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    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Good boss in bad times

    This interview summarizes the experience that CEOs and Mangement Boards, including AIESEC Intl., went through during the toughest times of the financial crisis.

    The learnings from this experience are unvaluable and I would like to share it with as many young people as possible.

    Management expert Robert Sutton shares lessons on handling layoffs and teams in crisis.

    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    Prepare for an extraordinary future!

    Last weekend I attended an AIESEC event in the city of Gent, Belgium.

    The event aimed to support members of AIESEC to leave the organization and be ready to converge their learning and prepare for an extraordinary future.

    Personally speaking, the event helped me to ground some questions I had to myself and identify some opportunities laying in front of me.

    One exercise that made me feel excited about the future was to write down a list of achievements I would like to have in my life. In that moment I wrote:
    • Be part of a team working on a global project for a well-known corporation within 5 years
    • Finish a (half) marathon or a (half) triathlon within 5 years
    • Start a company and then allocate it to a CEO within 5 years
    • Provide consultancy to NGOs and SMEs to increase their impact using internet as the tool within 5-10 years
    • Help my parents living an awesome retirement time within 10 years
    • Live with my family (wife and kids) in a house sorrounded by green areas near the ocean in the North Pacific in Costa Rica within 10 years
    • Have a column in a newspaper or write articles for especialized magazine on leadership, management and global markets within 10 years
    • Be a teacher at the Engineering Faculty within 10 years
    • Be part of the team creating a long term plan for the development of Costa Rica within 15-20 years
    Nevertheless, the most impactful realization I had is the importance of planning BIG THINGS! and commit to make them happen even if at the end the path will take me in a differente direction.

    Click here to check a similar post of 2006.

    This exercise was facilitated by a person who is committed to support those choosing to live a passionate life, Houston Spencer.

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    Meeting the Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy of Sweden

    Rotterdam, 2009. The President of AIESEC International will be meeting the Minister for Migration and Asylum Policy of Sweden, Mr Tobias Billström.

    The meeting will happen considering that Sweden will host the EU Presidency since July 1st, 2009.

    The Minister believes that: "asylum and migration issues are global and Sweden must work actively to put these issues on the agenda. We must make it easier for people who want to come to Sweden to work here."

    AIESEC has organized international internships for young people for more than 60 years and it has found increasingly challenging to find the right way, within the European policies, to enable exchange.

    The international internship of AIESEC enables the development of the sending and the hosting country providing the individual a unique experience where it gets challenged professionally and personally to perform in a new environment.

    Once our interns go back, they are able to use the set of skills to make remarkable changes in their communites and societies.

    Among our Alumni you find business and social entrepreneurs, corporate leaders as well as politicians and policy makers. Recently Martti Ahtisaari became a Nobel Prize Laureate and Prof. Anibal Cavaco Silva holds the Presidency of Portugal.

    Most migration policies on EU member countries don't enable the delivery of this experiences and, when it combines with the ageing european population, it challenges the countries capability to satisfy their internal demand of employees in the next years decreasing the competitiveness of industries across Europe (Global Population Ageing, Migration and European External Policies, 2006).

    Sunday, May 03, 2009

    How is international exchange different than travelling?

    Sharing thoughts about international exchange and travelling is quiet hard because the impact is mostly defined by how the experience fulfill the expectations of the individual.

    Instead, I prefer to tell you how has exchange shape my life and the life of many people I have met in the past 12 years of my life.

    I have done two exchanges. First, I went with AFS to Australia in 1997 where I did one year of high school in Sydney. I lived with a local family, attended a local high school and played football with a local team. That's the time when I learnt English. (Check video: JFK addressed AFS students)

    Then, a year before I finished my University studies, I went to Romania. I did an international internship in ANTARES SRL for 1.5 years working on Operations and Production. I lived in a small thriving city in the west of the country, Cluj-Napoca.

    Besides that, I have travelled to more than 30 countries in all continents of the world.

    What made the exchanges unique was the fact that beyond visiting the places, meeting the locals and sharing their food, I was able to dive into their culture and take the oxigen tank off.

    We managed to forget that we come from different places and that we have different sets of values and beliefs. I believe that happened because of the systematic, ordinary and challenging task of working and achieving together. Something I never felt while travelling.

    At the same time, while reflecting on how I was feeling, reacting and behaving a door was opened to improve and see my self evolving as my choices were made. It gave me the power to drive my development and my life.

    My best friends during the exchange also shared that path and an unbreakable connection was made between us and our countries.

    I have also learnt a lot on how other countries have faced the key challenges that hold them back and the passion that drives me back to my country makes me think a lot on how can Costa Rica moce forward much faster.

    I don't judge my choices to go on exchange as better or worst than the ones made by others. I just know that they drove me to a point on which I can't stop thinking that the world is full of opportunities and that the gap to leave in a connected world is much bigger than we think and that we are able to experience through internet and social media.

    Explore it yourself:

    "So that in your own country you can be the kind of citizen of which they are proud, which they will support, and that they will look for leadership"
    JFK - July 18, 1963

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