Rotary International

Speakers | Home

Weekly Speaker Program

July 24, 2017: Jake Holder and Brandon Law, from AIESEC Youth Leadership Development.   AISEC website

Saadat gave a brief introduction for our two guest speakers from AIESEC, Jake Holder and Brandon Law. Jake has a degree in zoology and is now pursuing international studies. He has been to Taiwan on exchange, works at the Sirocco golf course and is involved in other community projects. Brandon Law is currently at the U of C taking engineering with a chemistry major.

Jake opened with how Daniel Padron and his love for Taiwan sold Jake on doing a two-month exchange in Taiwan where he stayed with two host families, taught English and, more importantly, came back to share his experiences and break down cultural differences. This is not unlike the outcomes of our own Rotary Youth Exchange.

Jake and Brandon facilitate the incoming International Global Talent. Since 2010, the Calgary chapter alone has impacted 34 students. A six-year partnership with Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO) has helped not only the company acquire talented and skilled personnel, but also given the participants themselves numerous benefits that reach far beyond work place skills. The biggest is life-changing experiences that help break down cultural disparities while they are here and when they return home.

Global Talent is beneficial to all concerned, the positive effect and personal growth again parallels the YEX program. The interns become more self-aware, empower themselves and others, become solution-oriented and world citizens.

The United Nations has 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These closely align with the AIESEC mandate, with the biggest being quality education and exchanges around the world. Here in our own backyard we know there are issues Canada faces, such as bringing in refugees from around the world, the suicide rate of our First Nations people, our energy future and yes, poverty.

Closer to home in Calgary, we are a global centre and growing, with new businesses moving in (and sadly out) every year. These businesses can benefit from AIESEC's global talent pool in such areas as IT, engineering, marketing, and business administration. This reaches a broad spectrum of industries, not just the oil and gas sector.

Jake made a final request of us: they want us to be a part of the journey. You can do this by pairing your business with AIESEC, spread the word about Global Talent to others, and garner referrals from other business contacts. Check out both Jake and Brandon on LinkedIn.

Q. Is the program national or just in Alberta, and are the interns paid?
A. AIESEC is in 100 countries worldwide and has been in Canada fewer than 30 years. Yes, the interns are paid as this is a professional internship and labour laws govern this. AIESEC is trying to tap into a volunteer program as well.

Q. What does AIESEC stand for?
A. AIESEC was originally an acronym for Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commercialese. AIESEC is no longer used as an acronym, but simply as the name of the organization.

Comment that AIESEC started back in 1948 after World War II in Europe as cross-discipline business. I quote Dan Doherty, "On a personal note, I was on an AISEC exchange in Helsinki, Finland, in 1977. In fact, during that trip I celebrated my 21st birthday in Leningrad (yes, St Petersburg) drinking pink champagne and eating caviar. The trip really changed me, and I am very grateful to this day for the opportunity it afforded me personally, as well as in my business development."

Bill Fitzsimmons was our thanker and noted the many similarities between AIESEC's program and some of our own Rotary youth programs, the outcome being articulate and passionate youth such as Jake and Brandon. AIESEC's web page offers "Youth leadership is not an option, it is our responsibility." They were presented with our world famous Boltman made by Motive Action. Another excellent example of nurturing our youth and helping them achieve lofty goals for the benefit of all.

President Ben closed with a challenge that we contact Jake and Brandon to collaborate on ways we can help support this program and/or some of the youth involved.

  • Ben Kormos, Brandon Law, Jacoby Holder, and Bill Fitzsimmons Ben Kormos, Brandon Law, Jacoby Holder, and Bill Fitzsimmons

reported by Judy Cochran

Speakers | Home