AIESEC Conference

We sent a student, Molly Smyth, to a conference earlier this month. Molly attended NLDC, National Leadership Development Conference in Richmond, BC, during May 2nd – 6th.

AIESEC in Canada’s National Leadership Development Conference (NLDC) is an annual 5 day conference that brings together students from across Canada to learn how to improve themselves by using AIESEC as a platform to develop their leadership abilities.


NLDC is hosted by a different university each year, and this year it was hosted by Simon Fraser University in beautiful Vancouver BC from May 2-6. This is the third conference I have attended throughout my university career, and it was by far the best yet. I feel privileged to have been able to connect with students from various faculties and hear their leadership stories.


In a five day conference there is a lot to absorb and take away. Personally, there were two key sessions that were most impactful for me. The first was the Youth to Business Forum (Y2B) and the other was Engaging with Others to Achieve a Bigger Purpose.

Youth to Business Forum:

Y2B was a day long forum mid-conference that brought business leaders and companies from across Canada to share their stories of success with us, while we as members of AIESEC shared with them how we manage to work as an entirely youth driven organization. The theme of the day was Innovation Leading to Growth, and I was able to talk with and hear from various professionals on the topic in panels, workshops and round table discussions.  One thing that was mentioned frequently during the day was how more and more young people want to work for companies that care about the world around them, and more and more companies are adopting more sustainable business models. Seeing companies like DHI and TD, or governmental organizations like International Experience Canada coming to hear what we had to say was very encouraging as it let me see that businesses out there want to engage youth, and are trying to learn how to better do that.

Engaging with Others to Achieve a Bigger Purpose:

We all have visions and plans for things we want to make happen in the world, but to truly accomplish anything meaningful, we need to work with others. And to get people to work with you, you must first get people to follow what you believe. This session focused on the way to do that: by sharing your story of what you are passionate about. In AIESEC, we all share a common vision ultimately about leadership and peace. Hearing individual people’s stories of what they specifically were passionate about and how they became so passionate about those things was very powerful. Seeing very successful youth share what they have experienced and how driven they were was inspiring, and encouraged me to build toward a vision of my own.

Ultimately, the best part of any conference is being able to connect with other students from across the country. AIESEC brings together many like-minded youth, which allows people to connect very quickly. All these people are going through the same struggles of being students while still committing a huge portion of their time to volunteer for this organization. I was able to make new connections, and I was also able to learn from their experiences in AIESEC.

From the very first day I started at Asper, I was constantly told to get involved and make the most of my experience here. AIESEC is an incredible organization that has allowed me and all of our members to be involved from day one, and it has helped me build connections across faculties. It’s helped me to truly enjoy the time I’ve had at university so far and to grow as a leader. I would encourage all students to take advantage of every opportunity they are given, and the CSA Conference Fund is a fantastic way to help you do this. Whether it be through AIESEC, or one of the many CSA endorsed conferences, I highly recommend attending a conference. I believe they are the best opportunity to make connections with students outside of our own university, plus you might just learn something new while you are there.


AIESEC in Canada’s National Leadership Development Conference brings together 330+ students from 27 universities across the country for an intense 5-day event that delivers skills training in various business functions, leadership workshops, and sessions on organizational direction. Throughout the conference, NLDC acts as a platform that connects youth with businesses in order to share insights, perspectives, and information to bridge the gap between millennials and today’s workplaces.

To learn more about AIESEC and opportunities to get involved visit