As a first year student who just graduated from high school, I found myself exploring opportunities to build new connections while getting involved in the Beedie community. AIESEC’s vision of “peace and fulfilment of humankind’s potential”, as well as their history inspired me join. During my first meeting with AIESEC, I was overwhelmed with the hospitality and support that the members provided me as I transitioned into my first year. The opportunities available to me in AIESEC motivated me to excel in this organization, and one way of doing this was to engage myself in their culture by attending their reputable conferences.
This year, Western Regional Conference (WRC) was held in Calgary, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to attend such an empowering event. Every year this conference hosts over 175 students from all over Western Canada with the intention of inspiring students with the mindset of creating a global impact. Having never attended any conferences I was astonished with how organized these events were. Furthermore, this opportunity brought together students with a similar interest in strengthening our leadership capabilities. The workshops I attended at this conference consisted of engaging discussions, and productive simulations. From these workshops I took away a wealth of practical skills such as problem solving, and managing relationships with business professionals. Aside from workshops WRC hosted many inspirational speakers, who offered valuable insight from their own personal experiences.
Out of the many talented speakers, I was most inspired by Shawn Kanungo. Shawn currently works for Deloitte in Alberta and is a senior consultant who provides valuable advice regarding innovation with today’s market. During his presentation Shawn emphasized the importance of innovation, and how to create a sustainable impact in our environment. Drawing from his personal experiences with consulting, Shawn expressed the 3 components to disrupting the market, which were: finding your unfair advantage, flipping the status quo, and applying a remix. After hearing Shawn’s insightful presentation, I felt smarter knowing how to differentiate myself and my work.
All in all, Western Regional Conference was by far a highlight of my first year experience at Beedie and SFU. This event allowed me to build a network of young business leaders who I hope to connect with in the future. Moreover, the skills I’ve developed will prepare me for all the opportunities SFU has to offer. I would definitely recommend AIESEC and WRC to any students looking to expand their experiences on an international perspective.
Jonathan Lam is a first year BBA student intending on concentrating in Finance. He enjoys being actively involved in the Beedie community. Jonathan is currently a Business Development Representative for AIESEC and a Corporate Relations Coordinator for BASS. Through his roles, Jonathan hopes to expand his professional network, and develop his leadership skills. As a part time pilot Jonathan likes to take his friends and family on flights around Vancouver. Jonathan is more than happy to connect or answer any questions you may have through email or LinkedIn.