AIESEC Helps Business Students Gain Cross-Cultural Competency
Monday, December 9 2019 06:04pm
By Meghan McManamon and Natalie Sova
Established after World War II, AIESEC is an international leadership movement that helps youth to understand and develop their leadership potential. The organization is run “by young people, for young people.” AIESEC gives youth the opportunity to gain cross-cultural competency through internship and volunteer experiences which are facilitated by AIESEC members. AIESEC has a global impact. The organization spans 126 countries, has over forty-two thousand members worldwide and well over one million alumni. The organization was created in hopes to change the world, one person and one cross-cultural exchange at a time.
The program encourages students to break out of their comfort zone with the support from their local AIESEC committee. There are two abroad options for students to choose from: to volunteer or intern. In addition to global opportunities, there is also the option for students to get involved here on campus.
Local committees, like Ohio University’s AIESEC team, have positions available for students to gain hands-on experience. When a student first applies to be a member of OU’s AIESEC Local Committee, they start as an exchange manager. In this role, the student is responsible for marketing the international opportunities, consulting with potential exchange participants, maintaining relations with AIESEC international partners, and communicating with students throughout their abroad experience. Members can also take on roles that focus on marketing, talent management, and finance.
“Through an exchange opportunity in Indonesia, I learned more about myself and the world in a summer than I had during my entire college career. It gave me numerous international connections, a new friend for life, a second family in Taiwan, and a basket of professional experience,” said international business student Sean Curry, OHIO's AIESEC team's VP of Global Volunteer. “Working with AIESEC in the US has challenged me more than anything I have ever done in regards to leadership, sales, time management, creativity, accountability, and willpower.”
AIESEC members can also apply to be a part of the AIESEC National Support Team. This opportunity gives students the chance to work remotely or on-site for any AIESEC organization. Students can apply for positions in computer science, business, MIS, finance, human resources, and many more. Some members of AIESEC at Ohio University are also National Support Team Members for the United States and France’s Committees.
"Being a member of AIESEC has taught me skills in consulting, HR, marketing, leadership, and overall management, while going abroad with AIESEC has expanded upon these skills and truly taught me the importance of cross-cultural understanding,” said business triple-major Samantha Dowdy, AIESEC National Support Team Marketing Blog Writer.
AIESEC is a great opportunity for students pursuing any major. There are endless opportunities for students to get involved and gain experiential learning experiences. Students can get involved in their local committee, go on an international exchange, or both. The opportunities are endless with AIESEC!