For those of you who don’t know, AIESEC is a youth-run organisation that provides leadership development and cross-cultural global internship and volunteer exchange experiences across the globe. I’ve been asked many questions about AIESSEC by my friends, everything from why did I join and what are we doing to why did I leave. Thus I decided to share my AIESEC experience in the form of a blog post.
I first joined AIESEC in my first year of College. At that point, I didn’t know what I was looking for regarding vocation, so I just went with the flow. I heard of AIESEC from a friend who has a friend, funny enough, and everything sounded really good. At the moment, I didn’t have much going on in my life, and I just moved to another country so I figured doing some volunteering might be good for me, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt my CV. Therefore, I applied, and I remember filling up a Google form packed with questions (that I had no idea how to answer). Most of them were typical questions like: „Why do you want to join?” „What skills can you provide to the organization?” „What’s your goal after finishing school?” and so on. Considering what stage in my life I was at, it was quite hard to answer all of those questions very precisely. So I sort of bluffed my way through the questionnaire and the following interview. So far so good, I ended up being with the Marketing team and occasionally helping another team called Outgoing exchange.
It felt like everything was moving so fast and I had no time to let it all sink in. The next days were a fascinating medley of people and places. So many names to remember, so many things to do and besides AIESEC I had to juggle school, a social life and finding a job. Slowly, I started learning what AIESEC was, who was doing what and most importantly ALL the abbreviations, most of which I’ve already forgotten.
Despite my short-lived membership in AIESEC, I enjoyed most of it, and I’m still fully supportive of their vision. To some extent, AIESEC also helped me to be more attentive to the environment around me. Even today I keep in mind values I learnt in AIESEC like living diversity, acting sustainably, activating leadership and enjoying participation.
Before joining, I never fully put in practice the last value. Probably because I was never part of an actual working environment where I naturally bonded with people. However, that changed and I met some really awesome people in AIESEC!
Speaking of awesome people, I have to mention the conferences that AIESEC is organizing. Sadly, I attended only one, but I have some good memories from it. Even though some parts are a bit blurry from the 3-day long weariness, I can recall many good memories and great people.
AIESEC also gave me the opportunity to organise my first event ever. I remember how clueless I was all the time. Shout out to these lovely ladies!
Another deed I am thankful for is getting out of my comfort zone. One of the times that happened was when I applied for VP of Marketing. I didn’t get the job, but I can still feel my knees shaking from giving that speech. >.<
Last but not least, I am thankful for the work experience. And I mean it! I didn’t know ANYTHING. Hence doing some small tasks or even seeing others do them helped.
Overall, it was a great experience, and I wouldn’t change anything, whether good or bad. I never fully found my place in AIESEC, it seemed like everybody knew what they had to do and I just wasn’t part of “everybody”. I probably needed more time to figure out what I was looking for, but I guess that’s part of being young. I’m still at a stage in my life when I’m pretty much clueless. I want to do a bit of everything if I can, and if an opportunity comes my way, even if it’s something completely new or it doesn’t look like it suits me, I will do everything in my power to make it work. Truth be told, one can never possess enough knowledge and skills, so learning along the way is always important. Finally, I stand by what I said and I choose to be YOUNG and UNAPOLOGETIC.
Learn more about AIESEC:
Check out AIESEC Denmark’s blog: