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What happened 2015 in AIESEC in Austria?

2015 already ended, but every ending is the start of something new. Now, reflecting of what it has been, we know 2015 has been a good year with many improvements and milestones.

Here is a short overview:

Some Numbers and Facts

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In 2015 were able to provide a total amount of 192 international exchanges, giving all those exchange participants a chance to develop themselves while doing purposeful work, abroad or in Austria. Our incoming volunteer projects even had an increase of over 35% in participation compared to 2014, while our outgoing corporate internship program, Global Talent, could improve by impressive 40% compared to the previous year. But these are not only numbers; these are life-changing experiences that we, as a youth organization, succeeded in delivering, in only one year, to people from our generation.

Introduction of Global Entrepreneur

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This year we were proudly introducing a new program – Global Entrepreneur. program enables students to find an internship in an entrepreneurial environment abroad and to gather tons of experience. Furthermore, through this program, we enable start-ups from Austria to Austria to have in their teams highly motivated and outstanding students from abroad.

Amazing events

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This year we had events both for students and companies. We organized focused workshops for students (e.g. workshop “How to write a successful CV”), or business networking events like “Career Days” or “Consulting Challenge”. Besides that, we had also events that promote cultural exchange like “Global Village”, where students from different nationalities, who came in Austria for our volunteering projects, prepared traditional dishes from their respective countries. With those events we did everything we could to foster cross-cultural understanding.

All in all it can be said that 2015 has been a very successful year for AIESEC in Austria, but we don’t want to settle at successful – we want to strive for excellence, so let’s see what 2016 will bring for us!

AIESEC Values- what do we believe in

In a world of change, where rules seem to renew day by day, a value scale can be easily overthrown. But in spite of the oscillatory trend of society’s development, AIESEC chooses to stay faithful to the values it has been following ever since it was founded, pursuing the aim of making the world a better place.

AIESEC reunites young people from all the corners of the world who have a common goal: shape their character in order to become aware of the world’s issues and learn how to deal with them. With other words, shape the future leaders our world needs. The ultimate goal is striving for Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential, having The Six Core Values as basis of one’s actions.

Following a well-planned organizational chart enables us to walk in a team member’s, team leader’s or even a vice-president’s shoes, teaching us how to handle different situations and how to make decisions for the welfare of all our members. By delegating responsibilities to the new members and encouraging them to deliver exchange experience, we try to develop the leadership potential in each of them, as Activating Leadership is one of our values. We take responsibility for our words, choices and promises, every decision we make being based on the very important value Demonstrating Integrity.

Our decision-making considers the needs of our organization and the future generation development, being based on our value Acting Sustainably. Moreover, we learned that adding joy in what we do and creating a friendly and encouraging working atmosphere makes our achievements even more valuable, therefore we strongly believe in Enjoying Participation.

Interacting with students from 126 countries has given us the chance to meet different lifestyles and has taught us that communication is crucial among the members of an international structure. As our organization is present on each continent, we all learn to see life’s aspects from many points of view and encourage every member in their contribution. By holding international conferences and partnering companies who support our vision, we see Living Diversity as a solid value to believe in.

For almost 7 decades, AIESEC has been working on improving intercultural connections, managing through its programs to provide young people an insight of what world itself means. But what is more important, the exchange experience have given trainees the will and motivation of improving living aspects of today for a better tomorrow. This means that what drives us is the constant will of pushing one’s limits, in order to deliver the highest quality performance. With other words, staying faithful to Striving for Excellence in everything we do!
Having the Six Core Values as basis of one’s behavior and being aware of how do they influence not only our work, but our lives, makes us strongly believe that through our actions, we can help each other in developing our leadership potential and change our world to a better one.

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AIESEC Structure

For almost 70 years, since it was founded after the World War II, AIESEC has been giving students the chance of developing their skills and shaping their personalities in order to become the leaders the world needs. This has been possible by keeping a permanent connection with AIESEC members worldwide, creating a network of communication and mutual help which goes beyond the cultural borders.

AIESEC is a global, non-political and not-for-profit youth organization which was founded in 1948 by a group of young European people (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden). Its fundamentals were shaped by the social, political and economic climate of that time. The aim was setting a worldwide network, aspiring to Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s Potential, so that young people all over the world can have the opportunity to develop their personalities in a peaceful climate, delivering the best version of themselves.

Our organization is present on each continent and counts 126 national committees and over 70,000 members. The Global Committee is in Rotterdam and consists of 21 members who oversee the activities of all committees worldwide. At the national level, the Member Committees are the ones which oversee the Local Committees in a given country. Moreover, the Member Committees are responsible for organizing more than 500 training & leadership development conferences every year.

A Local Committee enables students to take the first step in this organization, by being Team Members, Team Leaders or Vice-presidents in every Local Committee’s departments. Here they learn how to act according to the Six Core Values in AIESEC (Striving for Excellence, Demonstrating Integrity, Activating Leadership, Acting Sustainably, Enjoying Participation, Living Diversity) and most importantly, develop in their personalities the characteristics of leadership. Through the Leadership Development Model we want our members to develop their self-awareness, to adopt a solution-oriented attitude, to be able to express their ideas clearly and to empower other people to take action.

When the new members start their journey as Team Members, they take responsibility of their position by learning to work in a team and getting familiar with the general working pace. On the other hand, the Team Leaders have the responsibility of delegating tasks and making their members aware of their role in the team, tracking their achievements and most importantly, integrating them in the Local Committee.

The Vice-presidents are in charge of coordinating the operations in their area, but most importantly, give people within the chance of an amazing experience. “As a Vice-president you have a big responsibility: to supervise the entire department and track the implementation of different strategies. But more than that, you have the power to grow your members, to help them find their inner passion and develop their skills. What bigger accomplishment if not seeing them after a while, empowered and thankful for the experience you gave to them?” says Andra Enache, the Vice-president of Marketing in AIESEC in Bucharest.

By encouraging students to participate in international conferences and through delivering exchange experiences, we strive to develop the leadership potential in each of them and make them aware that every step they take can have a huge impact even in a non-familiar climate.

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Why we do what we do

It has been 67 years since AIESEC was founded in 1948 during a trying time in Europe, with a mission to “expand the understanding of a nation by expanding the understanding of the individuals changing the world one person at a time.”

AIESEC was founded on a vision of friendship and unity – a vision of a unified Europe. This may sounds familiar. It is also the basis of the European Union, founded to make sure Europe would never again be torn apart by war and dispute. AIESEC was founded by students who were looking for a solution to the same problem. The goal was to ensure peace through mutual understanding of other cultures and countries.

The idea came in 1948, when students across Europe were talking about a program to facilitate a cross-cultural exchange as they were already carrying out internship abroad, if only mostly at their own initiative. However, with the tumults of World War II this exchange came to an abrupt halt. Shortly after the war, that had tarnished the relationship and trust of Europe’s countries, had ended, in a damaged and struggling Europe, AIESEC was founded.

Amongst the founding members where students from seven nations: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. In March of 1949 the first international conference was held to discuss the modus operandi and goal of AIESEC’s cause.

With programs such as Global Talent and Global Citizen (more on these to come – see our next posts) AIESEC is still sending individuals abroad to broaden their horizon and sharpen their understanding of different cultures. Every since the first year of existence, where 89 students were exchanged among the member nations this number has exponentially grown.

In 2014 the number of exchanges facilitated by AIESEC stands at 26.000! This number can only be delivered by the dedication and work of its 70.000 members in 126 countries. Today all around the world AIESEC members are working to achieve this one common goal; to make the world a better place though the exchange of individual minds, cultures and ideas.