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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!

Summer series: Seeing Graz through another perspective – Part I

Many students decide to spend their summer doing an internship or working abroad. This year, four of them decided to come to Graz: Yassine Amri (Tunisia), Ana Parfión (Spain), Shu Chang (Hong Kong) and Tereza Palasová (Czech Republic). They will report fortnightly on their work experience as exchange students in the Styrian capital.

Yassine and Shu work together at the coffee shop “incafé” from Jugend am Werk, which they describe as “a really beautiful place: nicely decorated, well-equipped and well-arranged”. Yassine adds about his colleagues: “There is Paul who washes the dishes, he is very calm. Hilga who shakes everyday everybody’s hands before they leave and finally my Austrian friend David, who speaks English and does the role of a translator”. Speaking German with clients and colleagues was unexpected, but they find it quite funny and instructive too. Arriving in Graz, meeting their colleagues and the other exchange students was also a peak of their week “we visited many places and the architecture of the city is just astonishing”.

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Tereza and Ana, on the other hand, work together at the Jugend am Werk “Youth Park” in different projects alongside jobseekers, doing activities like gardening, cooking and handmade production. Both are enthusiastic about their workplace and the city they are living in.

“There is a really nice working atmosphere, people are very friendly and the place is well-equipped, I even got invited to a yoga lesson with my colleagues,” says Tereza, who also mentions that one of the main obstacles she had to face was German. She thought that she could use English at work, but in the end she had to speak in German: “It was okay though, because I expected some use of German and therefore I chose a German-speaking country.”Graz_week1_3

Ana says that the main challenge she had to face was getting the other exchange students to open to her. Since they are living together and they go out a lot, their relationship is constantly improving. On the other hand, she likes seeing how much people from different background, ages and nationalities are enjoying their stay in the company. “They are not only doing it for the money, they really love what they do,” says Ana. She also mentions proudly that this week she could even “present an own project to the company”, for which she is still awaiting approval.

The four students have had an interesting week settling in in Graz and getting to know their colleagues and workplaces. In the next few weeks, we will be catching on with their projects and we will see what they are doing!

Author:  Jennet Essid, Giulia Di Pietro