Great food and drink

(By Kim Benson, AIESEC Life Hub Leader Colorado)

Over 20 alums and 20 current LC members came together for an evening of food, drink and cheer on April 24 in Denver, Colorado. The event was hosted by Alumnus and AIESEC Life Chairman of the Board Jeff Popiel (’90-’96) at his business, Geotech Environmental. The purpose of the evening was to kick off the first major event of the AIESEC Life Hub in Colorado and generate leads for the LC. With alums spanning from the mid-70s to 2011, there were many stories told about how AIESEC had changed (keeping track of all the different acronyms!), and how AIESEC had stayed the same (dedicated focus on international exchange and having fun).

Kim Benson, Hub Leader for Colorado, kicked off the event with a roll call. While most of the alums were from Colorado, we had an alum visiting from D.C. and also an alum from AIESEC Kansas! Colorado’s 5 trainees who hail from China, Mexico, Spain, Tunisia and the Czech Republic were introduced, and AIESEC Colorado’s LCP, Tanner Ryan, shared great news that AIESEC Colorado is BACK and better than ever! They have ambitious plans for 2013 in raising traineeships, while also providing a large number of opportunities for LC members to go abroad. Since the event, AIESEC Colorado was selected to host the Fall RoKS regional conference in October. Congratulations AIESEC Colorado! Finally Jeff Popiel encouraged all the Alums present to find a way to give back to AIESEC. Give leads, give time, give ideas, give money….whatever makes sense, but give back to the organization that gave you some of the best times of your life!

In interacting with the alumni present, many were reminded about how much AIESEC had impacted their lives. Alum Richard Westfall, went to Japan on a traineeship in the mid-1970s and described it as "one of the most amazing experiences of my life.”  Adam Karas joined AIESEC in 1991 and spent 6 years in AIESEC, taking different roles and responsibilities that included working for AIESEC US and AIESEC International. He described the major benefit of being a part of AIESEC, "AIESEC provided me a platform to gain valuable practical skills, which I was not able to learn in college.” In addition,"AIESEC broadened my vision and provided me with the opportunities to meet people from diverse cultures, especially through international conferences.”  Alumna Melissa Hamm, who was an LCP in 2000, stated that "AIESEC has no doubt been very beneficial to me in my professional life. AIESEC provided an opportunity for me to learn how to run a business from different perspectives, such as finance, recruitment, and teamwork.  AIESEC is not just a student club!

We are planning our next alumni event for the end of the summer. If you have any ideas for activities or locations, let Kim Benson know at

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