AIESEC: Being Part of a Student Organization in times of COVID-19

Leuven Life

25 mei 2020
AIESEC in Leuven has continued to provide multiple opportunities for discovery and social interactions for all members of the student organization despite COVID-19.

by Tasneem Ahemed Anwar

Marketing Team of AIESEC in Leuven

Being a global platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential, AIESEC is a pioneer in providing opportunities for cross-cultural exchanges and volunteering experiences. With our presence in over 120 countries, we stand for the sustainable developmental goals of the UN and prioritize our volunteering projects to incorporate the theme of these goals. As an organization that stands for unification and integrality, during the course of these challenging times, AIESEC in Leuven has played an essential role to help its members stay active and ensure regular interactions online. The AIESEC community is still connected and organizing regular team building activities during this crisis. In fact, the Rewards and Recognitions event organized by our vice president for talent management kept us all engaged. It was a small competition with fun and productive tasks to gain points and race to the finish line! We were encouraged out of our comfort zones and to explore ourselves as individuals during this time of isolation. 

With the miracle that is the internet and thanks to the thriving energy of our fellow members, we were able to continue holding our meetings online, and ensured a beneficial synergy for AIESEC in Leuven. Moreover, our National Conferences are a great way to connect with fellow AIESEC members from different parts of the world, while keeping with the tradition of maintaining the alliance among all the AIESEC offices in Belgium. With great themes and a vibrant atmosphere, it is something every member of AIESEC looks forward to. It gives us the opportunity to meet various dedicated members and volunteers. Unfortunately, with COVID-19 in the air, the organizing committee had to cancel the physical occurrence of the event.  However, under the active support and advocacy of our president, the conference was successfully conducted through a Zoom video call meeting with an attendance of over 100 members for three days. In addition, members of the AIESEC Family have also conducted some interactive workshops on Public Relations, Virtual Team Management, Adaptability and Time Management that convey the personality development and leadership values that our organization stands for. Hence, the insightful workshops and virtual coordination of the attendees made Leuven’s current campaign motto “Even Apart, Altijd Samen” (Even Apart, Always Together) truly come to life.

The Corona Survival Kit was another avant-garde idea from the AIESEC community that played an active role in securing the progressing momentum of AIESEC in Leuven: it is a Google Drive with all the essentials, recommendations and ideas for all of us to share with each other to help us stay sane under lockdown. A perfect guide to survive the isolation together!

Under the successful coordination of the Marketing Team, the online marketing model of AIESEC stayed alive through regular interactions with our audience, regular meetings for managing the tasks, and by using social media . Searching for cost effective learning tools during this quarantine, AIESEC realized that Webinars provide an effective learning experience with great flexibility and convenience. Hence, AIESEC plans on conducting these for providing a better educational platform within the context of our organization. Our social media platforms have also been active and we have been working on making sure that the information flow through the members and customers remains transparent and easily accessible.

The current crisis indeed calls for vigor and endurance from all of us to stay responsible. As an institution that endorses inter-cultural networks and experiences, we send out our solidarity, love and support to the students in Leuven and around the world. It is indeed true that our dreams and visions may seem harder to achieve under these challenging times, but AIESEC believes that through this challenge we will all come out stronger.

“We connect the leaders of tomorrow to the leaders of today.”

If you want to learn more about AIESEC and its role in Leuven listen to our podcast AIESEC and Volunteering: "A discussion on building cross-cultural understanding across nations" on Spotify or MixCloud.