4 Qualities You Need As A Global Leader

If you’ve ever spent time thinking about or working with leadership, you’ll know that it’s something incredibly hard to define, and even harder to embody. But you’ll also know that within effective leadership lies the secret to making change happen.

A Response To Global Challenges

It’s no secret that the world we live in is facing challenges – visit any popular news site for a few dozen examples. But the fundamental solution to these issues lies in engaging oneself, but also other people, to tackle the various problems head-on. In a sense, leadership. To achieve these solutions on the long run, it’s a logical conclusion that we need to make sure that young people – the next generation of prime ministers and CEOs and heads of NGOs – are challenged from early on, and equipped with the personal values, passions and skills that they need to make a proverbial dent in the universe.

For this reason, AIESEC works every day, around the globe, to provide powerful practical experiences to young people, that will instill in them a sense of responsibility, as well as those leadership qualities that they need to make the world a better place. And while leadership is still one of the hardest words to define objectively, in AIESEC, we believe that there are four qualities, that are the most important to develop in young people, to shape them as competent leaders for our world.

The Leadership Development Model

The first of these revolves around world citizenship. People who possess this quality aren’t only interested in what’s going on in their immediate vicinity, but they stay on top of news and problems from around the globe, and take responsibility to solve these as well. World citizens are the types of people who act to build a better world, because they enjoy it. They know that even the smallest actions can be significant, and they strongly believe they can make a difference in the world.

Secondly, AIESEC experiences develop self awareness in youth. They plenty of challenges and give spaces for participants to reflect on what defines them as a individual, and by extension, as a leader. They allow participants to get to know their strengths and weaknesses, but put the focus on strengths. They give participants spaces to explore their passions and values, and consider how these can contribute to a bigger cause.

The third quality is solution orientation. An effective leader does not dwell on the problems and adversity they face, but moves quickly to consider how to move forward from there. Towards the people they work with, they transmit positivity no matter how uncertain the circumstance, and has a great awareness of risk, taking the leap when it’s needed, and when others may not.

Finally, AIESEC strives to develop a capability to empower others. Through effective communication skills, even in diverse audiences and environments, through engaging others in a bigger purpose and through focussing on developing and investing in others, this quality maximizes the overall effect of the cause of the leadership. It can make the difference between an effective individual, and a powerful organization – even a movement.

World citizenship. Self awareness. Solution orientation. The ability to empower others. These qualities aren’t randomly chosen. They are responses to the way our global society has been developing, and they are what will be required from the leaders of the future – indeed, from anyone looking to make a difference in the way the world works. These are the leadership qualities that AIESEC strives to develop in young people through everything it does.

You can develop these qualities as well! Go on a volunteering exchange this summer, to countries like India, Indonesia, Colombia or Mexico, and find out firsthand why contributing to our global society can change how you see yourself. Apply to opportunities at aiesec.org.

How to avoid recruitment challenges in 2019

The start of the 4th Industrial Revolution calls for a globalised workforce to fuel proper training and research to create new technologies and innovations at a faster pace than ever before. This unleashes a global competition of young talents as start-ups endeavour to innovate the next ‘big thing’. With little resources, time and often an exorbitant amount of work, recruiting can seem like a big burden and challenge to your start-up. In this post, I would like to point out the top four common recruitment challenges and talk about how to overcome them.


Lack of time and HR experience

The most common start-up struggle is the lack of time you have to not only carry out your day-today routine tasks like your services or product development, but also to cater to the small things that will make your business grow – like recruitment as this involves creating attention for the job opening, answering all enquiries, pre-screening, interviewing and ultimately choosing the perfect person for the job. That’s another thing, the lack of recruiting experience. As a young start-up how do you know who is truly the right person for you with similar values, vision and can keep up with the vigorous speed of your growing business.

How can you combat this? The important thing here is time management and efficiency. Scouting for the right person needs as to be attended to by using online channels, getting external help or even word of mouth within the internal start-up bubble. You have the whole “start-up” world to your disposal!


Unknown Start-up

As a birthing start-up, it is impossible to have much of a reputation. But presence is important, people want to know that they are contributing to something bigger especially when the nature of a 21st century start-up is more outcome/problem solving/efficiency enhancing based than it is luxury based. So be present as much as possible, online and on ground. Be present at meet ups, be present in different online entrepreneurship groups, make a name for yourself and meet people in different branches in the start-up scene – you might just find the assistance you are looking for.


Limited budget

Let’s be honest, one of the key three struggles a start-up faces are its finances, time and human capacity. But similar to my previous point, it’s time to whip your PR skills. With an incredibly close knit community, you’d be surprised how fast the word can spread like wildfire across the community! Think of perhaps getting a young intern that is eager to learn and experience the entrepreneurial lifestyle who is just as skilled and committed as a graduate. The good thing is that with short term programmes international students may be able to intern in your start-ups during their break which can give your business some exposure to the international consumer market.



As fancy as hiring an international may sound, it also comes with a lot of formalities. The EU has made things easier for hiring on a continental scope, but formalities go beyond visas. There are contracts that need to be signed, insurance that need to be settled, if we talk about freshly graduated international students it would seem necessary to find them a place to stay or at least assist in house hunting. There is an entire list that goes beyond ‘just hiring’. Again, get help. There are a couple of organisations that assist with these formalities and some even take care of the whole recruitment process for you. For more check out Empower Austria, which will run again for the 6th time this Summer.  


The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. With the booming start-up market, I’m sure that you can find someone to talk to regarding your problem and the amazing thing about this tight knit community is that it allows you to share your experiences and give advice to each other. Also there are so many institutions that cater to young start-ups, do some research and I assure you, you will find the right person for your start-up!


How Time Abroad Can Change Your Life

Taking the step to go abroad for a long time not only comes with a new environment, people and cultures, but also with a lot of personal growth. I would even say that through my studies abroad I feel like another person. The experience enabled me to go beyond the known. And I can say that this was the best time I have had so far! My way of thinking and attitude has changed and I believe that a year abroad might have similar effects on you. To help you understand what I am talking about, here are five reasons why time abroad can change your life:

You Get out of Your Comfort Zone

I had never moved houses before and had been surrounded by more less the same people since primary school. I wanted to change this and was willing to discover new things and meet new people. My decision to go abroad forced me to get out of my comfort zone – the country being completely unfamiliar just like the people. Now I am aware that life also exists outside the bubble I was in. All I had to do was take the first step. I don’t fear change anymore since doing that. On the contrary: I see it as a chance to enrich my life positively with new people and to gain experience.

You Will Be Independent

My stay abroad was the first time I had been away from my family. I would say that before my exchange semester I was anything but independent as my parents were arranging everything for me. However, in a foreign country far away from my hometown, I had to look for a flat myself, I learned that the fridge doesn’t fill itself and that the laundry doesn’t do itself either. At first, it was a big change. But, after a short time, it became quite normal for me to cope with everyday life without the help of mum or dad. I have the feeling that my stay abroad has made me more self-sufficient. After my return home, one of the first things I did was the search for an apartment of my own. And I love it! Time has shown that I can do everything on my own if I want to.

You Learn Another Language

At school, I was one of the people that hated reading out loud in English class because I was so worried about my pronunciation. Even on holiday, I was very hesitant about speaking another language whether English or French – I always let my friends order for me in the restaurant. Abroad, however, I was confronted with another language all day long because there were no Germans in my new environment. And look at what happened! After only a few weeks conversations became easier and easier for me. Even if I didn’t know a word or didn’t pronounce it properly, I didn’t think about it anymore. Today I don’t have to think when I speak English. I also try to use the other languages I’ve been studying for years at every opportunity. It would be a shame to unlearn them!

You Will Be Open to Foreign Cultures

Different countries, different customs: during your time abroad you will notice that there are other cultures besides yours. I met people from all over the world. Our flat was an international group and everyone was influenced by the culture of their country of origin. I learned an incredible amount about different customs regarding food, drinks, clothing, education, and religion in other countries. For example, I had to learn that not all cultures and countries gave punctuality top priority. Therefore, I became more patient. I left my host country with a new, more open way of thinking and it became clear to me not to judge a book by its cover.

You Realize You Can Feel Homesick for More Than One Place

When I think back to my time abroad, I become nostalgic. I remember the smell of my favorite Indian restaurant, the coffee around the corner where I knew the barista and my favorite bar where my friends and I would dance until dawn. I knew every corner of the city. I learned to love it and soon felt like a local. Before my year abroad, I never imagined in my life that I could feel home somewhere else. Now I know that one can also feel homesick for several places and feel like coming home on your return.

You see, there are many reasons for spending a long time abroad. It doesn’t matter whether you want to spend a language year, a semester abroad, or do an internship in another country, you will certainly not regret it and return as a different person.

Verena Hellinger – StudentJob Partnerblog

Think global, be global!

Ever wondered what separates short-lived startups, from successful international ventures?

According to the World Economic Forum, successful startups have shaped themselves into 21st century startups consisting of 5 characteristics: Experience-centric, outcome-based, agile and lean, service oriented and ecosystem-driven. With this framework, I am going to prove to you how internationalizing your startup can bring you closer to being a global 21st century startup, and thus to success!

1. Experience-centric & 4. Service-oriented

Nowadays, customers are looking more for just a solution to one of their problems, they take importance in the quality of their customer experience from start to end. This goes beyond what your startup ultimately offers as its value proposition. With globalization and the rise of global entrepreneurs, understanding of not just what your local market wants but as well what the global market is looking for is crucial. Having internationals in your company provides your startup with the global insight of what the globalized market needs and allows your product or service to cater to everyone everywhere.

2. Outcome-based & 5. Ecosystem-driven

A 21st century startup is driven through outcome-based targets. To achieve these, Startups need to be part of teams across functions or partners with collaborative bridges or platforms. The word amongst 21st century startups is ‘ecosystem’. To refrain from competition, but rather embrace connection in the mutual market. When you bring an international into your market, not only are you bringing in that individual’s specific set of skills but also his/her understanding of their respective local market and prior connections which you would have otherwise not had. This gives you the opportunity to foster international collaborations which ultimately gives your company a wider reach. It also gives you a feel of how companies abroad deal with problem solving and help you stay on top of new developments.

3. Agile and lean

Working with an international team with different norms and cultures can often stray your away from your comfort zone until the only way you can cope with it is through adapting to it. You learn to appreciate and pick up the positive quirks and can incorporate it into your startup culture making operations more efficient. Also, the company as a whole may be able to adapt faster to challenges that may arise during operations. Generally, global entrepreneurs have developed an open mindset to keep learning from new opportunities which often can lead to big innovation spikes. It has been proven that those who have been exposed to international work cultures are more open to having a more holistic workforce which ultimately plays a big role in the growth of their venture.

Ultimately, the point is that you will gain the ability to work with and handle a diverse workforce. Most developed 21st century startups are workplaces filled with diversity and multiculturalism. This energy enables you to adapt and familiarize yourself with various working styles and cultures.

Are you ready to let become an international, 21st century startup? Empower Austria can support you to easily and affordable find the perfect international interns for your venture!