MRU joins International student community
AIESEC provides leadership opportunities for students
Mount Royal University will be joining the ranks of the international student-run organization AIESEC. The International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences is a global organization in 113 countries and territories. It is the world’s largest student-run organization, with over 80,000 members.
Its president, Jillian Bagay, a 23-year-old fourth year accounting student, leads Mount Royal’s AIESEC committee.
Bagay originally joined AIESEC when she was at the University of Calgary. Her experience there lead her to want to bring it to Mount Royal, allowing students to gain global leadership and internship opportunities.
“I’m just starting it and I’m president, so I kind of get to set the tone of the club — kind of setting the culture; setting the expectations for everyone; and I like to see people grow,” says Bagay.
However, forming AIESEC at Mount Royal has not been without its struggles. Bagay says recruiting people has been the most difficult.
“Students at MRU tend to be a little bit disengaged or un-motivated. Especially student clubs, they tend to be pretty skeptical, just because there haven’t been that many and they’re not really promoted through the Student’s Association or anything.”
Ivan Lee was recruited by Bagay last year, and has since become Vice President of Finance. He says that at first he was skeptical, but after sitting through an information session, he was soon engaged within the club.
“I feel proud of leaving a legacy behind at Mount Royal. Even though I’ve been with AIESEC for two and a half months, I’ve grown a lot,” says Lee.
While the experience has had its struggles, Bagay say she is proud to have brought AIESEC to Mount Royal.
“It’s like a roller coaster sometimes. Sometimes I’m like ‘why did I do this’, and sometimes it’s so rewarding that I want to cry.”
AIESEC Mount Royal will officially join the international organization in May at the National Leadership Development Conference — which will be held at MRU.
The organization works to provide the base for the development of youth leadership, offering opportunities to be global citizens and gain experience and skills important to today’s society. Leadership experiences, international internships, and global interaction all contribute to members’ skills and experience.
AIESEC offers two types of opportunities for students to go on an international exchange: community development and professional global internships.
AIESEC Canada was founded in 1958 and has been developing youth into leaders through partnerships with businesses, government, and higher education institutions.