By Heather Blahnik (MA ’96, US ’98, AI ’99)
TMC representatives with AIESEC Life Chicago hub members and AIESEC trainees and students
In AIESEC, you never know what will happen when you meet someone. Such was the case for Lilian Melo Hall, at the AIESEC in the United States Summer National Conference in 2009, when she met Jason, then the LCP of AIESEC Madison, and Nick, an AIESEC trainee working at TMC in Chicago. Two years later, Lilian had married Jason, moved to Chicago from her native Brazil, and got a job at TMC with the help of Nick. Since then, Lilian has been instrumental in helping to grow the relationship between TMC and the local committee at Northwestern. She says:
“Back in Brazil, I was VP Business Development in the Member Committee and after working to raise so many internship opportunities, I felt I should be more active in helping TMC learn more about AIESEC and increase the partnership.”
TMC’s relationship with AIESEC started before Lilian joined, when one of the global account managers was looking for a solution to some specific hiring needs. He wanted to train someone in Chicago and then hire them to work in one of TMC´s European or Asian offices. Since then, TMC has had 3 trainees from Germany, India and China, one of whom has gone on to work for the company in Amsterdam. In addition, they currently have 2 trainees from China and Brazil working on 6 and 9 month visas, in Chicago.
Lilian says of TMC and the benefits it gains from its AIESEC trainees:
“TMC has been growing extremely fast with new contracts being signed and new accounts being implemented. This fast growth has required a big effort in recruiting and selecting new talent. In addition, Tetra Pak is our first global account, and talent with some mobility as well as language skills and the knowledge of a different culture become big differentials for AIESEC as a TMC partner. TMC is a young, open minded, innovative and diverse work environment that believes in the development of its talent. I believe these characteristics match AIESEC’s talents and ideals.”
TMC’s trainees help their teams manage freight worldwide for key accounts, such as Tetra Pak. The trainees use their knowledge of their home countries and regions as well as their language skills on a daily basis. In addition, TMC leverages their knowledge and experience of the local culture to see how it might affect the company’s interaction with the customer and other aspects of the business.
The Chicago Hub of AIESEC Life recently organized an event for alumni, AIESEC students, TMC trainees and TMC company representatives to meet and mingle. The event had over 35 people in attendance and included a short presentation about AIESEC as well as time for attendees to talk to each other. Company representatives enjoyed spending time with alumni and students, who shared their own AIESEC experiences and furthered their knowledge of how AIESEC positively impacts individuals, as well as companies. The students and alumni were very pleased to learn more about TMC and enjoyed the opportunity to share their passion about the organization.
Lilian had the following words of advice for fellow alumni:
“There’s just so much potential for AIESEC in the US that has not been explored yet. We should all stay tuned for opportunities around us and communicate about AIESEC with our co-workers and our network. Mentioning some of AIESEC’s differentials as the quality of the talents, cultural sensitiveness and partnership potentials are not only a good way to sell our own differential but also help other members have the chance to go through such life changing experiences either raising and realizing an internship or going abroad. I am also available to help out any alumnus that would like to support an LC with business development but doesn’t know how. Jason (my husband and former LCP from AIESEC Madison) and I have both been working as liaisons between AIESEC Life and LC Northwestern. This would also be a good way for other alumni to support an LC in raising more traineeships.”
If you would like to talk with Lilian about her experience at TMC with AIESEC trainees, or about supporting a local committee near you, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you take a trainee at your company? Or could you refer a potential lead who might? If so, submit details of your referral here.