One of my most frequently asked questions from fellow college kids and
men boys who are still waiting on a second date, is “What is your biggest pet peeve?”
A lot of things irritate me. This embarrassingly long list includes receiving texts from fuccbois (“I’m different“), meetings that could’ve been an email, and the fact that I’m the runt of my family. But my biggest pet peeve would have to be people who reduce receiving a college education to simply a means of landing a secure job post-graduation.
Had it not been for my time at the University of Calgary, I never would have met my squad in freshman year. I never would have seen the world through a global comparative lens with Semester at Sea.
And I never would’ve gotten an internship opportunity through the AIESEC program.
I can’t recommend the AIESEC program enough! Here are a few reasons why I believe you should embark on an international experience with AIESEC:
1. #ListenToTheKids: AIESEC is run by youth, for youth.
Close your eyes for a second and imagine being dropped into a foreign country abroad. I’m sure you would feel either anxious, excited, and confused, if not all at the same time. What’s great about the AIESEC program is that it’s organized and executed by undergraduate students, just like you. It’s likely you’ll be introduced to someone with similar interests, or will help you get around for the first week or so of your stay.
For example, you’re assigned a buddy, who will pick you up from the airport, help you settle into your choice of housing, accompany you while you acquire a local phone number, drop you off on your first day at work, open up a bank account, and help you fill out any application forms.
Now imagine doing allllllllll of that without your buddy. Quite a feat when you know a grand total of zero words in the vernacular, amirite?
Aside from the practical reasons of having a buddy, think about what you would like to accomplish outside of your internship. Do you want to get involved in community service? Do you want to travel outside of the city you’re staying in? Do you want to experience the nightlife on the weekends? You’re going to want a friend to show you these experiences and someone to confide in when you’re feeling homesick or when you’re having a tough time adjusting.
2. CHOICES: What do you want out of an international opportunity? It’s completely up to you.
Do you want to become a global volunteer, talent, or entrepreneur? AIESEC makes it easy to match you up with what industry you want to get involved in, and what country you’d like to go to. AIESEC members ensure that the available opportunities are challenging, meaningful experiences in the field you’d like to be in – not just any jobs you can easily get where you currently are. In my opinion, the best aspect of being a global talent is exposure to other professionals with the same interests and career aspirations as you. The Opportunities Portal allows you to filter criteria based on countries, available start date, languages, skills, and professional or educational background.
The AIESEC team also consistently assures the quality of the companies they partner with as well. They will make sure you’re getting paid appropriately, on time, and that the job description is completely aligned with your experience. After all, there are already so many uncertainties involved with traveling in a different country – your chosen internship shouldn’t be one of them.
3. Warm fuzzies: The gratification you get knowing that you’re a part of something bigger.
Let me hit you with some numbers:
- AIESEC began in 1948 after World War II as a way to develop and fulfill the potential of humankind through exchange and education.
- The organization currently has 17 Sustainable Development goals it hopes to achieve by 2030, including eradicating poverty, fighting climate change, and achieving gender equality across the globe.
- There are over 70,000 AIESECers in 124 countries around the world all living by the same 6 values everyday.
Don’t you ever wonder why, after existing on this earth for millions of years, us human beings still can’t seem to get along? If there was an organization you could get involved in that really listened to your ideas on how us humans could finally get our sh*t together, wouldn’t you want to be a part of that? I sure do. That’s why I chose AIESEC.
You can talk to AIESEC alumni and they would tell you all sorts of different reasons why you should seek an AIESEC opportunity – these are just my top three. Have you heard about AIESEC? Would you want to volunteer or work abroad through AIESEC? Where would you go and why?
That’s all for now. 🙂 More on how I landed my internship and what I actually do at work on upcoming posts. (Thanks for bombarding me with all the questions! It helps me identify what kind of content you will find useful)
Oh, and if you were wondering how I’ve been holding up in Mumbai, read this blog post, too.
Please visit www.aiesec.org.