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This is how AIESEC helped me become a better person

Imagine this: you’re 19, sitting alone in your dorm room, afraid to go out with people from your university because you’re just too shy for that.

Then, after leaving for one of your courses, you see something blue that catches your eye, in the big hallway. But because other images and colors blend in during the day, you just simply forget about that moment.

But then you go home, open your Facebook and see something blue again. AIESEC. Volunteering. You think at that moment about how volunteering looks to you: happy and sociable people that look confident and that are willing to do something more for their society.

The next thing you do is to call your mom, but even then, you don’t actually expect to hear from her that it would be a great idea for you to join this organization. But mamma knows best, right?! So as you would probably expect, that is what I did!

Although I first joined AIESEC thinking that I would become more sociable and confident, this turned out to be so much more.

And then I started leading a team, thinking that I will be the best team leader that the organization, in my city, has ever had: I wasn’t. Even though I was extremely shy, I was somehow arrogant about what I thought I could achieve.

What happened next was that I learned how to set better personal goals, mostly because my initial ones were just unreachable, and also how to become more self-confident. At the same time, I discovered here people that supported me no matter what and encouraged me to develop myself like never before.

While looking back at all the things I’ve achieved, I realized that I wanted more. It wasn’t a surprise the fact that I chose next to apply and become a vice president.

But I was still very arrogant to the point where I was just rude, wanting to be the best in what I was doing. This happened while I was also forgetting that I’m not fighting for one tiny thing, but for something much bigger than myself. And this, of course, had consequences. I was having problems with achieving results, but also with the people I was working with.

When I finally started looking at myself, I became more self-aware of my strengths and how to use them. I also began to understand my weaknesses and how I can develop myself and work on my flaws.

I am not going to lie, it has been a very difficult and painful process, but the results make me proud. Why? 2 years ago I was too afraid to go for a drink with new people out of fear of rejection.

Now? I am the future president of AIESEC Timișoara and I had the opportunity this month to hold a speech at the opening ceremony of a faculty, in front of more than 100 persons. I’ve also developed myself professionally, having a job at a multinational company that I really enjoy. The girl that was too afraid to talk to people has now made incredibly supportive friends, and she is in an amazing relationship with somebody that she deeply cares about.

Is she always happy? No.

Is she always full of joy, laughing and smiling? No.

But is she a better person? YES.

And the most amazing and surprising thing is that everything started with something blue and the decision to join AIESEC!

This is a story by Maria-Cristina Barna, from AIESEC in Timișoara. Find out about what is happening #behindthescenes of AIESEC, by reading more stories soon!

You can still #JoinAIESEC here:!

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