AIESECers at PwC

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

In the middle of connections

Swift flies the time... I have already begun counting down my last days in Belgium. Early as it might sound, I would like to take a retrospect at my past nine months.

The truth behind the curtain
When still being a member, I was always wondering why & how companies view and support AIESEC. The first one to unveil the mask is Keith Bell, whom I believe that most of the AIESEC alumni have met in ICs. Initiated in 1972's, this connection is even senior to me. From bud to blossom, this relationship has been blessed with many a person's belief in and advocacy for AIESEC throughout these years. Since the first day I joined PwC, I got continuous encouragement from the top-notch people in the firm - Karel, Rich and Paul, etc. A partnership won't be successful like this without the blue-ribbon's genuine support and the identical core values of PwC and AIESEC. That's why I'm proud of my role now - managing extensive connections with AIESEC International, 4 regions (Africa, CEE, Middle East and South Africa) and at least 50 countries. Not until the last Global Coordinator meeting when Segala sighed "PwC is everywhere" did I realize this partnership was like a "marriage" already...

My boss
Even though Karel doesn't prefer my calling him as boss, I still feel pretty comfortable with this title. I still remember the first time I met him, I said to myself "oh, he is the very man who talks about AIESEC in the famous IC 04 Germany video." (At that moment, I had the feeling that a typical Asian gal meets a movie star.) With so many hats on his head - Global Information Leader, the Belgian firm partner, the Leader for Responsible Leadership (Belgium) and the Global AIESEC Champion (and probably many others I might not know), he handles all these acrobatics like a slam dunk. Among all the things learnt from him, high-efficiency, "down-to-earth" and a prudently analytic mind is the most cherishable assets, which largely cured my post AIESEC leadership syndrome. At the same time, he is also a "family guy" (not the American cartoon for sure). The first thing he did when he landed in Egypt for IPM was to call his wife and he always talks about his kids when we share personal lives...

Building connections that matter
Go to my Inbox, you will find out the emails from Bahrain, Jordan, Kenya, Central American South, Ireland, Canada, Singapore and India, etc.. It's a "bona fida" global role which grants me the chance to have true conversation with different people from various cultures. On top of diversity, significance of this connection also impresses me a lot... Tarek, the CEO of the PwC Egyptian firm, extended the IPM invitation to all the partners and encouraged their participation and I did find the excitement from my Egyptian colleagues. Mariano, the HC partner of PwC Italian firm, is the invisible supporters: we only met up for five hours in person, however, I keep on hearing from Matteo (MC Italy) that PwC was going to launch some new item in the partnership throughout the year. On the AIESEC side, I'm constantly exposed to the proposal, suggestion and gratitude from many local chapters, which leads me have faith in the impact the partnerships exert in AIESEC network. Last but not least, my friend list has increased triply - who else are in my MSN list now? AIESEC-PwC alumni (who always give me advice and help when needed), trainees (who share the same wonderful experience with me at PwC) and other Global Coordinators - DHL, UBS, InBev, Microsoft, etc..(who share the same happiness, frustration & biz travels with me).

Belgium, a nice country to live in
It is actually the first foreign country I stay over six months after being a grown-up. Not boasting the French pride and the Dutch thrifty, the Belgian people don't necessarily have a strong national identity... If you want to argue something negative about Belgium, they might be the first one to agree with you. However, a group of diverse people are thriving in this carefree countryland. Most of the AIESEC trainees in Belgium are amazed by the hospitality and friendliness of the Belgian AIESECers and people here. As a trainee, I have enjoyed very well a trainee's right - understanding the culture, having group trips across the country, connecting with trainees of all different nationalities and tasting the decent Belgian lifestyle. Every morning, when I see the EU commission building next to my home, I would appreicate once more my traineeship in such a lovely country with those lovely friends.

The story goes on
While Norica's spam of "the story goes on"was still like yesterday in my mind, I'm going to have my own successor soon! No matter who it will be, I believe, this connection will go from strength to strength! I myself is moving to London, joining Charles Macleod's recruitment team in the UK firm, although I will still be back in Belgium quite often for my friends - Pedro, Chin, Norica, etc. and my boyfriend. Cannot wait for the new bud's flourishing~


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