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The Fall Social event is a hit!

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Saturday, December 19, 2015

We want to heartfully thank Diane and Matt for opening up their beautiful Los Altos home to the 40+ `Bay Area AIESEC Alumni and students who joined us at the Bay Area Fall Social on Nov 7th. It was a lively event adorned with colorful homemade international dishes, synchronized AIESECer dance routines, and more group photos than can fill a facebook page.

Most importantly though we were delighted to have multiple talented speakers: Heather Frank showcased her experiences as a successful Linked In recruiter and international educator and Daniele Lea, the current Executive Director of AIESCEC Life, unveiled the mission of AIESEC Life for the coming calendar year.In addition two LCs sent numerous members to speak regarding their activities taking place at UC Davis and San Jose State.  Needless to say the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all and AIESEC 'Life' was shared in abundance.

Take care and warm wishes for the 2015 Holiday Season.

AIESECally yours,
-Paul Johnejack

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A Summer Evening in Winters (CA)

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Updated: Monday, October 5, 2015
By Paul Johnejack (San Diego, '91) 
In Winters, CA on September 26th, 30 AIESECers from UC Davis, four international trainees, and AIESEC alumni celebrated a warm fall central valley evening at the Tuscan strawbale home of Sofie and Michael De Nardi. Conversations started with AIESEC strategy, visualizing Traineeships to be, carving agendas in the rough, and proposing other world changing events. As more folks arrived and the italian lemoncello imbibed, the atmosphere quickly livened, We enjoyed freshly made cheeses, mouth watering breads, and delicious brownies and other delectable sweets. Sophie and Micheal's homestead is like a new age Italian Villa, the stucco walls sashay in outward style but inwardly are constructed of thick strawbale muscle that no Godzilla could blow down much less a wolf. The hill top home with wide veranda, lavender tufts, burbling fountain, and expansive Siena vista provided the perfect backdrop for our AIESEC gathering. 

We moved onto the patio with a 360 degreee view and then experienced the first prize of the evening: the jaunt around the olive orchard. Michael lured gullible AIESECers into tasting the almost ripe olives. The olives were bitter and astringent as all uncured olives are just a few weeks before harvest. We enjoyed a hearty laugh and then climbed the hill back to the house.

Next the  AIESEC Davis team led by Nassim, started the presentation portion of the evening by providing an overview of their recent LC successes and plans for the upcoming year. Then the Alumni team lead by Edith showcased the top upcoming alumni activities on the drawing board. 


Finally we broke huddle and Michael completed the tour of his home by bringing us down to the cellar for the grand finale - the ceremonial "pass of the chilean porron". We crammed ourselves, alumni, trainees and AIESECers alike, into the closet size cellar for a cozy survey of Michael's wine barrels and we proceeded to 'trombone the porron' testing the steady hands and lips of students and alumni alike. Much of Michael's tasty homemade wine hit the target but not all. The spectacle will remain humorously stained in our memory and clothes for a long time to come.  See more of our spectacular evening in the photo gallery.


Hope to see you at a future Alumni gatherings!

Tags:  AIESEC Life Bay Area  Davis  Events 

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Napa Valley Tour - Art, Wine and Food

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Friday, September 11, 2015

By Sophie Bousset (San Jose '11) 


On a beautiful, sunny Saturday in September of 2015, AIESEC Life Bay Area Chair Edith Gong gathered a dozen AIESEC alumni to drive up to Napa Valley for a day of wine tasting, exploring the valley and connecting with fellow AIESEC alumni.

A Distinguished Tour Guide

We met John Tuteur (AIESEC Yale, 1961-64) the County Clerk for the County of Napa up in wine country, where he regaled us with tales of his AIESEC days and of watching Napa Valley blossom into the world-renowned wine destination we know it as today.

Art and Wine

Our first stop was the Hess Collection Winery, a beautiful building complete with charming tasting rooms, an art museum populated with works from the owner’s multi-million dollar personal collection, as well as an outdoor courtyard with a pond.

Our guide walked us through the wines selected for our tasting (2 whites and 2 reds), sharing about the winery’s unusual history, and then showed us around the courtyard and art museum. Have a look at the pictures here!

Lunch at “Chateau Vinnie”

Next, we went to AIESEC India alumni Vinnie and Pam Bandla’s gorgeous home in Calistoga. Pam and Vinnie gave us a grand tour of their mansion (it looks like a castle!) and graciously hosted us for lunch in their beautiful garden. We relaxed and traded AIESEC stories until it was time to hop back into the van for a tour of the historic Greystone Cellars, which now houses the CIA (not that one…)

Culinary Delights

Once a wine cooperative in the late 1880’s, Greystone Cellars in St. Helena is now the home of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.  We had a brief tour with a one of the docents where we viewed the demonstration kitchens, cooking auditorium, entrance to the old cellars, and the Spice Islands Marketplace and the newly opened Illy Bakery where you could try their wonderful coffee, chocolates and other confections made by CIA students.  Too bad we didn’t have enough time to have a meal at the Wine Spectator Restaurant!  We finally took off for our for our final stop of the day, Domaine Chandon.

Ending on a Light Note

At Domaine Chandon, we wandered the grounds exploring the lush, grassy expanse surrounding a clear blue pond filled with ducks and water lilies until it was time for our sparkling wine tasting.

For our wine tasting, we were led to an intimate patio separated from the main tasting area by a tinkling waterfall. We enjoyed sparkling rose and white wines as the sun slowly reached lower on the horizon, bathing us in soft light and a delicious breeze.

It was a wonderful ending to a fun day. Thanks again to Susan Obuchowski for organizing everything, to John Tuteur for sharing his knowledge of the region and his favorite places, to Vinnie and Pam for opening their home up to us, and to Edith for driving!

Tags:  AIESEC Life Bay Area  Events 

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May 2015: Bay Area Spring Fling

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Monday, May 25, 2015

Spring Event at Stanford University

AIESEC Life held its Spring event at Stanford University, thanks to alumnus, Drew Klein (who got the room and space gratis!).  The group had time to mingle, have some refreshments and share stories over an Italian dinner. 

Adam Lichtenheld, alum from AIESEC Madison, shared his incredible AIESEC experiences though out the world (Africa, the Middle East, Malaysia - just to name a few) and how it helped shape his professional and personal life.  He commented that his current circle of close-knit friends are from his initial AIESEC days; the ties formed over a decade ago are just as strong today.

AIESEC San Jose, VP, Michelle Li and AIESEC Davis VP, Kartik Sharma, provided an update on how their respective LCs have been doing since the beginning of the year.  Both LCs have a large number of members and have a healthy number of trainees (7-12+).  They are looking forward to building relationships with alumni and are excited for the upcoming Summer National Conference (in SJ) and to other AIESEC Life events planned for the summer.  The hub steering committee is also grateful to Asahi Matsubara and Daniel Huynh, for helping with the registration, setup and clean up - we couldn't have done it without you!

Lastly, it was great to see several new faces at their first AIESEC Life Bay Area event including: Tyler Almeida (SLO), Haley Gross (SLO), Lili Hall (Brazil), Elizabeth Iman (Peru), Adam Lichtenheld (Madison), Soren Sudhof (Yale), and Michael Williams (Madison).

Thanks to the newcomers and the alumni who continue to support the Bay Area hub (Thierry Doyen, Nancy Gharib, Jason Hall, Drew Klein, Peter Kovacs, David Lo, and Susan Obuchowski) - you made the event very special!

Check out the album for more pictures!

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Inside Tesla

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Monday, May 25, 2015

February 2015

A select group of alumni, their guests and AIESEC students were treated to an exclusive VIP tour of the Tesla factory in Fremont.

The group got to experience the inside workings of the world famous electric car manufacturer.  Everything is made inside the Tesla factory, from the aluminum frame to the batteries to the steering wheels.  We got to travel throughout the 2.5 mile factory, which was shockingly pristine and filled with robots of all sizes.  Employees travel around the expansive factory via bicycles, not electric cars or carts (much smaller and cheaper!)

After the very interesting tour, those over 25 were able to test drive the Model S sedan along the back roads of Fremont and highway 880.  Some even went to hyper speed to see if the Tesla can really get to 60 MPH in 3 seconds...  the answer, a huge YES!

Our thanks to our Factory Tour Hosts (the two Adams) and to Dan, the Sales Manager to organized all the test drives.  See more photos in the Tesla Tour Album.

Look out for another opportunity later this year for another group to experience the inner workings of Tesla.



Tags:  AIESEC Life Bay Area  Events  San Jose 

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An Enlightening Evening and Successful Fall Social

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Over 40 people gathered together to hear a great guest speaker at the Bay Area Fall Social.  Dr. Koen Von Rompay talked about his experience starting up a non-profit organization, Sahaya International, built all on volunteers, much like AIESEC, and how it’s making a direct impact on fighting aids in various countries.  He also shared his experiences starting off as a Veterinarian in Belgium and now as a Research Virologist at UC Davis.  Some of his discoveries have laid the foundation for HIV treatment and prevention strategies that are now used globally.  We had to cut off the Q&A at 30 minutes because Dr. Rompay's presentation was so inspiring and intriguing, however, many people had an opportunity to ask him questions during dessert.  To see more pictures, go to the Fall Social Album.

We had three different LCs participate and help in the event – San Jose, Berkeley and Davis.  AIESEC Alabama alumus, Renee Courington, opened up her beautiful home to all our guests, complete with an incredible display of glass blown pumpkins.  A special thank you to Renee for becoming an AIESEC Life Sponsor (Entrepreneurship Circle)!

The evening was an incredible success as the hub asked attendees to join or renew their membership.  Many alumni sponsored AIESEC students for the AIESEC Life membership.  And all participants who paid for their membership at the event, a lucky two were selected for an exclusive Tesla Factory Tour!

AIESEC Life Bay Area would like to thank the following individuals (a record breaking 78!) for renewing or becoming first time members, helping make the Bay Area the top hub in the Fall Membership campaign.  We are very grateful to:

  • Thierry Doyen    
  • Adriana Boden
  • Ronan Lyall
  • Edith Gong
  • Steve Valerie
  • Vinesh Bandla
  • Brett Ruffenach
  • Damian Ariel Scavo
  • Michael Hansen
  • Colleen McNulty
  • Matt Levine
  • Pia Bresnan
  • Kevin Daniels
  • David Lo
  • Avantika Sood
  • Daryl Capanzana
  • George Chien
  • Eric Purington
  • Rochelle Kopp
  • Nikhila Thota
  • Jeff McCartney
  • Renee Courington
  • Koen Van Rompay
  • Seth Petee
  • Krystal Farais
  • Yuzhu Zhang
  • Amanda Zen
  • Isidro Herrera
  • Klarence Ouyang
  • Nancy Gharib
  • Timothy Do
  • Jorge Gallegos
  • Peter Kovacs  
  • Sebastian Zhong
  • Carlos Siquieros
  • Catherine Wong Hege
  • Staci Hartman
  • Gretchen Malay
  • Imran Khan
  • Michelle Li
  • Elsa Lin
  • Sagar Patel
  • Felix Sibal
  • Ngyuet Tran
  • Fabian Seelbach
  • Beto Casellas
  • Adriana Trevino
  • Katie Sassaman
  • Mona Koussa
  • Michael DeNardi
  • Imran Khan
  • Michelle Li
  • Elsa Lin
  • Sagar Patel
  • Felix Sibal
  • Ngyuet Tran
  • James Shelburne
  • Ashiq Syed
  • Japna Lamba
  • Janae Paquet
  • Simone Paquet
  • Janice Chui
  • Sarah Handler
  • Seerat Singh
  • Shivani Basnet
  • Kartik Sharma
  • Anna Smith
  • Nassim Oroumchian
  • Shannon Lin
  • Ming Yang
  • Mario Melgarejo
  • Rene Orellana
  • Yuqiao Ke
  • Corey Gardner
  • Nicolas Doyen
  • Laura Casellas
  • Jennifer Nash
  • Jason Sidhu


Tags:  AIESEC Life Bay Area  Berkeley  Davis  Events  San Jose 

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April 2014: Alumni Explore the Cal Academy By Night...

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And show off their moves!
By Sophie Bousset, San Jose '11

It was a sunny, breezy evening in San Francisco, possibly the nicest weather we have had in a while, and perfect for enjoying the dying sun as the first few of our 15+ AIESEC alumni gathered outside the California Academy of Sciences in beautiful Golden Gate Park Thursday, April 17. 

Some guests enjoying the "Dance Party Nite" at Cal Academy.

Pictured above L to R, back row: Charles Ojes (South Africa), Gabor Fogarasi (Hungary), Dora Bodo (Hungary), Daryl Capanzana (Phillipines), Sophie Bousset (SJ). Front row: Cao Phuong (Vietnam), Sol Woo Kim (Purdue), Gabor's wife Nora, Amanda Bullington (George Washington), and in the center Kayla Gomes (San Diego). Other guests not pictured: Drew Klein (Yale), Sruti Raghavan (SJ), Ashley Brackmann (SJ), Queeny Lu (SJ), and Adriana Perez (SJ).

We enjoyed everything the museum had to offer, from regular daytime exhibits like the earthquake room (where you get just a glimpse into what the 1906 and 1989 San Francisco earthquakes felt like) and fun children's games showing how Pangea tore apart to create the continents as we know them now; to the mysterious underground aquarium where children and adults alike watch rays, sharks and giant fish swim overhead.

We took a break to refuel with the kitchen's delectable Chinese buns, slow-simmered and stews and delicate pastries, and even snuck in a quick visit to say hi to Claude, the albino alligator, but the real attraction were the dance lessons and modern dance performances scattered throughout the museum... Everything from belly dancing lessons, to vogue, to rockabilly, to a very stirring modern dance performance in the main hall everyone gravitated to as if pulled by magnets. Plus, at $12 a ticket, we saved $18 on regular day time admission and could splurge on a cocktail or two to get us dancing!

Well, we enjoyed almost everything. We'll have to come back next time to wander through the rain forest and sit back and enjoy a show in the Planetarium, but we had so much fun we have a feeling it won't be hard to get everyone to come out again!

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April 2014: Alumni Get Exclusive TESLA Tour

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Tuesday, October 21, 2014
AIESEC Life behind the scenes at TESLA Motors
by Edith Gong, San Jose '86

On April 10, AIESEC Life Bay Area hosted an exclusive, private tour for members at TESLA Motors where attendees got to take the Model S for a test drive (amazingly fast acceleration!) and tour the high tech production facility where all Teslas are made.

The tour covered 1.5 miles of assembly lines, stamping machines, welding, painting and most unusually the hurricane booth that each Model S is put in for testing before delivery to customers.

It was great seeing some new alumni who haven't been to an event in a while (or were first time attendees), including: Joe Fletcher, Heidi Dickert, and Steve Valerie. Of course the goal was also to solicit TN referrals for AIESEC and to share some great AIESEC stories. Diane-Duerr Levine and Michael Hansen also enjoyed seeing the Tesla's up close - wouldn't you?

Comments from attendees:
"Thank you so much for arranging this. Recommend doing again as it is so outstanding in demonstrating the changes in manufacturing and magnificent results from superb engineering...will be buying a Tesla as my next new car."

"we had so much fun yesterday¦when I FINALLY sell my minivan¦might get a Tesla¦was so fun to drive!!!!"

Special thanks to Thierry Doyen (AIESEC Belgium and Bay Area steering committee member) and Mike Taylor, AIESEC Alum and current VP Finance at TESLA for arranging the tour. And a thank you to Renee Courington (AIESEC Alabama) for being the AIESEC Life host and sheparding the group through Tesla.

Stay tuned, we're likely to have another private tour in the Fall!

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March 2014: AIESEC Alumni Rock at Bay Area Conference!

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Over 30 alumni came to share memories with 200+ students at Western Spring RoKs in San Jose

By Edith Gong, SJ '86

This March, AIESEC alumni in the San Francisco Bay Area had a wonderful opportunity to relive their AIESEC days by attending a dinner during the West Coast's RoKs (Regional Orientation Kickoff Seminar), a bi-yearly conference focused on teaching new members about AIESEC and kickstarting their team training. This RoKs was hosted by AIESEC San Jose at the beautiful San Jose Airport Garden Hotel and had a whopping 200+ attendees and over 30 alumni! And almost half of the alumni were new faces to a hub event, so welcome newbies!!

This was a meaningful opportunity for alumni to share their experiences, fond memories, and what they got out of AIESEC with college students who just joined and are still trying to make sense of the many opportunities AIESEC has to offer.

Each alum shared a table with a handful of members during dinner, shared their inspiring stories, and got to introduce themselves and their AIESEC career with the whole congregation.

Our guest alumni speaker for the night, Dariusz Paczuski, regaled us with tales from his time in AIESEC, and the many places it led him, from his childhood in Europe, all the way to Telenav where he now heads development of an innovative new product called Scout. In the true AIESEC spirit, Dariusz convinced Telenav the importance of the AIESEC program - they are taking an AIESEC trainee! Dariusz's speech also stressed the theme of Inspiration and Action - not only for students, but for alumni and trainees alike.

Alumni were from all over the globe! In attendance were Michael Alvarado (SJ), Andrew Arrendondo (SJ), Vinnie Bandla (India), Sid Batra (SJ), Sophie Bousset (SJ), Amanda Bullington (George Washington), George Chien (Taiwan), Teresa Debbage (SJ), Theirry Doyen (Belgium), Michael Hansen (Denmark), Stephan Kropf (Austria), Justin Lau (SJ), David Lo (SJ), Jeff McCartney (Emory), Deno Naicker (South Africa), Susan Obuchowski (SJ), Matthew Ojeda (SJ), Klarence OuYang (SJ), Dariusz Paczuski (Long Beach), Thomas Peters (SJ), Katie Sassaman (Georgia Tech), Allen Shen (SJ), Adriana Trevino (Minnesota), Drew Weeks (SJ), Marina Rayman (USF), and Nicholas Xue Yan Zhou (SJ).

In addition, David Lo, Drew Weeks, and Jeff McCartney helped facilitate a half day ICX Summit for the new members. (San Jose currently leads the nation in traineeships raised.)

That's not all we have in store for you though! Keep an eye on our events calendar, Linkedin group and Facebook page for details on our next events!

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Feb 2014: Lively Memories at First Bay Area ALUMNites of 2014

Posted By Bay Area Hub, Tuesday, October 21, 2014


(Back: David Lo, Klarence OuYang, Thierry Doyen, Michael Paim, Peter Kovacs, Jason Sidhu. Front: Dariusz Paczuski, Drew Klein, Katie Sassaman, Daryl Capanzana, Edith Gong)


By Edith Gong, SJ '86

Our first Bay Area ALUMNite for 2014 was lively and entertaining. We gathered in historic downtown Sunnyvale at Tarragon on Murphy Avenue which is full of restaurants, bars and clubs, where alumni shared some of their most memorable conference, seminar or Congress stories (note memorable was self-defined!) We had alumni from three different countries (Philippines, Belgium, Canada) and transplants from other US cities (Chicago, New Haven, Long Beach). While each alumnus was from a different LC, many stories shared the same theme of work hard and play hard - there was fun, sheer embarrassment, excitement, and cultural exchanges.

In attendance were some new faces including Dariusz Paczuski and Daryl Capanzana. The group also had a deeper discussion of when and why AIESEC alumni give back and how they might choose to help. That was a more complex issue, but there was speculation that participation and the needs of alumni are dependent on where alumni are in their careers (and lives in general, family, children, etc), their level of responsibility within their organizations and their ability to influence senior management. All concluded however, that there are opportunities for alumni to utilize the AIESEC Life network for career advice, mentoring and building relationships (GROW your network) and to provide introductions to organizations for traineeship referrals (SHARE your network).

What's your opinion? And are you willing share your network or do you need to grow it?

If you missed this ALUMNite, we hope you'll join us at our next Alumni Event on March 1 in San Jose, hosted in conjunction with Western Spring RoKs!

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