AIESEC changes it’s executive boards every year, at national and at local level. Every year we have a new president and a new group of vice presidents who are responsible for guiding the organization during their one year term. In order to understand the organization better, we are bringing today the view from our current MCP (member’s comittee president), Dyego Oliveira.
Born in Brazil, Dyego is now a citizen of the world, having visited, worked and impacted diverse cultures and environments over the last few years and the president of AIESEC in Switzerland for the term of 2016/17.
Tell us how a bit about your AIESEC journey
I started my journey in the organization in 2010, hosting some exchange participants in my house, because I wanted to meet new cultures without leaving my home. I received people from Chile, the USA and in december 2011 I felt the eager to get out myself, so I went for a Global Volunteer in Egypt, in a project named “Where it all begins”. I went back to my homecity, finished my studies and by that time I decided to go abroad again, so I went for another volunteering project in Paraguay, in a communication project. I left there feeling a better person, in the way of giving value to life and things I had: There, I used to see people with big problems and disabilities, and still they were everyday welcoming me to the NGO with a big smile.
Two years later I went to India, for a Global Talent and there I faced some challenges, starting by the fact I was fired one week after I had started working. So there I was, on the other side of the world, unemployed and what I though was: “Let’s be Solution Oriented”. So I spoke to AIESEC back home and AIESEC in India and we were able to find another opportunity for me. After some months I found the opportunity to work at a new AIESEC committee that was opening in Paris. So I applied, got accepted to work as Marketing VP and one week later I was flying to Paris. It was really challenging, but still we were able to promote a great number of exchanges on our very first year, even more than some older committees. In November 2014 I got the chance to visit AIESEC in Switzerland, so in 2015 I applied for the national executive board (MC) and got accepted. Not satisfied with all the work we were doing, I decided to apply for another term on the organization, this time as MCP. I wanted to bring visibility to AIESEC in Switzerland, make it present in the Global Plennary and show the world that, even though we are in a very structured and stable country, we still have space to promote a lot of exchanges here.
How do you think that a working experience abroad (GT) shaped who you are today? How did you see your impact inside the company you worked in?
The experience taught me to become a more dettached person. I’ve always been very scared of losing people and things, but living abroad showed me that this is a natural and normal thing. It made me understand people, understand different cultures and that people have different points of view, so I learned to listen, respect, not judge them. It increased my curiosity to understand what is going on in the world, it made me a more tolerant person as well as more analytical and capable of making more racional decisions. A Global Talent is longer right? It is different from a Global Volunteer, when you have only six weeks to live it all, it is very intense. When you have more time, you can take more time to adapt, to meet people and connect to them.
How do you evaluate AIESEC in Switzerland’s work with partners nowadays and what evolutions you see as natural for the next terms?
Well, there was a time when we would have up to 40 partners and nowadays we have around six. The partnerships were very much affected by problems with value delivery and quality of the experiences we were giving to our stakeholders. For me, quantity and quality are not opposites: you can deliver 1000 great experiences or 3 bad ones. I always defended and worked for quality experiences, given that it is fundamental to guarantee sustainability to the organization on the long term.
Switzerland is a great country, good economy and education and many big companies are not interested in AIESEC because of our international recruitment (it can be done online, without the work from a third party), so I think it is important for us to review the value preposition of our product for our country. We have to understand better our maket to develop better strategies. Global Entrepreneur is a product with great potential in the country, but it still has to be developed in terms of accomodation and visa issues. I also think that we must look at more data, to understand better what went well and what went wrong and improve on it.
Why do you think that AIESEC is important in Switzerland and why do you think it is important for us to be inserted in the second sector?
Well, I believe that AIESEC develops leadership by bringing people to work in challenging environments, with challenging job descriptions, where the exchange participant has to adapt quick, be agile and a fast learner. Switzerland, as a society, as a country is a place where talking about leadership is not so easy. Diversity here is not the largest and bringing foreigners to work here contributes to show to Swiss people how people with different backgrounds can add value to their companies and they can all learn from each other.
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