08 September 2009

AIESEC: MBA of life

My dear Brazilian friend, Maurício Schneider, is finishing his career in AIESEC and wrote one of the most touching (and truthful) posts I've seen about this organization where 35.000 young people develop their leadership potential. Bellow is the full post from his blog:

MBA of life called AIESEC!
Today I am finishing my 4 years MBA in the University of Life called AIESEC, and there is only one word that comes to my mind to summarize this experience… GRATITUDE!

Have you ever stopped to think why people do an MBA? What are the benefits of doing an MBA?
Usually the reasons are: Advancing in their career, changing their career, starting their own business, build a new and powerful network, learning how to solve complex problems in a practical way, and so on and so forth.

The University of Life called AIESEC and its MBA program aims to create change agents through the development of 11 competencies: Self-Awareness, Personal Effectiveness, Analytical Thinking, Awareness of Others, Inclusiveness, Effective Communication, Development of Others, Stakeholder Focus, Inner Strength, Innovation and Commitment to Results. (Check my competency assessment below, the green bars represent how it was in the beginning of my AIESEC MBA)

The methodology? Practical experience through international internships, a learning environment comprised by team experiences, conferences, seminars, virtual spaces and platforms, mentorship and coaching programs and much more, combined with a leadership program where individuals have the chance to lead a high performance team. The program is completely flexible and the student chooses its own path.

I started the AIESEC MBA going for exchange to India, Chennai, for a marketing internship in an organization called Campus abroad. This experience taught me the importance of being able to adapt, to react faster to different environment, to stretch our cultural understanding. I also have built a fair international network, while in touch with more than 40 other AIESEC trainees.

My second year was about getting some functional knowledge, so I was assigned to manage the finances of the AIESEC branch in Brazil (Sao Paulo), I have learned a lot about budgeting, scenario planning, return of investments and others.

The main projects I managed and main results I got: Development of a new financial model, Redesign of conference management (long term venue contract, increasing logistical capacity), Design of new financial management software and contract negotiation with vendor, Growth of 200% in operational revenue , Increase of 30% of reserves.

After managing finances, I decided to step up and go for a strong leadership experience, being responsible for leading directly a team of 6 people from 3 different countries, plus being responsible for the operations of 30 local AIESEC branches in Brazil, with more than 2,000 people.

During this experience, I have the chance to work in a Long Term Plan implementation (Adjustment of planning framework, design of road map, set up of long term organizational goals), Balanced Scorecard implementation (Development of new planning framework and tracking tools, revision of measurement tools and development of rewards & recognition based on the Balanced Scorecard, Delivery of the International Congress 2008 (a congress for 1000 people form 100 different countries with a budget of more than 1 million Euros).

Some of the results I got: Growth of 60% in exchange realization and general growth in all key performance indicators (200-325), Strategic Management ING Award winner – The best AIESEC office amongst 107 countries AIESEC is present in, Growth of 300% in operational revenue and increase of 75% of reserves.

My last year of the AIESEC’s MBA, took place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I was responsible for Strategy & Operations in the global headquarter of AIESEC, working directly with 22 amazing and smart individuals from 16 different countries, taking care of the strategic direction and operations of more than 600 offices, over a 100 countries, with more than 38,000 people.

Projects? What did I do? Leading global planning process with 107 Countries and more than 800 local offices, Balanced Scorecard education and Strategy Map revision, Redefining quality standards and measurement systems, Leading country development team (6 regional Directors), Leading the strategic development task force (Vice President of Talent Management, Exchange, External Relations, Information Systems, Finance and President) , Leading global competitive analysis process.

Results? 45% year-on-year growth in exchange results – Biggest growth in the last 15 years, and first time that we achieved the 2010 vision’s goals. In a year that the majority of the organizations failed to succeed!

I have tried to summarize how my 4 years AIESEC MBA contributed to my development and next steps, check this out:

I think now you understand why GRATITUDE is the word that express my feelings towards my AIESEC MBA! I wish more and more people can have the chance to join the university of life called AIESEC, and that more and more people can learn as much as I learned, can meet people as many as I’ve met, can travel as much as I traveled, can share ideas as much as I’ve shared and most importantly, can be happy as much as I am!

That's the truly spirit of leadership development, you do what you love, you deliver your promises in a sustainable way, you get people to do things you believe it is the right ones, you don't feel the time going away... you just enjoy the journey!

Thanks AIESEC and AIESECers, partners, alumni, sponsors, supervisory boards and groups, all stakeholders that make and made AIESEC possible and real!

Yours truly,
Mauricio Schneider
A proud AIESEC alumnus!

I had the privilege to see a little of the complete transformation in Maurício as he was living his AIESEC experience to it's fullest. He grew in an insane way and, with him, lots of others have grown to admire his work and be inspired by it. Congratulations and good luck on your next steps, nego veio.

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