ASK AIESECers: Is AIESEC Worth It?

In case you didn’t know – we are recruiting! I could list all the reasons for you to join, but honestly – been there, done that. Instead, let’s talk about some controversial negative reviews that I have stumbled up on while googling AIESEC.

The reason why I wanted to discuss these negative things is because they come from people in our international network who have tried AIESEC themselves. The experiences are different, but the negative points come down to the following:

  • Members have a lot of work
  • Field specific – only business students benefit from it
  • Poorly organized
  • We’re actually only having fun and not working at all
  • Time-consuming
  • Hurts your study and work routines
  • AIESEC is a cult

I decided to take these points to some of our AIESECers and see what they think about it. Bellow you can read about the experiences of 3 of our members.

Mimi Vice President of outgoing Global Volunteer at Uni Vienna

“More or less, one can always put a situation in a negative light. Yes, there are different positions in AIESEC and with different positions, members get to learn certain things and in turn get more responsibilities as they continue to grow in the organization. I study Journalism and Communication and I cannot say how much I have learned regarding Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), advertising and planning, which I didn’t have the opportunity to have practical experience with at all in my university. The organization is up to you and the people. AIESECers across the world have some differences in organization, due to their culture and value that they envision in their specific community. But, other than that, AIESEC has a clear structure, in regards to positions, timeline, events and more. I have done more work after joining AIESEC, than at any other point in my life. I learned tons about time management and scheduling and learned to optimize my time and use my precious hours more consciously than ever before.”

Mishela – Video Editor in the National Support Team

“When I first arrived in Vienna I was anxious to meet new people and make some friends but I found it harder than I expected. That’s when I decided to join AIESEC and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I met some amazing people and grew as person. AIESEC gave me the chance to develop myself professionally and personally. So if you wonder if AIESEC is worth it  – trust me, it is.”

Nadja – Social Media Manager in the National Support Team

“In my experience, members have it pretty easy. Even the most senior positions are taken up by very young people, who know what it’s like constantly juggling Uni work with volunteering. In all the teams that I’ve been in, members have been free to adjust the amount of work to themselves and also take a break when it all gets too much. The skills you can get are really valuable for everyone. Most people, regardless of their field of studies, end up working in teams. Be it in the laboratory or an office, you need to know how to work with others and how to manage your time. Also, learning skills like graphic design or making amazing spreadsheets is good for a person in any field. What AIESEC does is give young people a chance to learn how to manage teams, as well as themselves. And trust me, you learn all of these things extremely quickly. I’ve met some of the loveliest people and had some amazing times with AIESEC, but I’ve also learned a huge amount of practical skills through the work I’ve done.”

 

As you can see, people have different reasons to want to be a part of AIESEC and therefore also value different things. Something that you can always hear from AIESECers is that you will get from AIESEC as much as you put into it.  The experience is yours to make it whatever you want it to be, but you also learn to be responsible and accountable for your team mates. And as for AIESEC being a cult, this is what Nadja and Mimi had to say:

“This is a long-standing joke in AIESEC, but there isn’t any truth in it. We’re just a bunch of young people really excited to be doing some really cool work with some really cool people. You get to form new friendships and share fun experiences with others, so it does tend to become a big part of a person’s life, but there’s nothing wrong about liking what you do.”

“If being a cult means a bunch of dedicated, motivated, and passionate people all together — then it is.”

 

Written by Marijana Nikolic