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A-Group Takes off in NYC

Monday, February 19, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kris Stafie
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An A-Group in NYC  

Interview with Chris Gassman by Kris Stafie


I had the opportunity to speak with our first US A-Group moderator to learn about the groups first few months and gain insight on their progress and future goals.  For those not familiar with A-Groups, they are 10 to 14 AIESEC alumni who become a trusted advisory board for each other.   The team provides career advice, input on dealing with team challenges, mentoring, and industry knowledge – which are invaluable for professionals to develop as leaders.  Members meet 6-8 times per year, building a tight group that discusses a range of topics.  These deep friendships are usually diverse in order to generate different viewpoints and perspectives. The program began in 2010 at AAI and continues to expand. You can learn more on the AAI site here.  Here are just some of the thoughts of the current A-Group in NYC;  “I gained a lot of valuable insight into the challenges I’m facing”

“Great way to meet new people” and “This was fun!”

The NYC A-Group began in November and will have their 4th meeting this month. They plan to meet 6-8 times this year along with a weekend retreat.  The participation has been good so far and increasing, with a target of 8 people at each meeting. The first meeting structure was built by AAI and it was easy to follow their outline to kick it off.  The NYC group has met in various places - a home, conference room, etc.  The group decided dates and locations for the first half of the entire year after the kick off meeting.  There are even multiple leadership opportunities, which are generally held for 1 year, for people to take on within the group; the Day Organizer who handles all logistics for the meeting place, Group Moderator who facilitates the meeting and Treasurer, whose role is to keep the A-Group cost neutral and keep track of expenses.  The NYC team has a firm confidentiality agreement like all A-Groups. It is quite diverse among the generations and a good mix of different industries and male/female members. It is like cultivating your own personal BOA comprised of people who have similar values but have different experience and/or challenges.  

Chris took the initiative to start a NYC A-Group because he was looking for a leadership role and this was a natural fit for him to offer a differentiated value to alumni. The idea originally came out of a conversation with alum Ken Phillips after an alumni event. They discussed how A-Groups, a signature program for AAI, is a great way to foster leadership in our post student AIESEC lives.  Chris believes everyone wins in an A-Group - the participants, society, business and it impacts more than just members on the team.  Chris’ goal for the US is to have an A-Group in each Hub city  or major city and even multiple in some of our larger cities (i.e. NYC, Chicago, LA).  If you are iinterested in either starting an A-Group or being part of one, please take a look at the links and feel free to fill out an interest form. This form will be sent to Chris who will help with questions on how to get started. All resources are found on the AAI website.

Chris Gassman is a revenue generator and social intrapreneur  with a decade of experience growing organizations sustainably.  Chris's endeavors have added both bottom-line and top-line value to UN agencies, start-ups, Fortune 500s, and a variety of others in between.  His 5yr strategic vision statement: Help generate $1B in revenue by making the world a better place.

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