May Chicago Hub Event
By Sarah Ketvirtis
As an AIESEC Life Hub, one of our goals is to actively support the local communities in our area through a variety of ways including traineeship referrals, BOA participation, sponsorship and mentorship. In May, AIESEC Life Chicago, AIESEC Northwestern and AIESEC Northern Illinois jointly planned an Alumni-LC Connection Event that brought together over 25 alumni and 15 students. The event was a huge success. Over the course of the evening students, alumni and trainees networked with one another and shared their AIESEC experiences. At one point, I overheard an alum mention that they might know someone interested in taking a trainee. I immediately introduced the alum to some LC members and told them about the Traineeship Referral Program which lasts until June 30th–don’t miss out!
AIESEC is so powerful. It was wonderful to see so many alumni from LCs across the US connecting with the local AIESECers. For a few alumni it was their first time connecting with the Chicago Hub. When I asked Cris Arens what he thought about the event he said, “25 years ago I stumbled upon AIESEC, and it changed my life. From LCP to National Committee, it taught me how to be an entrepreneur and create something with nothing other than a dedicated team. We had fun, but worked very hard. I was so happy to see that kind of enthusiasm again at the event with a great group of students and alumni. It was a pleasure raising a glass and discussing different perspectives. I hope to see the traineeship count in Chicago shatter new records. My only disappointment is they didn’t know any of the old drinking songs….Hei Skål!” Later that night amidst stories and laughter, alumni taught the students an AIESEC drinking song, “Ohhhhhhh! Soh hamnar vi, Poh AIESEC-fest iyen, Hey skol!”
Interested in what Pinar Arikan, LCP of AIESEC Northwestern had to say about the event? “The event was a great opportunity to meet and network with AIESECers across many generations. It was nice to be able to hear and share AIESEC stories and talk about the evolution of AIESEC throughout the years. It was also great to see my members talking to people whose lives had been impacted by AIESEC and to get a glimpse of the real scope and impact of this organization,” shared Pinar. “The event was a great opportunity for our LC and the alumni to meet one another and open lines of communication for further possibilities of working together.”
We followed up the event with thank yous to alumni that included LC updates and ways alumni could get more involved in supporting the LCs. Several alumni were interested. I’m pleased that this event generated a traineeship referral, BOA support and many conversations between alumni, students and trainees that will have a lasting impact.