AIESEC is the world's largest youth-run organization, whose focus is primarily on providing a platform for youth leadership development. I had heard about AIESEC in my undergrad years once in conversation back in 2007. I didn't think anything of it, because I was working full time in the profession, and studying externally for the most part.
I was introduced to them again early 2012 when Mike from Our World Today introduced me to Jemma Schilling (who now incidentally now works at the firm, but that's a different story). She invited me to talk at their state conference, and I was happy to oblige.
At the conference, it turned out I already knew Trent Blucher from Fresheyedeas aswell as Chris and Mike from Our World Today. I met the other speakers and forged powerful new business relationships with Martin & Miriam Castilla from Smartline and Jo Schneider from DVE Business Solutions. I also was introduced to the Dean of Flinders Business School, and as a result got a job teaching there. Also at the conference I met some awesome university students, all of which were totally switched on and motivated.
Since then, I went on to hire Jemma in Cirillo Hooper & Company, had Waleed complete his internship with the firm, had four other AIESEC students register interest in the program next year, have had clients take on AIESEC members as staff members, three of them are volunteering to assist me with my charity One Day MBA and I've been invited to speak at more of their events.
These days not a day goes by when I don't talk about AIESEC, and how important it is in preparing university students for the business world. As Jemma put it, "It's like you're an AIESEC Alumni that never actually had anything to do with them at uni." Fortunately at 25, I'm still (kinda) young enough to fit in.
If you are a university student, and you're not working in your discipline, join AIESEC and they will help you bridge the gap between academia and 'The Real World.'
Jemma Schilling & Chris Hooper of Cirillo Hooper & Company with Jo Schneider & Rebecca Ham of DVE Business Solutions at the AIESEC Gala Night