AIESEC “Developing Leaders” Conference


“Hey, AIESEC!  What’s up?” 🙂   Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion that focused on How to Be Successful in Your Career Path at the national AIESEC conference on a chilly morning in Hanoi.  Below are some notes that I promised to post on my blog.

A word about AIESEC…  It’s the world’s largest student-run organization. Active in over 1700 universities across more than 107 countries and territories, its international platform enables young people to explore and develop their leadership potential for them to have a positive impact in society.  AIESEC has chapters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). 

Food for Thought

  • The three grand essentials of happiness are: Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for. (Alexander Chalmers)
  • “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  (Confucius)
  • Work is love made visible. (Khalil Gibran)

Career Success

Career success is connected to matching abilities and interests to the task.  Studies have shown that job success is connected to personality traits.  Dr. William Revelle, a Northwestern University (Evanston, IL, USA) professor who specializes in personality research.


How To Choose a Major/Career:  ????

What do you enjoy? (interests)

What are you good at? (abilities)

What do you value/find rewarding?

What are your goals?

Pursuing Money Alone Isn’t Enough to Make You Rich  

Q:  You’ve trained over 500,000 people and written 11 books on the secrets of your success. If you had just one sentence, could you summarise the secret of your success?

A:  I would say “it’s all about loving what you do… and doing the very best you can in that field.

I think everyone can be successful, but they have to discover what they are special at, what they love to do and really focus on improving it every single day.

Adam Khoo, Singaporean entrepreneur, best-selling author and leading motivational speaker

Commencement Speech at Stanford University – Steve Jobs (12 June 2005)

You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.

Video:  How To Live Before You Die

Transcript & Video 


Good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries

Learn to expect the unexpected!


A composer describes those moments when his work is at its best:

You yourself are in an ecstatic state to such a point that you feel as though you almost don’t exist. I’ve experienced this time and again. My hand seems devoid of myself, and I have nothing to do with what is happening. I just sit there watching in a state of awe and wonderment. And it just flows out by itself.


CareerZone New York:  The place to explore careers related to your strengths, skills and talents.

California CareerZone:    A new way to explore exciting jobs and occupations that the Golden State has to offer and to learn about what career path interests you. 

A FB Photo

Dr. Mark A. Ashwill

Managing Director & Founder, Capstone Vietnam

Former Country Director, IIE-Vietnam  



Making a point...


Study Guides & Strategies in English and Vietnamese.

From Baby Superstores to Vietnam – Paving Roads to a Better Life by Jack Tate (part I & II)

8 thoughts on “AIESEC “Developing Leaders” Conference

  1. Mark: You make excellent points in your presentation! In my long experience as an international educator and career coach, I’d caution that students and young professionals have to be prepared to make creative course corrections as their career unfolds. Over time, our interests may change or significant life events will force re-assessments of our professional priorities. But I do agree that what leads us to remain happy about our career path, in the long run, is passion for the work we do.

  2. Thanks, Marty. I agree with you 100%. This is one of the points that most of us emphasized in our remarks. “Change is the only constant” and “Learn to expect the unexpected.” 🙂 Flexibility and adaptability are important traits. If you no longer enjoy your job or even your career, plan your escape and make your move. Life is short!


    • I am really confuse about what I will do after graduated. I love doing many things, but I haven’t found my real passion. Now I choose that I should find it, instead of making myself good at something and working at this.
      Thank you every much Mr. Ashwill, Your talk helps me clear about the way I choose my job.
      Hope that you may join more AIESEC’s activities in the future. Wish you happy!

  3. Thanks a lot for your information and for being in the panel discussion Mr. Mark Ashwill, it actually helped us a lot in realizing to live the job that we love and how should we live toward the passionate job. We will make the best use of this sharing article !!

  4. Dear Dr.Ashwill,

    I am happy that our conference inspired you to share more knowledge with other young people through your site. Personally, I totally agree with your idea that our attitude towards what we are doing will decide our achievements, and also share with you the belief that youth can be much better if we pay attention at improving ourselves every day.

    I hope you could be with us in the journey ahead, and share with us more knowledge, advice and supports.

    Wish all the best to your family and Capstone Vietnam in this new Lunar year.

    AIESECly yours,


  5. Thank Mark a lot for posting these interesting thoughts after the discussion. The points you made really help me with defining my next steps after AIESEC. It is important to know what we really like and passionate about. In AIESEC, I love what I do for the community so I don’t think that I “have to work” but just live and enjoy :). I have thought about applying for some jobs; but after listening to my inner voice, I don’t really have enough excitement to just complete the application form…I know I want to do something different and exciting (similar to what we experience in AIESEC network) but practically, I aslo need to be patient, to build a personal financial foundation first. So yes, it’s true that we need to find a balance between what we are interested in and what we can do at the current moment.

    I like the point about : We need to trust in something. Without believing in something, it’s hard to have enough patience and determination to reach a big success. During these holiday days, I was thinking quite much about my future and your post made me realised that I am in need of some special thing to do, some special one to love and some special thing to hope for. Of course, I have something to do/someone to love/something to hope for already but with my personality, I need SPECIAL catalysts as reasons to get out of bed and take some actions. It’s good sometimes for me to achieve something special but also bad when I lose my hope…

    Do you have any advice about how to be patient? and be responsible for things that do not really interest me?

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