What AIESEC brought to me?

Recently I was asked to reply in 5 sentences what AIESEC brought to me. It was actually very interesting, to summarize 5 years of my experience in 5 sentences, however I did it and decided to share it in this post.

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All about leadership

Today is the last day of my MCP term. If you are not familiar with what that means, that’s completely fine. I am finishing my term for being the President of AIESEC in Serbia. With the year behind me and the opportunity to lead an organization of 400 people, at 24 years old, this was for sure the most challenging year of my life so far. Now at the end, I am going to share with you the key takeaways from my term.

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The greatest salesman of the fog

Recently, I had a chance to walk with my friend from Zagreb – Leo in the center of Ho Chi Minh City before the AIESEC conference. Our friend who has an internship there showed us a park where tourists are sitting with local people and teaching them English. Walking through that park, one of our friends from European country asked, “Is it possible to live here with money that you gain from that job?”

He was shocked by the fact that this is a volunteering task and that these people teach each other for free. Leo had an interesting comment on that “We learnt on our continent even to sell a fog, and the main measure that we use is money.”

That sentence made me deeply think about these cultural differences between East and West. I came back to Belgrade believing that we are the greatest salesmen of the fog, or we learnt so much about it.

However, after a couple of days, I needed someone to help me in translating medical documentation of my brother from Serbian to Italian. That was the moment when I remembered an astounding group of people that is doing that for free, they helped me a lot one year ago, and they were there for me, again – Prevodilačko srce. And they are not the only one, during this year I met a lot of amazing people who supported us through this journey. Then I started to realize, in the world where the salesman of the fog is so common business, there are people that live and think differently.

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Once brothers, always friends

This post was originally written and published for the blog of AIESEC in Serbia and it can be found on this  link (only version in Serbian).

I was born in a completely normal and average family. Therefore it is very hard to use “normal” in the same context that covers all happenings that happened in ex-Yugoslavia in 90s. I can’t say that the models of surviving and life conditions were normal in my family, but the system of values and the way of thinking were definitely. Yet, this story would be much more interesting if I mention that I am a son of a military officer and that I barely knew my father when I was a kid, because he spent more time in the military office than at home.

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Why it is important for me to be a volunteer?

They often ask me why do I invest my time in AIESEC since I could find a job and get a salary for that job. Even now, when I had to find a job before it was the part of my life plan, if I say “I am the president of AIESEC in Serbia and I am the leader of an organization that has 400 members”, that answer is not enough, because “you are not paid for the thing that you are doing and you could invest that time in something else and get money for it”.

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