selected for a virtual team called the eXchange Quality Board (XQB) that is responsible for supporting AIESEC International in developing qualitative parameters of the “eXchange” programme on the global level. 15 devoted individuals from different countries and regions lead by a very responsible Chair, Felipe Dalcin, spent a period of one year working together on reviewing the international policies and standards of the programme, creating and releasing educational materials, coaching AIESEC committees in other countries and supporting them in solving quality-related cases as effectively and efficiently as possible. After finishing the XQB 2008 – 2009 term these people have proceeded further by becoming presidents of national committees, going on internships, or getting suitable and desired job places.

This video shown at the 60th AIESEC International Congress displays the staff and main activities of this interesting and colourful virtual team:

Truly, all these three X Worlds were some amazing experiences I enjoyed to live! Many objectives were achieved, many challenges were overcome, many valuable learning points were received, and, of course, many good friends were obtained. Thus, the opportunities were worth taking them. And if you have even a small chance to be recruited in AIESEC and offered similar opportunities, do not hesitate – go for it! You will have a lot of pleasant moments to remember afterwards… and many people to thank for the time spent together… as I do right now.

No doubt, I am highly grateful to all those people, who shared the above-mentioned experiences together with me, and say “Thank you!” for the knowledge, skills, challenges, and fun moments you gave me then. For it is true that “as the Great Pyramids are built of many stone blocks, so the success of a person is made of many contributions”.

X Guys Thank You!

There was passion, there was pleasure

Of sharing our common treasure.

Now it’s gone. We’re far away.

Nothing more there is to say.

But sometimes, at life’s next veer

You might see a random tear…


GLOBEX: IT’S EXCHANGE… AND IT’S GLOBAL!

11/06/2009

Nowadays an interesting initiative by AIESEC Moldova is available for young people from the Republic of Moldova to benefit from. It is called “Globex” that stands for the global exchange programme.

 

Globex

 

Started from several ideas in 2008 “Globex” represents the promotion campaign of the “eXchange” opportunity aligned to the specifics of the national market of Moldova. In fact, it promotes the so-called on-going recruitment of people to apply and go on internship at any time of year. Previously it was possible to apply for “eXchange” only during the official recruitment periods of AIESEC Moldova: in spring (February – March) and autumn (October – November). At present, by using “Globex” the organization is able to accept applications and provide young people with the chosen internship experience in any month of a year and all year long. Thus, the applicant should no longer receive such reply: “The recruitment period is over. Please apply next time in spring / autumn”. Instead he / she is invited to the interview, participates at the cultural preparation seminar, chooses the most suitable internship offer and gets the desired international experience.

In addition, “Globex” indicates the global character of “eXchange”: a person can go to any of the 106 countries, where an AIESEC committee is present. And that can be done not only once, but twice, three times… one is able to get as much internships as possible within a three-years-limited period of being the “eXchange” participant – this is became possible in 2009 according to the latest updates in the International eXchange Policies and Quality Standards. Thus a person is able to visit many countries, have jobs in different areas, meet people of diverse cultures – in other words, have the real global experience!

To sum up, “Globex” keeps the standards and requirements of the “eXchange” programme of AIESEC and spices it with the continuity and clear promotion message for the external market.

Yes, it’s EXCHANGE… and it’s GLOBAL!

 

Tu vorbesti GLOBEX'eza?

 

More information can be found here:

Official website: http://globex.md

Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=83098988066&ref=nf