Miri – 22 February 2012 – The first East Malaysian chapter of AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organisation focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, was recently established by students of Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak). Its establishment also made Curtin Sarawak the first higher education institution in East Malaysia to have an AIESEC chapter.
The students were given the green light to form the chapter by the AIESEC Malaysia National Plenary at the AIESEC Malaysia Mid-National Convention (MNC) held at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi from 12 to 17 February 2012.
An ‘Initiative Group’ comprising Michelle Lau Wey Chin, Angelina Tan Wen Ching and Baldeep Bhullar Singh presented an Initiative Group Report on the feasibility of forming of an AIESEC Curtin Sarawak Chapter to the plenary during the Legislation Session of the convention.
In addition to Curtin Sarawak, groups from two West Malaysian institutions also presented similar reports. The National Plenary discussed the merits of each initiative group’s report before passing motions allowing the establishment of AIESEC chapters at their respective institutions.
The AIESEC Malaysia National Plenary consists of the AIESEC Malaysia National Executive Board members as well as the executive board members of the ten existing AIESEC Local Committees in Malaysia.
The Mid-National Convention was organised concurrently with the Malaysia Leadership Development Seminar (MyLDS). The former is attended by the executive board members of AIESEC and the latter by junior members of the organisation. 17 Curtin Sarawak students attended the MyLDS while Lau, Tan and Baldeep attended the MNC.
The event entitled ‘Youth to Business’ saw representatives from global organisations such as Accenture, Nippon Paint and ING Insurance conducting case study sessions.
Lau, a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing and Public Relations) student, is of the opinion that leadership starts from within and by discovering the inner leader in one’s self, one can further create a positive impact that affects himself and the greater community.
“I have been an AIESEC member for 7 months now and, in that short period, I have learned so much about leadership and social issues, and most importantly, I am able to understand myself more as an individual,” she remarked.
She added that she is determined to set a strong foundation for the AIESEC Curtin Sarawak Chapter and for it to be more connected to other chapters worldwide, and she also hopes to see AIESEC expand to other parts of East Malaysia.
Second year Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum Engineering) student and junior member Grace Rantai described her decision to attend MyLDS as the best decision she has ever made.
“The seminar was an eye-opener and AIESEC is a good platform to unleash your potential. Besides a better understanding of my life purpose, I gained a new perspective on humanity,” said Grace.
Meanwhile, Kennedy Munyuki Mudukuti, a second year Bachelor of Commerce (Management and Marketing) student and junior member, said he did not regret cutting short his holiday in his native Zimbabwe to attend the seminar.
“The event showed us our real potential. I think the majority of us do not realise that, even at our young age, it is possible to accomplish different goals and ambitions so long as you have the determination. I have attended many events like this before but none have been as inspiring,” commented Kennedy.
Another junior member, Vincent Ooi, who is currently in his third year of the Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) course, said he had heard a lot about AIESEC since high school and was glad to see an AIESEC chapter being established at Curtin Sarawak.
“I hope to have the chance to go for the global community development programme or GCDP in the future because I am interested to see and understand the cultures of different countries,” said Vincent.
AIESEC has some 60 years’ experience in providing avenues for youth leadership development. With over 60,000 members from more than 110 countries, it allows young people to participate in leadership and internship opportunities in a global learning environment and is entirely run by youth for youth.
It aims to not only provide partner organisations access to top talents through its internship programme but also to contribute to positive societal change. Working with 4,000 partners and sponsors worldwide, AIESEC provides hands-on learning experiences for 16,000 youth each year to live and work abroad under the internship programme. In addition, AIESEC youth get to participate in over 400 local, national, regional and global conferences which provide excellent networking opportunities annually.
AIESEC is currently represented in 12 public and private universities in Malaysia including Taylor’s University, Subang Jaya; University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, Semenyih; Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi; Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur; Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang and Curtin Sarawak.
There will be recruitment drives for the AIESEC Curtin Sarawak Chapter from 27 February to 2 March 2012 and from 19 March to 23 March 2012. Those interested to join can e-mail team leader Michelle Lau at [email protected].
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my or e-mail [email protected].