What Is (Toxic) Productivity Culture And How Has It Impacted Youth?

Productivity has been defined as “the efficiency with which output is produced by the resources utilized”, by P. N. Rastogi. For companies, more productivity means more profit, so there’s an incessant search for the optimal combination of resources, in order to receive the best results possible.

Recently, we’ve witnessed this culture of productivity transcend organizational contexts, infiltrating our daily lives. “Hustle culture” is widely spread through social media and, in general, more accessible to people at a much younger age.

However, there’s a fine line between positive, comprehensive productivity and ongoing toxic environments that cause more damage than good.

The truth is, oftentimes when people who are deeply involved in this culture spend too much time on anything non-work-related, they feel guilty or ashamed because they let their worth depend on their level of productivity.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with an “overachieving mentality”, which is usually promoted among students and young professionals – we’ve even seen how people have been starting to succeed as entrepreneurs very early in their careers by being involved and concentrated not only on their studies but also other “productive hobbies”. But it becomes a problem when literal students, sometimes underaged still, are feeling burnt out.

It’s scary how common we find comfort in completing task after task every single day and the more we complete the better we feel about ourselves as if our only purpose is to be competent and useful. Even during the pandemic, which so badly impacted our mental health, we’ve sheltered ourselves in this mentality and conditioned ourselves to the point of feeling guilty when we spend a whole day just watching a tv show or playing video games.

Toxic productivity is very similar to workaholism and it encourages people to exhaust themselves as much as possible with the promise of guaranteed success. Sacrificing sleep, busy schedules from top to bottom and limited social interaction is seen as hard work and boast worthy. This has caused people to have trouble enjoying vacations or any kind of leisure time.

This is why it’s so important to have balance and awareness of our own capabilities. By overworking ourselves, we’ll end up contradicting our actual goals and losing sight of our purpose. Because productivity, on a personal level, is about self love, not shame. We’re not supposed to prioritize it over our well being, we’re supposed to use it to improve ourselves and achieve our professional or academic goals.

Everyone has an answer to “how much is too much?” – and they should live by it.

5 Projects By Entrepreneurs Under 30 You Should Know About

It is well known that as an organization, we’re committed to support the leadership development of thousands of members, volunteers and interns all around the world.

Regardless of what we’re individually trying to achieve, everyone’s journey in life has something in common: inspiration. Some people might get it from music, others from social media or their families.

Today, we’re presenting you a list of role models who, at a young age, have taken matters into their own entrepreneurial hands and created significant change by mobilizing their ambition with purpose and perseverance.

437 by Hyla Nayeri and Adrien Bettio

At just 20 years old Hyla and Adrien struggled to find the perfect swimwear to enjoy the summer in, they decided to create their own products, designed to flatter all body types and sizes straight from their dorm room. The all-female company, with teams working around the clock to cater to their clients’ every need, is self-funded and has been profitable since its 2017 launch.


Teach For Senegal by Raby Gueye

Raby, 26, grew up in a Senegalese village where education wasn’t accessible. She became the first in her family to attend school when she relocated to the U.S.. During her academic journey it became clear education is vital for one to be able to reach their full potential and thrive, motivating her to create Teach For Senegal, which hires local graduates to teach in schools and help solving this problem in her home country.


Simulate by Ben Pasternak

Chicken nuggets have been loved around the world for years. Thanks to Ben, who is only 21, vegetarians can now enjoy them as well. His startup Simulate successfully created plant-based nuggets, which generated $8 million in revenue this year. Ben is a natural, innovative entrepreneur, who dropped out of school at 15 to follow a dream in developing games and apps that are being used by millions of users today. Now he’s onto much bigger projects.


100 Thieves & Jackson Dahl

Jack was a part of the founding team of one of nowadays’ largest gaming organizations, responsible for the esports, apparel, and entertainment businesses of 100 Thieves. A strategic leader like him allowed the organization to quickly grow in the industry, counting on dozens of gamers and content creators and on investors such as Drake and Scooter Braun. Forbes estimates 100 Thieves is worth $160 million.


EnsoData by Fernandez, Rusk and Glattard

This group of 28 year olds figured out a way to make what seemed impossible, become reality. They cofounded EnsoData which uses AI to diagnose medical conditions. Its first product is aimed at sleep apnea and is now used by more than 400 clinics across the U.S., helping more than 14,000 patients every month. Their mission is to harness data to make healthcare more accurate, efficient, and affordable.



These people are proof that we are responsible of shaping our own future. They identified needs and worked hard to provide the answers and create these projects. We hope their stories inspire you to keep doing your best every single day, as you too have the same potential to make a great impact in this world.

A Survival Guide For Your AIESEC International Internship

You just got accepted to your dream internship, in a completely different country you are dying to explore. The anticipation can be just as stressful as it is exciting, so what now? Here’s a few tips to guide you through your international experience!

Prior to your departure, remember to:
find reasonable accommodation (you don’t need anything fancy, be wary of scams)
learn the language and cultural norms (if applicable)
set aside extra pocket-money (to go out to eat, buy souvenirs and possibly travelling on your days off)

During your time abroad…

1. Determine clear goals

At your orientation, make sure you determine clear professional goals with your supervisor, so you can look back on your time there and appreciate the growth you’ve experienced. You can also set some personal goals for yourself!

2. Keep an open mind

It’s normal to have expectations, but be open to any opportunities that come your way. Don’t stick to your home-work-home endless cycle. There’s lots to learn about. Get out of your comfort zone, discover some hidden gems of the country and blend in with the locals, you’re in for many surprises.

3. Connect with your coworkers

While your main focus should be on the work you’re responsible for, make sure to take the time to get to know the people you see everyday. Join company events or after-work get-togethers, you could make great friends who contribute to your experience immensely.

4. Network, network, network

New professional relationships can bring you more (international) opportunities for work later on. Actively participate in conversations and be proactive so you’re a memorable intern for the company!

5. Mingle outside of work

There’s more to this experience than your work bubble: neighbours or other people you casually meet who are also your age can make it that much more fun! Leisure time is an important part of your experience. Balance is key!

6. Always have a backup plan

Make safety a priority, have an exit strategy and a way to get home at all times. Memorize a taxi or a friend’s number or the directions to the nearest bus stop. You don’t want to find yourself completely lost, sometimes at weird hours, because all you know is your commute from home to work. Hopefully you’ll never really need this information, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. Don’t fear asking for help

No one expects you to just know how everything works from the get go. In order for you to make a significant impact you need to know what you’re doing, no one’s gonna judge you for trying hard to be a good worker!

8. Get letters of recommendation before you leave

This is a very valuable document for future employment opportunities. Not only that, but your superiors will be able to truly reflect on your contribution to their company. It’ll give you the perfect “mission accomplished” feeling.

Ultimately, this will be a unique experience which you have full control over. AIESEC will support you along the way and we wish you the best of luck and success on your international journey!

The Learning Pyramid: A Study Plan Game Changer

Just as food nourishes our bodies, knowledge and continuous learning nourishes our minds. Lifelong learning is an indispensable tool for any career and organisation.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about a certain interest of yours, but felt discouraged because you didn’t know where to start? Or have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of pages you have to study for just one subject?

To overcome these obstacles, William Glasser came up with the Learning Pyramid.

William Glasser was a chemical engineer who, after being drafted into the military, decided to get a higher education in psychology and psychiatry. After that, a large part of his work was dedicated to mental health, counseling, school improvement, and teaching.

The Learning Pyramid is a theory aimed at optimizing the retention of content by students.

According to this structure we learn…
10% of the subject through simple reading;
20% by listening to someone explain;
30% by watching a video, documentary, etc;
50% through listening and watching simultaneously;
70% through conversations, questioning, repeating and debating;
80% by writing, interpreting, translating, revising, identifying, cataloging, utilizing, demonstrating and practicing;
– and 95% by explaining, synthesizing, structuring, generalizing, elaborating and illustrating.

In today’s reality every student is surrounded by distractions and it can be hard to take time to figure out the most effective way of studying. The biggest advantage of this system is that it allows the students to understand they’re responsible for their own learning and that the level of information retention varies according to their level of engagement with the subject.

Whether you’re studying for an exam or want to learn a new language over the summer, try to apply this to your study plan and let us know how it went. Continuous learning is very important to prepare for the unexpected, boost your professional profile, improve your confidence and broaden your horizons! We encourage you to invest in yourself and share with us on any of our social media platforms: Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Leadership Is For Everyone

Leadership is an abstract concept: there isn’t one definition that can explain its depth, as different people value different qualities, skills and styles.

This means that, even though it’s often associated with business, management or administration, leadership is something that anyone, regardless of their field of studies or work, can and should develop. However, in certain areas it can be hard to envision who a leader should be, how they should act, how they can effectively make a difference and how we can become one.

In this article we share the perspectives of people from multiple academic backgrounds, to show how important leadership is for everyone and hopefully bring some light over this matter.

We asked them the following questions:

  1. What does healthy/positive leadership mean to you, personally?
  2. What does it mean to be a leader in your field?

Here are their answers!


Beatriz Martins, Law student

“For me, leadership means setting the example for others and becoming involved in our communities in an act locally. In a global perspective, it means inspiring others to become the change. I believe leadership can be developed in anyone by starting to be self-aware of our strengths and weaknesses, being interested in the world we live in and taking responsibility to help improving society in some matters, even the smallest ones.”

“Leadership plays an important role in the Law field even when we’re still in university: from early on we learn to identify and analyse issues, solve problems and communicate clearly and persuasively. Communication is crucial in the legal field in many ways, since we always work in teams and need to express our ideas to the people we seek to lead; quick problem-solving skills are also necessary, once we are faced with the most varied problems in the workplace or in the cases we work on. Most importantly, to be a leader is to lead by example, by showing empathy to others and understanding what other people need from our expertise, because when people seek help from lawyers, they don’t only need our legal knowledge, but also our advice on how to solve their problems.”



Margarida Oleiro, Social and Cultural Communication student

“For me, true leadership means to dare to get out of our comfort zone, share our vision and while being vulnerable and honest, grow alongside the ones who surround us, accepting both failure and success and most importantly, being able to grow from it.

We all know it’s easier said than done, but the first step towards leadership is to believe in yourself and in our own potential. At the same time, strong bonds that strive for excellence are greater, therefore leadership is also defined by protecting what I think is one of the most precious and special aspects of our lives: our relationships with other people.”

“As a communications student, I’m firmly convinced that to become a great leader in this field we truly have to be outspoken based on a creative and strategic mindset. Being open to change and learn from others are also key factors as well as aiming every day to be the best and the most authentic version of ourselves.”


Social Sciences

Daria Semenchuk, Sociology student

“Leadership is the ability to produce respect and admiration in the relationship with others. These characteristics cannot be imposed, as they will lose their value. Only through dedication, resilience and humanity can we first become leaders in our eyes and, later, in the eyes of those around us.”

“All social science professionals have the ability to be a leader. This area provides scientific knowledge about human behavior and the changes that occur in our social reality, being in our power how to apply it effectively. Thus, in the social sciences, we are leaders when we use our knowledge to impact the world. For that, it is necessary to be decisive and assertive, we can only be successful if we are not afraid to make even the hardest decisions.”



Brian Fuller, Hospitality and Tourism Management student

“In my opinion, a good leader communicates their ideas successfully, sets expectations from the beggining and motivates their team to do their best. Leadership involves empathy, resilience and composure: a leader has to be comprehensive and understand their team’s needs, be able to overcome challenges and obstacles that may show up and keep their emotions in control.”

“In order to become a leader in hospitality, the number one quality to develop is customer centricity. People and communication skills, not only to handle guests but also employees/ co-workers is very important too. What works best, in my opinion, is to delegate responsibilities, avoid micro-management and encouraging over-achievement. Business skills such as computer technology and bookkeeping procedures are also relevant.”


Natural Sciences

Luca Zeiner, Biology student

“I think leaders have clear goals and they do everything in their power to achieve them. If someone’s in charge of a team, they acknowledge their efforts and keep them updated in order for it to function properly. Positive leadership is empowering, therefore leaders motivate those around them by providing a healthy work environment, where their achievements are recognized and mistakes are rectified, not punished.”

“To be a leader in science you need to understand what your objective is or identify a specific problem and outline steps in order to achieve your goal or solution, also by investing in the research needed to do so. Being a leader isn’t necessarily a role (in an investigation or project, for example) but a way of living – like being confident in your abilities, inspiring others and do meaningful work. Communication, attention to detail, troubleshooting and problem solving skills are all important aspects to succeed in this field.



Selina, Marketing master student

“Healthy leadership to me means being able to talk to my boss, without having to fear that I’m not taken seriously. I don’t want to be judged by my age or my work experience, but by my qualifications and skills that I contribute to a company. At my work place, I want to be supported by my peers as well as by my superiors, but at the same time I want to be allowed to work independently and be given responsibility over my own projects. Yet, I also understand that leaders sometimes need to make tough decisions on their own, which brings me to another aspect that defines healthy leadership for me: communication. Be open and transparent! I don’t care whether my boss gives me good or bad news, but I want to be informed about it and if possible be able to take matters into my own hands. Give me the chance to help and don’t force me to be a clueless bystander while projects fail! Moreover, healthy leadership to me means being understood and being treated like a human being instead of a machine in a working mechanism. If you ask me, being a good leader isn’t that difficult… Just ask yourself how you would like and expect to be treated by others and treat others with the same respect.”

“In order to become a leader in marketing, one needs to understand what marketing actually means. It’s not enough to say that marketing is only about selling a product or that it’s only about creating an ad. Marketing combines aspects like intuition and creativity with hard skills in areas like marketing research, business analytics and decision making. Since marketing is a rather fast paced industry, it’s important that people and also leaders acknowledge that they don’t know everything. New techniques and methods for communicating or promoting are being developed frequently, and if you want to keep being successful and competitive, it’s vital to stay up to date and trust the knowledge of fellow employees. However, leadership is also about making decisions and standing up for the results, no matter the outcome. Furthermore, communication is key! You want to lead a successful team? Be transparent with your employees and give them enough room to be creative on their own. You want to be recognized by customers? Think outside of the box and offer customers innovative, fun and integrative marketing campaigns. You want to be seen as a good leader? Find the right mix between pleasing employees, making tough decisions, relying on data, while also keeping an eye on various metrics.”


As you can see, everyone conceptualizes leadership in their own way. It’s important to understand there are many aspects to take in consideration, and different environments involve different responsibilities. Start by understanding what your industry, field or team needs and adapt to it, in a way that sets you apart from others in the most positive way.

Now it’s your turn – tell us what leadership means to you! Check out our Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn and let us know your opinion.

Leading By Example Is The Best Way To Inspire Others

It’s time to ditch the “do as i say, not as i do” mindset. Regardless of the situation, double standards will demotivate anyone that is following advice if you don’t practice what you preach.

– How can a supervisor expect his employees to be proactive during a slow shift, when he’s found watching netflix in the backroom during his work hours?

– Or how can a project manager inspire her team to work hard and long hours when she spends half of her day on her phone?

If people look up to their leaders, they will try to imitate them. Leaders have a responsibility to their team and a part of is is being consistent and sincere! The best way to encourage people to do their best is by doing it yourself – “walking the walk” as some may say.

This leadership style helps others see what lies ahead and act quickly to meet any challenges along the way. When a group is led by a person with poor leadership skills, there will often be conflict in the group as each person wants to do things their own way.

The vision you work so hard to achieve may lose its appeal, all because your team no longer trusts you. Good leaders drive their people forward with enthusiasm, inspiration and confidence.

Don’t get me wrong, leaders are supposed to guide and motivate their people with their words, but they can’t just stop there. Their level of involvement in the actual work is gonna have a reflection on their team and will allow them to propose more effective solutions when problems arise.

Leaders who put this in practice also have a better sense of what appropriate requests sound like, because they’re self aware enough to know what they themselves would be willing to do.

A popular example is Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, who says “both my own leadership style, and that of the other leaders at HuffPost, is very much like being in the middle of the circle, rather than at the top of the mountain shouting down”.

Leading by example is your most powerful tool as your actions have a far greater impact than your words, because people may doubt what you say, but they’ll believe what you do.


Activate your Leadership with AIESEC

Today AIESEC in Austria is launching a new campaign. The month of May is gonna be all about activating leadership in YOUth.

As you know by now, we prepare international internship and volunteering opportunities. We truly believe in learning by doing and their potential to help you develop important skills for your future. However, we understand how COVID-19 is still very present in our current reality and we’re adapting to it.

Therefore, this month our goal is to shift the focus back to our organizations’ core purpose: developing leadership in youth.

We’re going show you…
– that leadership is for everyone, regardless of your field of studies or work, by sharing the insights of people from different academic backgrounds
– which skills and qualities you should invest in in order to become the best leader you can be and how our experiences can provide this sort of growth
– how to lead by example, how to network in a meaningful way and other important steps for positive leadership development.

AIESEC has made efforts since 1948 to provide experiences all around the world and even though we’re facing unique circumstances, we’re not planning on stopping.

Let us help you plan your life-changing exchange for later! To check our current open opportunities, sign up here.

If you haven’t followed us on social media, what are you waiting for? It’s the best way to keep up with our work. Start conversations, engage in discussions and get informed on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn!

Effective Conversations: A list of reminders to communicate like a leader

Recruiters have made it clear that communication skills are essential in any field of work. Besides that, if you think about it, there are so many other valuable soft skills that require you to be a strong communicator, such as: persuasion, public speaking, negotiation, storytelling, etc.

Additionally, it has been proven that good communicators are better listeners than most! It’s safe to say these are essential skills for any team to be successful.

“But what if I’m not a people person?” That ‘s okay! No one’s born knowing everything. Thankfully, communication skills can and should be practiced, even if you think yours can’t get any better.

Check these 5 reminders that’ll help you communicate more effectively.

Showing emotion isn’t unprofessional

Everyone wants to “look good”. More often than not, the fear of showing an over-the-top reaction will get in the way of our listening and speaking. Keep in mind that it’s deflating to be around someone who is impossible to impress. Be excited for a co-worker’s achievements and congratulate your team on their success, you’re not being “soft”, you’re being kind.

Not a competition

Another way of killing the joy in any conversation. If someone is talking to you about how excited they are for their next trip to France, telling them “I’ve gone there 4 times and it’s not that great” is not the right thing to say, try to recommend places to visit instead. Making others feel inferior will lead to a failed conversation.

It’s ok to be wrong

The need to be right may emerge from a fear of being disrespected. Or it can come from the fear of being seen as we truly are – imperfect human beings who are flawed and full of inconsistencies and contradictions. Being right does not make you better than anyone else and insisting on it will show off your insecurities.

Let others speak

Interrupting people is one of the most common mistakes to make in conversations and yet, it’s the most overlooked. Be self aware enough to recognize if you do this often in order to “catch yourself” in future conversations.

Don’t assume bad intent

If someone disagrees with you in a conversation that doesn’t mean they’re attacking you and your perspective. Unless they’re disrespectful towards you, avoid being defensive over your argument, it’ll make you seem less secure in your answers and point of view.


We share lots of information about self development in our social media, if you’re interested in this kind of content follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Why you should choose AIESEC for your international exchange

Whether you’re interested in an international internship opportunity or volunteering experience, you might question yourself why you should choose AIESEC instead of another organization or maybe even trying to arrange everything by yourself.

In case you’re not familiar with how our experiences work, click here for more information or check one of our previous blog posts for all the details!

These are the benefits of choosing AIESEC to handle your exchange process:


Logistic support: Your experience manager will help you handle everything before, during and after your trip. Helping you choose the right opportunity, informing you about accommodation and basic living costs, offering support with burocracy (such as visas, travel insurance and other essentials), preparing you for safe travelling and easy integration, monitoring the quality of your experience while you’re abroad and collecting your feedback when you come back are all responsibilities of ours!

Clear job description: AIESEC will ensure that the project has clear, aligned tasks, objectives, working hours and duration from the start.
Adequate preparation: Depending on your destination, the cultural shock can be very overwhelming. We prepare an outgoing seminar, so you know what to expect when you arrive at the country you’re exchanging to.

Interesting partnerships: Becoming an intern at successful multinational companies can be very challenging. AIESEC simplifies this process and creates uncomplicated opportunities with companies like DPDHL Group, PwC, Nokia and Microsoft, among others.

Going beyond your job description: Regardless of your project or destination, you’ll be able to choose what to do with your time off. Travel, explore, socialize and get to know a whole new country and culture!

Sustainable Development Goals contribution: As a partner of the United Nations, AIESEC aligned every volunteering project with at least one Sustainable Development Goal. Not only will you be supporting a local community or organization, you’ll also have an impact on the bigger picture.

Make a difference: Volunteers will see first-hand how impactful their work is in every project that is available. Interns, on the other hand, will be able to share their knowledge and apply it, introducing innovation to a company.

New perspective: An international experience will introduce you to many different ways of thinking, and possibly even different ways of working. An exchange participant will be confronted with a new reality and it will help them build their world vision in a more inclusive, diverse and accurate way.

Major focus on personal growth: One of the main goals of this exchange is that you invest in yourself. Developing your self awareness, leadership potential and multiple soft or hard skills is a big part of your exchange with AIESEC.


We hope this list convinced you to take a look at our open opportunities! At AIESEC we thrive to make our experiences as accessible as possible, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through our Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn.

7 Entrepreneurs Who Built an Empire From Scratch

All they had was a dream, outstanding resilience and a lot of willpower.

Coming from impoverished homes and underprivileged backgrounds, these 7 individuals were able to rise to the top through their hard work.

Below you’ll find the success stories of some well-known entrepreneurs who surpassed the difficulties inherent to their upbringing.


          Oprah Winfrey

When she was still a baby, Winfrey’s parents separated and left their daughter to live with her grandparents. For the first six years of her life, she wore clothes made out of potato sacks. Winfrey’s mother decided to take her back in and during that time, not only did she endure the abuse of her relatives, but she also lost a baby. At 14 years old, she was sent back to live with her father after trying to run away from home.

Her father was strict and would not accept anything less than her best. This change of environment turned her life around. She became an honor student, won a full scholarship to college and became the first African American woman to become a news anchor, at the age of 19.

She became the host for an early morning talk show named AM Chicago, which was later renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show. Since then, she has used her significant resources to launch her own network titled, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Depending only on her own determination and perseverance, she went from a childhood of extreme poverty to an empire that is currently worth around $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.


          Howard Schultz

Schultz grew up in Brooklyn, in affordable housing projects, and always wished to have a better life than his parents did. Thankfully, he excelled at sports and eventually earned a football scholarship to the University of Northern Michigan.

After graduating with a degree in communications, Schultz started his career at Xerox before discovering a small coffee shop called Starbucks. He still remembers the first time he visited, in Seattle “I can’t explain it, but I knew I was in a special place and the type of product spoke to me”.

Charmed by the coffee, he left Xerox to become the company’s chief executive in 1987. He began with 60 shops and now has more than 21,000 stores in 65 countries, while building a net worth of $5.2 billion.

In a past interview, Schultz said: “Growing up I always felt like I was living on the other side of the tracks. I knew the people on the other side had more resources, more money, happier families. And for some reason, I don’t know why or how, I wanted to climb over that fence and achieve something beyond what people were saying was possible. I may have a suit and tie on now but I know where I’m from and I know what it’s like.”

Remembering where he started served as motivation for his hard work and he didn’t let other people’s expectations hold him back in the pursuit of his dreams.


          Ursula Burns

Burns also grew up in a social housing project, in Manhattan, in an area where gang activity was dangerously active. She was raised by her single mom, who worked two jobs so she could afford to give her children a better education. Her efforts paid off and Burns got in New York University.

She excelled at math and science at a time when women were being discouraged from taking these courses. Burns used her academic prowess to land a summer internship at Xerox, as she was completing her Master’s degree in mechanical engineering.

She proceeded to work her way up the company ladder. Today, Burns is the chief executive officer at Xerox which makes her the first African American CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. This is quite an accomplishment considering the fact that there are only 16 female CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.

Her ambition and diligence allowed her to break a cycle of struggle.


          Steve Jobs

Jobs’ is the son of two young, working-class, immigrant parents who struggled to support him and make ends meet, so he was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who pledged to create a college fund for their son.

However, Jobs was never a big fan of formal education, instead he preferred to invest his time learning about computers and technology, a fascination of his.

So, after dropping out of college after his first semester, he started working at a video game manufacturing company. At 21, Jobs created the first-ever Apple machine together with Steve Wozniak. They funded their entrepreneurial adventure by selling Jobs’ Volkswagen bus and Wozniak’s scientific calculator.

Only 2 years later, at 23 years old, Jobs was worth $1 million. He was the youngest person on Forbes’ list of the USA’s richest people at the time — a big achievement considering he didn’t inherit any family wealth. At 24 he made $10 million and crossed the $100 million mark by the time he was 25. At the time of his passing, he was reportedly worth $10.2 billion.


          Indra Nooyi

Indra Nooyi came from a self-described “humble middle class” environment in India. She moved to the US in pursuit of a management degree with barely any money.

She worked as a receptionist from midnight to sunrise to earn enough to buy her first suit for a job interview and to pay for her college tuition. All of her work paid off as she landed positions at top firms Johnson & Johnson and Motorola upon graduation.

After six years of directing international corporate strategy projects at Boston Consulting Group and another four years as vice president at Asea Brown Boveri, Nooyi is now the CEO at PepsiCo earning more than $10 million dollars a year.

A strong work ethic allowed Indra Nooyi to rise from her humble beginnings to be voted the most powerful woman of the year in 2010 by Fortune Magazine.


          Leonardo Del Vecchio

Del Vecchio was one of five children who could not be supported by his widowed mother. For that reason he was sent to an orphanage at age 7 and never got adopted. With barely anything to his name, at just 14 years old, he started working in a factory making molds for auto parts and eyeglass frames. 5 years later he joined evening classes to study industrial engineering, continuing to work during the day all along in order to afford it.

At 23, he opened his own eyeglass frame molding shop. That shop ended up expanding to the world’s largest producer of sunglasses and prescription eyewear.

Leonardo Del Vecchio is now 85 years old and his current net worth is $26.6 billion, making him the 2nd wealthiest person in Italy. He is known for his futuristic approach and timely business decisions and strategies, that drove his company to now manufacture for some of the world’s most famous brands such as Ray ban, Versace, Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Prada, Chanel and Armani.


          Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel lived in a poorhouse in France, late 19th century. Her mother passed away when she was only 12 years old and her father decided to send her to a convent known to care for the ‘poor and rejected’. Even though it was a harsh period of her life, that’s where she learned the art of sewing – a skill that would evidently change her life.

When Chanel turned 18, she moved out and started her career as a seamstress and cabaret singer. The dream of becoming a popular performer didn’t last long. It was during this time she met Etienne Balsan, an ex calvary officer and textile heir. He introduced her to a life of extravagancy where she discovered her passion for luxury fashion.

Chanel ended up meeting an English man named Captain Arthur ‘Boy’ Capel, who financed her first boutique. Her classic, elegant, simple styles were a huge hit with the upper classes, so much that she was able to pay back her husband’s initial investment within the first year and open a second shop.

In the early 1900’s Chanel’s primary way to grow her business was through networking (with influential women in France). Credited with introducing casual wear to women’s fashion and making black clothing popular, she used her creativity and talent to create an iconic fashion legacy that lives on to this day.


These self-made entrepreneurs show us that you do not have to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth to find success. They were able to use their intellects, skills and non-monetary resources to reach the top of their business, despite their humble beginnings.

We hope these stories of resilience and strength inspire you to become the best version of yourself.


“Your journey begins with a choice to get up, step out and live fully” – Oprah Winfrey

The Hardships of Leadership

There are millions of inspiring stories out there of people who have worked hard to become the best version of themselves. We often read about today’s leaders’ stories and there’s a large focus on everything that went right, but not everything is a bed of roses.

Everyone’s leadership journey is different, let’s go over some common obstacles leaders face every day.


  1. Fear of failure: Insecurity affects everyone, leaders are no exception. It can be especially hard to deal with when you have a large number of people depending on you. However, mistakes allow us to learn and grow. Accepting them as part of the process is important.

“It is hard to fail but it is worse to never have tried to succeed” – Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States)


  1. Lack of communication: Not being able to openly communicate with those around you may affect productivity and lead to conflict. Many leaders sometimes feel disconnected from their team and the best way to fix it is by being transparent about their plans and strategies, encouraging honest feedback and allowing two-way conversations. Pro tip: communicating with people with different levels of authority requires you to be versatile and adapt your speech to each situation

“The difference between mere management and leadership is communication” Winston Churchill (UK’s ex Prime Minister)


  1. Dealing with pressure: Managing people’s expectations is something lots of leaders struggle with. It’s essential to acknowledge your feelings in order to control the way you react, since it’s not unusual to be less patient and more defensive in stressful situations. If you let your anxiety go unchecked you may hurt the relationship you have with your co-workers.

“We discover our character through decisions under pressure” – Dan Millman (Author)


  1. Burnout: When someone’s truly passionate about what they’re working on it’s easy to push too hard. The truth is, if you burn yourself out, you won’t be leading anyone. Keep a healthy balance between work and life. Considering an excessive amount of work hours a symbol of dedication and courage is wrong.

“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of the time we put in”– Arianna Huffington (co-founder of The Huffington Post)


  1. Delivering bad news: Leadership positions are filled with hard decisions. Being able to deliver bad news in an empathetic and clear way will allow you to find the next steps and not negatively impact the workplace’s culture.

“Better to have bad news that are true than good news we made up” – Eric Ries (Entrepeneur)


  1. Keeping it human: Vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of humanity. You’re not a machine who doesn’t make mistakes. Allowing the people you’re leading to see that gives them an opportunity to remember no one expects them to be perfect, contributing to a supportive and compassionate place of work. Vulnerability is about authenticity and it demonstrates high emotional intelligence.

“A leader, first and foremost, is human. Only when we have the strength to show our vulnerability can we truly lead” Simon Sinek (Author and inspirational speaker)


It’s not easy to be a leader. We will always find obstacles along the way that we need to face as challenges instead of problems. Being open to learn and grow from them is extremely important in order to inspire and empower others.

What better way to start your own leadership journey than through a volunteering experience or internship abroad? Visit aiesec.org to check the opportunities we have for you!

Improving Gender Equality In The Workplace

In honor of this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re bringing awareness to women’s role in the labor force and gender-related problems present in the workplace.

Did you know that even though there was an increase of women pursuing higher education globally, there’s still a gender gap in employment rates among highly educated individuals? Women represent only 38.8% of all participants in the labor force, which could in part be explained by the unpaid caregiving responsibilities that prevent real employment opportunities. This work disproportionally falls to women due to socially constructed gender-roles.

Also, according to the United Nations, women serve as Heads of State or Government in only 22 countries, and 119 countries have never had a woman leader. In addition, only 25% of all national parliamentarians are women, even though there is established and growing evidence that women’s leadership in political decision-making processes improves them. At the current rate of progress, gender parity in national legislative bodies will not be achieved before 2063.


Issues women often experience in the workplace include:

  • Microaggressions (tone policing, sexist language or jokes, mansplaining, victim-blaming, gaslighting, etc);
  • Micromanagement (working “under a microscope”);
  • Harassment & Bullying;
  • Made to feel invisible, inferior, overlooked, ignored and alone;
  • Lack of support from management or HR;
  • Forced to be quiet or to accept double standards, for fear of termination;
  • Not getting equal pay as men in same role;
  • Individual ideas/ comments/ opinions/ feedback/ recommendations not supported or welcomed;
  • Lack of career pathways.

Although these problems may occur in any occupation women are in, they are far more profound in male-dominated industries such as IT, construction and mining, engineering, armed forces, transportation and sports, among others.

More often than not, they don’t get support from their administration, so they end up either:

  • distancing themselves from co-workers;
  • accepting masculine cultural norms and acting like “one of the boys,” which magnifies the problem by contributing to the normalization of this culture;
  • or leaving the industry.


So what can we do to improve equality in the workplace?

  1. Understanding the issues for better support – no effective solution can be implemented if those in charge don’t fully comprehend the problems women are facing;
  2. Not shying away from discussing uncomfortable topics – speak up against harmful behavior, avoiding sensitive conversations won’t help find the change women need;
  3. Hold people accountable – women are often discredited because of stereotypes and the common sexist “harmless jokes” do more damage than people think;
  4. Build trust and invest in a safe environment for all – it’s important to cultivate a support system and invest in team-building activities, workshops or awareness campaigns;
  5. Listen to women and take real action – if you find yourself in a leadership position, thoroughly investigate all complaints of harassment and take appropriate action instead of ignoring, concealing or denying serious accusations;


To all the young women that are reading this, remember to always do your best. Be confident in your abilities, don’t be afraid of challenging the norms and show everyone what you’re capable of.


“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live”

Anne Sweeney, Disney Media Networks Co-Chair and Disney/ABC Television Group President


Happy International Women’s Day.

How The Internet Has The Potential To Change Your Life

So you want to learn to play an instrument but can’t afford private lessons? Do you think knowing how to code is a vital asset in the 21st century but are a little hesitant on taking that first step? You like reading, but your favorite books are well over your price range? Well, then you’re at the right place, my friend!

Oh yes! The internet! Yes, you heard me right. With a little bit of discipline and dedication, the internet can take one to infinity and beyond (!), and yet we always tend to forget its most practical advantage: the free access to knowledge!

Here at AIESEC, we are BIG on self-improvement. Self-improvement is in our ethos and we religiously advocate developing useful skills not only to enrich our lives but also to make a contribution to society. Hence, today I will be presenting you with 3 skills you can easily learn by yourself using the internet!

Learn a Musical Instrument 🎺 🎶

Playing music has countless benefits. I know for a fact that with the onset of the pandemic, a lot of people were hit by a newly found inspiration to pick up that random instrument they have been wanting to learn to play for so long, and you know what? You can do so for FREE, without paying for lessons.

Guitar 🎸

The day I moved to my room in Vienna, I found a guitar lying in one of the dusty corners of my room. I asked my roommates whose guitar it was and they told me the previous owner had left it for the next person that moves in. I was beyond shook. Before I knew it I was learning guitar from JustinGuitar on YouTube.

It’s been three years since then and learning guitar for FREE from YouTube changed my perspective on paid courses completely. Today, I can play my favorite songs with ease and I enjoy every second of it!

It would be a shame to tell you guys so much, and not share where I learned guitar from.

So, here is JustinGuitar’s Beginner Guitar Course on YouTube!


Listen to him carefully, do everything he tells you and before you know it, you’ll be able to play your favorite songs (I actually got emotional writing this, I am so so thankful for that guys).

Today, his website is an even better platform to learn on. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about his website when I first started, but better late than never!

Piano 🎹

I don’t play the piano but I had found this really nice beginner course a while back and I had saved it, so here it is!

and one more!


That’ll be all for the piano lovers out there. Now we’ll move on to a super underrated instrument that costs a lot to buy but somehow there is YouTube course on it to learn it for free!

Drums 🥁

As a self-taught guitarist, I eventually learned that my timing pretty much sucked, so I decided to improve my sense of rhythm by learning the drums, but as a student living on a budget, there was no way I could pay for a full set of drums. So I did my research and found another savior of the people!


Yes, drumming without drums exists! I’ve tried it. It works out just fine!

Okay, that’ll be all for the music section. Let’s move onto skills that will make us easy money!

Learn to Code👨‍💻

COVID-19 has profoundly accelerated the transition to a more digitalized world. A quick google search shows that the most in-demand jobs in today’s world require you to know how to code. This only means that there will be more demand for coders in the future. Even in social sciences, a programming language in your CV puts you miles ahead of every other applicant. Oh, I almost forgot; coding also fosters the skill of being solution-oriented which AIESEC puts great emphasis on.

The first suggestion I have is to take the world-famous lecture by David Malan. If you have some money to spare, you can also get a certificate from Harvard upon completing it, but that is not necessary.

Now this post will only feature two programming languages, but don’t forget that there are many more that might suit you better.

Python 🐍

Python is generally known for its simple design and its relatively faster learning curve, especially for complete beginners. It is by far the most popular programming language amongst all the big tech companies and surprisingly, it is also extremely popular among social scientists as Python comes in very handy in data interpretation and statistical analysis. Here are two popular websites that teach it: edx.org and learnpython.com.

C++ 🕶️

If you’ve ever thought creating smartphone applications or videos is cool, then this is the language you want to learn. C++ has been around for a while, proving its flexibility even with the significant changes to the tech world over the years. Although it is a harder language to learn, you really reap what you sow: learncpp.com.


Read free books! 📚

I recently discovered an online library called Project Gutenberg. If you haven’t already heard about it (I haven’t either until now, but it is actually quite popular!), it is an online platform that creates e-books of works not protected by the US copyright law. You can find so many free e-books, including all the popular classics and works of the great philosophers. Something I’ve also noticed is that I read much faster when reading on a digital device, rather than on paper. You might want to check if that’s the case for you as well.

Conclusion 🔚

Alright folks, now you have no reasons to procrastinate during the next lockdown at your hometown. I’ve presented you with 3 areas where you can exploit the advantage of having internet access and 3 areas that will make self-improvement fun. Now go and check them all out and enjoy!


Written by Suleyman Inaltekin

Things we’ve learned in 2020 that we shouldn’t repeat in 2021 (or ever)

I have to be honest with you, I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. I have tried to set them before – every year on December 31st, a few hours before midnight, I would sit down with my diary, write down some major events of the passing year, give thanks for them, and then I would set my big goals for the coming year.


‘Stop watching stupid shows on Netflix’, ‘Start exercising three times a week’, ‘Drink more water’, ‘Start studying for exams on time’, ‘Expand my network’, ‘Learn French’… The list would go on and on and on, because I naively believed that at midnight some sort of magic would happen and I would all of sudden become this perfect person that gets up at 5am every day and has their life together.


However, at the end of the first week of January, things would go back to their usual messiness.


But guess what? There is nothing wrong with that. One mistake that I made was I expected it to happen all and at once. So I stopped setting New Year’s resolutions and let things run their course. At some point, especially as I got older, I finally realized the importance of some goals and started working towards them without much pressure. This point actually happened somewhere near the end of 2020. If you haven’t had your ‘aha’ moment, consider this as me gifting you one and here are all the things you learned in 2020 that you shouldn’t repeat next year or even tomorrow.


We overbook ourselves


Have you looked at your calendar lately? It’s pretty full, right? Color-coded, too? I bet you stare at it thinking how cool it looks and then whine to your friends about it. It’s a new game called ‘OMG Have You Seen My Calendar?’, where we all pretend to be very important and exhausted.

But in all honesty, a full calendar is hindering your productivity. It’s like Taylor Swift says – ‘A friend to all, is a friend to none, chase two girls, lose the one.’ In other words: if you’re trying to do too many things at once, you’re probably doing none of them well, but just enough to pass. But that feeling of emptiness and a lack of fulfillment that’s been bothering you – yeah, that’s why. Stop that.


We take too little care of ourselves


Thanks to that full calendar, we often overlook both our physical and mental health. If you have been feeling overwhelmed and tired, it probably means you need a break and more time for yourself. We live in a culture that worships a full inbox, unanswered emails, having a few different professional obligations, learning Chinese on top of it and smiling through it. However, if you are not exercising and taking breaks away from social media and the toolbox of the mighty millennial aka Google Suit, you will snap and then feel guilty about it. It’s a vicious cycle that needs to stop. Only by resting and recharging your batteries can you perform at your best and by taking breaks and just breathing in silence, you can actually learn what is most important to you and to what you should devote your precious working hours.



Mindset is everything


2020 was the year where we could officially not feel guilty about achieving too little, because it wasn’t our fault – there is a pandemic going on and the world is under a shut-down. I know so many people that have struggled to focus and get through their studies, or to do anything productive for weeks on end. I also know a lot of people who say that despite everything that happened, this was their best year yet. The difference? The second group disassociated themselves from the external events entirely.

Yes, it sucked that we couldn’t spend more time with our friends and for some, not being able to travel back home and see their families was really tough. But life goes on, it doesn’t stop, no matter what quarantine leads you to believe. Once you take time to rest and recharge, recognize the opportunities you do have and try to make the most of it. I for example never managed to do more exams than I did this year. I tried caring less about corona and more about my future after it. It wasn’t always easy and I had my fair share of depressing periods, but in the end, I had a very successful year. Uncontrollable events happen all the time. But as long as you and your loved ones are healthy and safe, you must do the best you can in a situation and draw strength from it.


If you’re not taking risk, you’re not progressing at all


As I said, things that are out of our control happen all the time. I have a friend who moved to Vienna with a certain amount on her bank account and had to find a job within the first month to be able to survive and continue her studies. Who in their right mind would do that without having any certainty of success? Well, five years later, she’s thriving and has been thriving for a while now. You don’t even want to know how many times she faced failure, or how many things happened completely opposite of how she planned them out. But she’s more successful than ever before and that much stronger for it. Also, she’s a musician, so this year has ruined all of her plans and left her without income. Right now, she’s organizing a production of Le nozze di Figaro for next year.


What am I trying to say here? We have no idea if life will go back to normal next year. It  probably won’t. But that doesn’t mean that we should stop planning for later and working on ourselves in the meantime. The uncertainty is always there. Try not to give up on your goals because of it.


So, if you are tired of staring at a screen, go take a nap. Once you’re rested, decide to work on yourself and choose only one thing that is most important to you. If that thing has anything to do with developing yourself personally and professionally, go check out our website where we offer volunteering and internship opportunities and #planforlater with us.

But for now, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the next year be YOUR best year yet.

Out in a foreign country: What to do when panic strikes

So you’re through with the tedious paperwork, the preparations, the initial excitement and now the big day has come – you are finally getting abroad. There may be a lot of things going through your head such as “How am I going to survive all this?”, “What if things go bad?”, “What if I can’t live up to the expectations?” or “Am I out of my mind?”. Don’t worry! It’s natural to feel that way, especially if this is your first time abroad on your own.

Once you get off the plane, you may experience the first cultural shock and even start panicking a little. However, that’s fine, these feelings are natural, and here is how not to let them spoil your experience.


Have an open mind

The most important thing is that you have an open mind. Believe it or not, as odd as it may sound, the most difficult part is over, which was making the decision to go abroad and participate in a project or do an internship. Once you arrive, that’s when the real experience and fun begin, so make sure you are not limiting yourself with fear.

Maintain your curiosity

Remember when you signed the contract and everything was still distant and in the future: the excitement to go abroad, to experience a new country and meet new people? Once you get there, the fear of the unknown may interfere with your initial curiosity, but try to maintain it. Now that you’re here, it’s not so distant anymore, and you can have the experience you were looking forward to.


Something else to keep in mind is that you should try to embrace the new atmosphere and try to engage as much as you can. Don’t forget, you’re not alone, there are people who are there to help you, your buddy or buddies whose top priority is that you have a great experience. Furthermore, there may be other people volunteering or doing an internship, so they are also in the same shoes as you.

You’re not alone

In the first couple of days you may feel homesick and miss your family and friends. It is important to keep in touch with them on a regular basis so be sure to update them on your situation and well-being. That way they won’t be (super) worried about you. However, keep in mind that you don’t spend all your free time communicating with “home people”. You will miss out on a lot if you do. Instead, get to know as many new people in your surroundings as possible. Share your stories with each other, go out together, have fun, discover, explore, make countless nice and fun memories – that’s how you can make the most out of your experience. Besides, the work you do should give you an experience like no other! So while you do something good for your environment and others, remember to do something good for yourself.


The weeks will quickly pass by, you’ll see. What once was the distant future will soon become the past, and you’re an active shaper of what that past will look like. You will probably recall this period as one of the most significant ones in your life – as it could change you. Once the experience is over, ironically, you may have some of the same feelings as you had just when you arrived. You may be lost and have to find yourself, but this time you will miss the places and the people that were once unknown. Try to remain active and remember that the experience doesn’t have to end here, it’s up to you.


Written by Tamás Horváth

4 Skills To Help You Thrive In The Modern Working Culture

Wouldn’t you say that it’s becoming increasingly challenging to keep up with the requirements of the modern working culture?


If you are working next to your studies and trying to find internship opportunities to gain more knowledge and experience, in order to try and secure yourself a starting position in a lucrative field once you finish University, you are not out of the ordinary. If you feel worried that your studies have not actually prepared you for the real world and the skills you need for your desired future job aren’t mentioned in your textbook, you are not the only one.


It’s safe to say that the job market is constantly evolving and putting more and more pressure on young people. Today, having graphic design skills, being skilled at photoshop, or even coding programs, being able to use social media for marketing, knowing marketing in general are some of the skills that just like the English language – no one asks if you know, it is simply expected you do.


This onset of digitalization has caught up to us in a short period of time. The covid-19 situation is making it even more intense, since our daily lives are being pushed into an unavoidable digitalization. But other than that, the halt in operations, financial slow-down and fear of the impending doom in case of no cure for the pandemic any time soon have created a lower supply on the job market and an ever rising demand.


How do you deal with all of this? How do you keep up?


The truth is, there have always been changes and innovative breakthroughs, that have resulted in history-worthy crises. The working sphere has gone from the industrial ‘assembly line’ to ‘user interface’ in a matter of decades. This is nothing out of the ordinary, since evolution seems to be a natural part of the human existence. You only have to be able to keep up with it, to evolve yourself. Believe it or not, it’s not as unattainable as it maybe seems.


No matter what the future brings, there are always skills you can cultivate, that will keep you active in the race and help you thrive, no matter what.


Communication – isn’t accidentally in the first place. Good communication is key to professional success. Being able to present yourself well, make connections with other professionals, communicate your goals and expectations, resolve conflict, sell and negotiate skillfully is something that will make a difference between just being present and being noticed. Being able to communicate with confidence will allow you to create opportunities for yourself and is something that will make or break your success.


(Self-)Awareness – to be self-aware means to know at all times what your goals are, how you come across to other people, which characteristics you should value and promote about yourself and which other ones you should work on. But you equally need to be aware of your environment and other people, in order to be able to manage working with others and to have the intel to make the decisions for your further professional development.


Character – being on time, being kind, being human, but not a fool. People take notice of what you are like, that’s the one thing they are always aware of. You can allow yourself to not know how to use Excel, for example, but you absolutely cannot allow yourself to be late or rude. Because then no one will care to show you how Excel works.


Constant learning – another stepping-stone for your success. To gain these other skills, you have to be ready to constantly learn new things. Don’t allow your mind to go stale, because surely enough at some point, the wheel will spin too far for you to catch up and new hungry learners will be there to take your place.


It may sound overwhelming to start thinking of these skills, when they would be something extra to add to your already full schedule, but investing in these skills will help you more than anything else. Allow yourself to learn from every experience you have and every person you come in contact with. Make friends often and nurture those friendships too, because friends will be the first to share information with you. Realize that working on yourself and evolving as a person is a mindset that will help you more than anything. All of these skills you can learn only by going through it, living it and learning from your mistakes. And living this experience is exactly what we as AIESEC offer. We have a whole website of opportunities for you to choose from and a contact person to call whenever you get stuck.


Sign up under our website for one of our internships and start investing in yourself now.

Global Talent in Real Life: What was it like interning in Vienna?

Going on an internship to another country can be pretty nerve-racking. Especially now, during corona, when you don’t even now what to expect and when logistics have gotten more challenging. Luca and Tommy are two students from Germany, who have decided to follow through with their internships and come to Vienna in the midst of a pandemic. During their stay, we from AIESEC have had a chance to get to know them and share some fun times together. In this interview, we talk about what their jobs are like, what they have learned so far and how corona has affected their experiences.


AIESEC: Tell me about your internships.

Luca: I  work for an Austrian start-up called Eolida, selling olive oil. My job is to expand the market to Germany – currently the oil is only available in Austria. So I am searching for potential clients, emailing them and trying to figure out the best way for delivery.

Tommy: The company I work for is an IT start-up, founded in 2017, so it’s pretty young. They’re mostly focused on conversational AI, creating chatbots, phone call automation for the customers. I’m working on the front end, which means I’m responsible for user interface, for the things that the user sees and implementing different functions for the platform that we are creating where the users can create their own chat box. Also I am testing the product, making sure it works before it goes into production.



A: How did you find out about AIESEC and why did you decide to do an internship through us?

L: I just did internet research. I was searching for internships abroad, because I wanted to go to another country and AIESEC popped up. Then someone from AIESEC contacted me and that’s how it started.

T: Probably the same as Luca, I also did internet research. At first I tried to find companies on my own and to contact them, but it didn’t work out that well. So I tried to find something like AIESEC where they offer internships. In my case I needed to go abroad, as part of my studies, so it was mandatory for me. I could’ve still done it in Germany, because of Corona, but I wanted to go abroad.


A: Why did you want to go on an internship abroad?

L: That’s a difficult question. I just don’t like to stay in the same place. I had the choice to stay at home and have an internship at a company I worked at one year ago, but thought to myself what about something new? So I decided to go to another country.


A: And now when you mentioned corona, did it affect your experiences in any way?

T: It’s definitely different. My lifestyle has changed completely. But I don’t see that big a difference at my work. We all try to keep distance, but in the end we live normal, we try to be normal and stay focused on what we are supposed to do at work and not let corona distract us.

L: I think normally at my dorm there would be nice parties, but unfortunately there aren’t any now. (Laugh) In the beginning I used to work a lot with my boss, but then he had contact with a person that was tested positive for corona and so we weren’t able to see each other. It has somehow affected me for a period of time, because I couldn’t see my boss, so it affected our communication.


A: Do you have previous internship experience? How does it compare to this one?

T: I don’t have any previous experience. But I feel like it’s really cool to do your first internship in a start-up, to get a look at every area of this company, to see how things work, how different areas connect and communicate with each other. I will have a much bigger impact on the product that they are creating. I feel like I can change things, that what I’m doing is important for others and I really like that about my internship. So far my experience has been good.



A: How well do you both think you were prepared for your positions? Were they a challenge, knowledge-wise and did you receive any training?

L: I have many tasks. I’ve never done website design before, but I had to do it now, so I basically watched YouTube tutorials to learn. My boss has a lot of experience and he helps me with everything. He came from Greece, started selling olive oil from door to door until he made this business. He trains me in sales, as well, talks to me about the techniques he uses.

T: In the beginning I felt a lot of pressure from my boss, as if he had very high expectations from me as an intern. But I’m lucky that I’m having a great supervisor, who is teaching me a lot, who is patient with me, who takes time to introduce me to and teach me new things. I got a good start because of my supervisor. My co-workers are also young and very friendly, so they help me in case I have any questions. They are never mad or disappointed if I ask stupid questions. I feel welcomed there.


A:Besides the job, how do you guys like your life in Vienna here?

L: I definitely like the support from AIESEC, the fact that we can go out with you guys. Without you I would have never met Tommy. Maybe it’s because of corona, but it’s quite difficult to meet people now. Funny thing is that I have met only two people who are actually from Vienna. I have met so many people, especially because of AIESEC, that are from all around the world.



A: How do you like this? Would you like to work internationally?

L: I like it a lot. It is a goal of mine for the future to work with other people and I want to meet as many cultures as I can.

T: Working internationally is also something I would love to do in the future. I don’t feel like I’m too far away from home here in Austria, it’s not such a cultural shock, but it’s still international and my working language is also English. That’s surely something I can imagine in the future.


A: What was your admission process like?

L: For me it was pretty easy. I applied on Monday, I got an answer on Wednesday, I got the interview on Friday and I got accepted a few days later. (Laugh) It was really easy.

T: For me also not that hard. I applied on AIESEC’s website. Then someone from AIESEC arranged a call with someone from the start-up and I had a 20 minute call with my now boss. It was very chill and he told me about the company and also about himself. At the end of the call he told me I was accepted. So it went really fast, I didn’t expect it to be that easy.


A: Do you have any previous experience from applying to jobs?

L: It was hard to apply for internships before I found AIESEC. I would apply for all the jobs I found on the internet and maybe it was because of corona, but most of them didn’t answer, which was pretty hard. And that’s why it was nice with AIESEC to have someone to call and to talk with. My supervisor, she sent me links with jobs for which I could apply.


A: What is your favorite part about the experience?

T: That I have met new people from other countries. At the company I work in, I also have coworkers from other countries. It’s nice to get to know other cultures. And regarding my work, I really like the flexibility to get to know firsthand about the life of a software developer, how he works within different areas.

L: In general I like that I have met so many people from different countries. I came here thinking it’s a German speaking country, I will probably be speaking German all the time. But I haven’s met a single Austrian for four weeks. Only people from Mexico, Cairo…And that’s probably the best thing about it.


For Luca and Tommy, the close contact they had with their superiors and all the people they have met during their time in Vienna is the best part. We at AIESEC have also gotten to know them pretty well and are sad to say that, at the time you’re reading this interview, they are already back home in Germany. Despite of the current situation, they have managed to make the most out of their experiences, make a lot of new connections and open their horizons to new possibilities. This could very easily be you! To learn more about our Global Talent program or apply for an internship, sign up under the link.

3 reasons why you must be at the upcoming YouthSpeak Forum

YouthSpeak Forum is in exactly two weeks from today. What is that, you ask? Never too late to find out!

YouthSpeak Forum is an annual event organized by AIESEC that serves as an exchange platform between young people and leaders from the business sector. It allows for discussions about the world issues and the possible solutions through the Sustainable Development goals to take place.

This year it will be held online, due to the restrictions caused by the corona virus.

If you haven’t yet signed up for it, there is still time! And if you’re still on the fence about it, here are 3 reasons why you should be there:


A healthy dose of Vitamin B!
Maybe you already know, but vitamin B tends to give you an extra kick when climbing the career ladder. We are, of course, talking about connections, or in German „Beziehungen“. At YSF you will meet other ambitious young people like yourself, as well as the business leaders who will be part of the panel and holding the workshops and get a chance to form connections with them.




Stay in the loop!
Do you even know what’s going on in the world today? Honestly, we wouldn’t really blame you if you didn’t. Apart from the general issues, such as hunger and climate crisis, that exist since decades ago, there are always new fights to be fought. But if you care about what’s going on, don’t be a mere spectator from outside the fence. Join the active discussion, hear new insights directly from those who are trying to shape the change and offer your own opinions and solutions.


Get inspired!
Sometimes, in the middle of a busy Monday, it’s easy to forget what our purpose is. We seem to be doing many things – studying, reading, working on our selves, maybe even working at a part-time job, too. But why? At the YouthSpeak Forum, the discussion is less about how many to-do lists you’ve ticked off, and more about the collective ‚Why?‘. We talk about quality of education and how we can improve it, climate change and what we can do about it, among many other topics. Surrounded by these ideas, you are bound to find  your inspiration and maybe even your own ‚why?‘ behind all the studying and working.


Join us on October 29th by signing up under this link!



Daan Koetzier

Exchange Participant Review by Daan Koetzier

My AIESEC experience, an internship with a startup company in the Austrian city Graz, started with the longest Flixbus ride I had ever taken. While sitting in the bus I had plenty of time to imagine how my experience was going to be. Was I going to be completely submerged in the Austrian culture in a few weeks, eating Wienerschnitzels while being dressed in Lederhosen and singing songs from the Sound of Music? Not entirely, as it turned out, but I did get to enjoy a lot of Austrian food and culture.

After many dreary hours in the bus, I was picked up by an AIESEC member upon my arrival in Graz, who immediately took me to what turned out to be one of my favourite bars in Graz after showing me my room. Since it was Saturday night, we enjoyed some Austrian beers there and talked a lot about Graz. The next day I met a few more AIESECers, who showed me around the city and taught me a lot about Graz and its rich history. We climbed the Schlossberg, a big hill in the middle of the city from which you can see the entire surroundings, which makes it a perfect place to admire Graz.

First day of work, wearing the offices 'crazy hat'

First day of work, wearing the offices ‘crazy hat’

The following day it was time for my first day at work. I received a warm welcome with a very nice lunch, and after being introduced to everyone and everything, I received my task for the next couple of months: redesign a product used for analyzing pharmaceutical and chemical thermoplastic samples in laboratories. To help me make design choices by making small prototypes, I was given full control over the 3D-printer next to my desk. For an engineer like me, this is a dream: endless opportunities and fun.

Over the next few weeks, I got to know Graz even better and met a lot more AIESECers. It was fantastic to immediately be taken in by a large group of young people, all of them ready to have fun and show me around. I hung out a lot with everyone from AIESEC, going to bars, participating in pub quizzes, going for walks and hikes around the city, or just having fun at their office. I explored Graz and Austria as much as I could, going snowboarding in the Alps, hiking in the mountains around Graz, and going for a ‘Buschenschank’, a traditional wine and ham tasting. Austrians love good food and drinks, and I never hesitated to get a literal taste of their culture by eating and drinking the local cuisine.

A picturesque Austrian town

A picturesque Austrian town

Hiking in the hills around Graz

Hiking in the hills around Graz

I really started to enjoy the work I was doing at the startup. The atmosphere was great, the work was fun, and I met many interesting people in the building our office was in. It was an office space for startups, so there were many interesting startups around, ranging from electric delivery bikes to artificial intelligence software for airplane routes. I also had fun with my colleagues next to work, including going to ‘Fasching’, the Austrian celebration of Carnival.

Going to Fasching with my colleagues

Going to Fasching with my colleagues

I really started to enjoy the work I was doing at the startup. The atmosphere was great, the work was fun, and I met many interesting people in the building our office was in. It was an office space for startups, so there were many interesting startups around, ranging from electric delivery bikes to artificial intelligence software for airplane routes. I also had fun with my colleagues next to work, including going to ‘Fasching’, the Austrian celebration of Carnival.

Through my workplace and AIESEC I found out Graz has a lot of startups. Graz is home to three universities, from which young entrepreneurs graduate with fresh ideas they develop in Graz. This makes it a very nice place to work, with a very entrepreneurial atmosphere. I joined AIESEC to a ‘Startup Spritzer’, an event where people working at startups meet and share their ideas. It was amazing to see all the young entrepreneurs giving shape to their ideas.

Unfortunately, my time in Graz was cut short by the outbreak of the coronavirus, but I still had a fantastic time there. All the fun I had at work and with my friends from AIESEC will stay with me for a long time, and I would recommend anyone to seize the opportunity to go on an internship with AIESEC!


Written by: Daan Koetzier

How I decided to go on a volunteering experience with AIESEC

Approximately one year ago, I took the decision of going on a volunteering experience with AIESEC. I had known about this organization already, due to the fact that some of my friends have been abroad, participating and working within different projects in different NGOs. What has impressed me heavily was the whole process that was conveyed by AIESEC, which consisted of an application, a following travel plan and accommodation on-site. I also know people in my immediate circle of acquaintances, who worked within several positions in AIESEC and told me some more information, which finally convinced me to take the chance go on an amazing and overwhelming volunteering experience abroad. Furthermore, participating in a volunteering project or, more precisely, spending some time in another country, getting to know its culture and, at the same time, the possibility of helping other people, has always been something, that I absolutely wanted to experience.


Vanessa Moser


Something that also attracted me to AIESEC was their commitment to the SDGs. During my studies I was often confronted with the importance of the “Sustainable Development Goals” and I have always tried to gain necessary skills and specific knowledge regarding the support of their achievement.

There are 17 SDGs and, of course, everyone rates another as important. For me, one of the most important things in life, especially in early years, is a fair and equal access to education. Later on, it offers you a wide range of professional and personal possibilities and everyone should have the chance to visit school or to enroll in university, regardless of origin or social background. Therefore, it felt like a natural step for me to apply for one of so many different projects that AIESEC offers, which all help to strengthen specific SDGs.

In less than one year, I will be a part of the educational project “WE SPEAK” in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia. I will spend six weeks on a mission of supporting children in the process of learning English as a second language. The very special thing about it is, that these children do not have the opportunity to learn a second language. With this project, we are not only helping them to provide basic knowledge in English but also promoting the importance of a second language.

I am aware, that times are uncertain, rough and, in some cases, scary. But this should not prevent us from helping other people, or at least planning to do so. We are living in fast-moving times, where the situation could change every month, every week, or even every day and therefore, we should be prepared to help as many people as possible. Social cohesion has become very essential during the past year. It has become more important than ever  to help those, who haven’t been that lucky in life, or are currently not, and those who need help anytime.


                                                                                                                                      Written by Vanessa Moser


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

Who can change the world?

I wanted to go on a volunteering experience with AIESEC. This young girl approached me while I was walking to the library and she asked me if I could change the world, where would I start and then smartly segwayed that into a conversation about me going abroad to contribute to the sustainable development goals. But she got me thinking: If I could change the world right now, where would I start? 

It’s not a simple question. There is a lot that is wrong in the world. I don’t really know where I would start. Also why would I start anywhere? Who am I to think about changing the world? What could someone like me do to change the world? 

And so she called me tomorrow, on my cell, that I politely gave to her. She was very nice, just like yesterday. One of those people with a beeming smile, energetic and extraverted, that just knows how to talk to people. After a quick conversation on the phone, I turned down this idea to go abroad. She insisted to know what the reason was. I started with ‘I can’t right now, I have to finish my studies, I don’t really have the time, I can’t really imagine going away anywhere right now, also there was the corona situation. What if I would get stuck in a foreign country without being able to return home?’

The conversation ended, but the thoughts didn’t. Who am I to even think about changing the world? But then again, if I’m not changing it, and if the person who sits next to me in class isn’t, than who is? Who is changing the world? Why is the world the way that it is and who makes it so? Why is there hunger, why is there poverty, why are women treated differently than men, why is there inequality, why are sea turtles endangered, why are our oceans dirty, why doesn’t everyone have access to quality education and worries about passing exams? Why don’t I think about this more often? And why does the girl who approached me on the hallway and excitedly told me all about Latin America and how I could help educate the populations about the importance of climate action so passionately believe in my contribution? Is she the one changing the world? One person at a time? 

‘What can I do to change anything?‘     I guess it is exactly this concept that stops me from changing anything. I bought a glass bottle, and straws, I carry home-made lunch to Uni, I recycle. But at the same time, the internet says that the CO2 emission are rising, as are the sea levels. There are a lot of natural hazards that have happened over the last couple of years, that scientists say happened due to climate change. Besides that, I know a lot of people who live bellow the means, and I know about countries that don’t allow their daughters to go to school. I can’t possibly change that. Could I?

It’s not that I don’t have ideas. I sometimes think about if I was a businesswoman or a politician what I would do. I have these amazing ideas, that I don’t really write down or talk about with anyone, because why does it matter? No one cares to know what I think about the sea levels rising. 

But I guess I would care to see more solidarity in the world. I also wouldn’t mind to eradicate plastic all together, so that no one could buy a plastic bag or bottle. I wouldn’t mind my world being better. Isn’t that a bit hypocritical of me to think how I would want my world to be better, but don’t think to do anything about it myself? 

It comes down to believing in something more and that I could achieve it. Because in the end, why couldn’t I? All the politicians and businessmen were once students. Once upon a time they didn’t have much knowledge, but they obviously had a vision. They had the courage to go further and do more than what was expected of them. Why don’t I expect more from myself? And I don’t mean to finally start studying for an exam on time, I mean why don’t I expect from myself to make a contribution and to change the world? Why don’t I do more than necessary, go further? 

In the end you only regret the chances you didn’t take. Yes, there would be many challenges if I decided to volunteer in a foreign country. But is that supposed to stop me? Starting University was a challenge, learning a new language was a challenge, sometimes calling the doctor’s office to schedule an appointment is a challenge and I have to write down what I would say, but I still did it. And yes, corona virus is a challenge. It was a mess I didn’t create and one I had no control over that took absolute control over my plans and my life. It came out of nowhere, so it could come again. But does that mean that I will stay at home, doing the necessary and never really experiencing anything, except a good cheese here and there? 

And so I called the girl back and I’m going abroad with AIESEC. All the way to Columbia, further than I ever was. 

Written by Marijana Nikolic

How to mitigate the negative aspects of the Gen Z corporate disruption

Generation Z comes right after the Millenials (also called Gen Y), and is defined as being born between 1995 and 2010. This is a generation that grew up watching Youtube instead of LooneyTunes, some of them turning this pastime into a career and earning millions by playing video games, showcasing their morning routines, their diets, their travels plans, even their birthday presents on social media. This is a generation that breathes inclusivity, creativity, individual freedom, sustainability. It seeks purpose in what they do and they are bringing all of that to a corporate world, that is slowly trying to adjust. All these disruptions were long needed and are a big breakthrough in the corporate world. However, as with everything in life, these changes too have a negative to them. Though we believe that the way youth is shaping business is revolutionary, we also believe that some corrections to their ways need to be put in place, for their own benefit and also for the benefit of business productivity. Here we will discuss these negative effects of the Gen Z disruption and ways that companies can efficiently mentor these wildlings to achieve the greatness they strive for.

Hierarchy no more

Today’s youth loves drawing circles, instead of pyramids. Teamwork is the way to go for the young. Everyone is given a chance to shape the working space, instead of just taking orders from one person, which is very important for the overall productivity and output. But so is a leader. Productive spaces need someone to lead the conversation, to invite the quiet ones to speak, to empower great ideas and to bench the bad ones. Especially among youth, some need encouragement and authority to stay committed. But most importantly, a group of opinionated strong personalities needs one that would have the final say in a disagreement. Leaders are not there to bark orders, but are needed to lead the space and everyone in it to reach a brilliant outcome.

Commitment issues

Purpose and meaning are the driving force of the young. Gen Z are the ones to take their time searching for themselves. Many of them will switch their study programs multiple times, until they find something they identify with. Or they’ll spend a year travelling and discovering their identity in the mirror of other cultures. Personal development is highly important for professional success and we should be thankful our society has evolved as much to produce such conscious individuals.

But at the same time – changing directions too many times can leave you with absolutely nowhere to go. Some may change their purpose so many times, that a lot of time has passed and they have no sense of accomplishment or actual skills. To become good at something, you must devote time to it. And let’s get real for a moment – neither the young or the companies can sustain themselves on inspiration, good intentions and purpose seeking. At the same time, spending 40 hours a week doing a job you hate is also a bad idea, again for both parties. But the best option is to start, be curious and constantly work on yourself, develop your skills. At some point, you will discover what you like and will be able to focus on it completely. And someone needs to offer this to the young working force.


Gen Z are proud of the culture they have initiated and they will look for it when looking for a job. Flexibility, creativity, openness, good leadership, respect of individual rights and a job with purpose is what they strive for. If they see you aren’t trying to be open to change, they will go in search of a company that is. Gen Z can switch companies too often, constantly looking for that perfect fit, that currently still doesn’t exist. Sometimes you must stick to something long enough, to get a chance to shape it the way you want it to be. Sometimes, working long hours and earning respect of your superiors has to come before you get to do whatever you want. But this commitment is hard for Gen Z, who are always on the lookout for something better and more interesting.

What corporate can do to mitigate the negatives:

Let us be perfectly clear: flexibility, inclusivity, mutual respect and sustainable actions that Gen Z is demanding from the corporate world are what the world of business needs, in order for us to create a sustainable future for all. But, as with everything in life, this too needs balance. To mitigate some negative aspects of the young work culture, companies have to take initiative and be proactive.

Offer mentorship – young people resonate best with honest stories of success. Get your executives to talk about their personal struggles on their career paths, their motivations and reasons. Let the experience be the teacher.

Offer further education – allow young people to search for their purpose within your company. Let them explore graphic design, business analytics, marketing, strategy, all under your current experts. You will offer them the journey of looking for themselves, while at the same time educating skilled workers that may just remain faithful and indispensable employees.

Create a truly modern work environment– don’t create a modern culture just to attract the young workers, but understand it yourself and realize the benefits of it – the way that young people think is beneficial for business in the long run and also for the simple rush of a Monday. Be open to being wrong and try to understand the benefits that a flexible and inclusive culture might bring your firm. Try to create an actual productive culture, and don’t just put out flashy job adds that are far from reality.

Be careful with who you pick as your executive – to be a team leader, you don’t require extreme knowledge in the branch, but you absolutely require people skills – to be able to take a back seat and allow your team to contribute to the work is what a leader is for. Self-centered and numbers-centered executives can be harmful for your overall productivity when it comes to working with Gen Z. Being able to recognize someone’s potential pass their missed deadlines and offer them an environment to learn and grow is what characterizes a great leader. Be sure you have one of those in your ranks.

Written by Marijana Nikolic







Der Aufstieg des Home-Office: Fluch oder Segen?

In den letzten Monaten musste die ganze Welt aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie versuchen, neue Arbeitsweisen zu testen. Für viele Menschen war das Home-Office gar keine Option, da für ihre Arbeit physische Präsenz erforderlich ist, z. B. für Krankenschwestern, Fabrikarbeiter und Kassierer. Gleichzeitig verloren viele Menschen in der Dienstleistungsbranche ihre Arbeit, da Restaurants, Bars und Hotels finanzielle Probleme befürchteten und ihre Türen schlossen. Für viele andere Arbeitsplätze jedoch war das Home-Office der Weg nach vorne, der eine Anpassung an die besonderen Umstände ermöglichte.. Durch die technologischen Fortschritte der letzten Jahrzehnte erleichtert, scheint das Home-Office zur Zeit oft die beste Lösung zu sein. Doch natürlich gibt es auch Nachteile und wir müssen uns beide Seiten der Medaille ansehen.

Pro: Umweltvorteile

Millionen von Menschen müssen jeden Tag lange Strecken pendeln und sind häufig auf Autos oder öffentliche Verkehrsmittel angewiesen. Wenn mehr Menschen von zu Hause aus arbeiten, kann dies möglicherweise zu weniger Verkehr und Umweltverschmutzung führen. Ein weiterer ökologischer Vorteil des Home-Office wäre die Tatsache, dass weniger Geschäftsgebäude und -räume benötigt würden, was zu einem geringeren Strom- und Wasserverbrauch sowie zu einem geringeren Verbrauch von Baumaterialien führen würde.

Der Verzicht auf das tägliche Pendeln in die Arbeit hätte jedoch nicht nur ökologische Vorteile, sondern wäre natürlich auch eine kostbare Zeitersparnis für den Arbeitnehmer selbst. 

Con: Ablenkungen und Trennung

Bevor man jedoch von einer kompletten Umstellung auf Home-Office zu sprechen beginnt, sollte man auf jeden Fall berücksichtigen, dass viele Menschen keinen eigenen Arbeitsbereich in ihrem Haus haben. Somit kann eine unklare Unterscheidung zwischen Arbeitsleben und privatem Raum auch zu einer geringeren Produktivität und zu Konzentrationsschwierigkeiten führen. Viele Menschen wollen und brauchen diese Trennung, die ihnen das physische Büro gibt.

Dies gilt in noch stärkerem Maße für berufstätige Eltern, die möglicherweise von ihren Kindern abgelenkt werden und daher nicht garantieren können, dass sie das richtige Umfeld für Produktivität zu Hause haben.

Pro: Flexibilität

Einer der größten Vorteile der Arbeit von zu Hause aus ist wohl die Möglichkeit der flexiblen, individuellen Zeiteinteilung. Natürlich kann auch hier der Mangel an Struktur und definierten Arbeitszeiten zunächste ein Problem darstellen, aber nach ein wenig Anpassung ist es leicht, die Vorteile eines flexiblen Zeitplans zu erkennen: Wenn man lange aufbleibt, kann man noch etwas schlafen. Wenn Kinder sofortige Aufmerksamkeit benötigen, kann man seine Arbeit sofort unterbrechen und später darauf zurückkommen. Wenn man reisen will, kann man einfach seinen Laptop mitnehmen.

Con: Teamarbeit

In letzter Zeit haben wir alle an einer Vielzahl von Zoom- oder Google Meet-Anrufen teilgenommen und dabei sicher auch die schlechten Seiten solcher Online-Meetings bemerkt: Von Verbindungsproblemen bis hin zu Hintergrundgeräuschen gibt es viele Faktoren, die die Kommunikation online erschweren. Wenn man nicht mehr persönlich mit den Kolleg_innen in Kontakt treten kann, ist man möglicherweise weniger geneigt, um deren Hilfe oder Input zu bitten. Dies führt mitunter zu einer geringeren Zusammenarbeit in Teams und möglicherweise sogar zu schlechteren Ergebnissen führt.

Pro: Einfache internationale Zusammenarbeit

Trotz der Nachteile, die wir gesehen haben, gaben 60% der Personen, die an einer Kununu.com-Umfrage teilgenommen haben, an, dass ihre Arbeit vollständig von zu Hause aus erledigt werden kann. Jedoch arbeiten zurzeit nur noch 48% ausschließlich von zu Hause aus arbeiten. Es zeigt sich somit, dass sich viele Menschen leicht und gerne an das Home-Office anpassen können. Damit ergeben sich auch langfristige Vorteile für Unternehmen: Internationale Zusammenarbeit kann in Zukunft beispielsweise wesentlich einfacher werden.

Vorbei sind die Zeiten, in denen man für ein Meeting in ein fernes Land reisen musste – es kann nun einfach über Zoom abgehalten werden! Unternehmen, die sich stark auf das Home-Office verlassen, könnten auch in Betracht ziehen, mehr internationale Mitarbeiter einzustellen. Die Möglichkeiten sind endlos und die zukünftigen Entwicklungen der Arbeitswelt sind vor allem für Berufseinsteiger_innen sehr interessant. 


Verfasst von Nadja Jevtic

Hiring Internationally in Austria: The Benefits of a Different Outlook

Reflecting on the social and economical changes this year, we’ve seen that diversity isn’t just a buzzword for the 21st century, but rather a necessity and a true issue that needs to be tackled. People are protesting and risking their lives all around the world to show their dissatisfaction and their need to be heard and included. The oppression of minorities is almost always a systematic problem that has been in development for centuries. Therefore, we need to look into each aspect of society and break down the norms that suffocate oppressed groups. Admittedly, tackling these issues is extremely complex and difficult and can’t be done in a day, but we need to start working on our problems step-by-step.

Why is diversity in the workplace important?

One thing to consider is the working environment and recruitment. A homogenous working environment in a country leads to all major economic decisions being made by the majority group, oftentimes completely disregarding the needs of minorities and pushing them aside. Moreover, aiming for more diversity in the workplace gives necessary chances to disadvantaged groups to change their own lives and start fresh and gives minorities a shot at having power and being able to make significant changes they need, therefore, building up large communities and societies.

The new Austrian way

But this isn’t a topic that only applies to far away countries and places, it is also important to discuss diversity in Austria, especially concerning international workers. According to Statistik Austria, there are currently around 1.4 million non-Austrian citizens living in Austria, which is equal to 16.7% of the entire population. This means that Austria is relatively diverse, especially in Vienna, where the percentage of foreigners or citizens with a foreign background exceeds 30%. Even if we don’t compare the number of foreigners in Austria to the rest of the world, this is a large number of people living here. These people need to be represented in all parts of the Austrian economy to create a more stable environment. A company that sees the value of hiring diversely is sure to profit, since foreigners bring a new outlook and fresh strategies. This makes it easier for a company to understand the changing demographic of Austria and adjust their strategies and efforts to adapt. Since almost a million employed people in the country are foreigners, they do have considerable buying power on the market and companies should do well to regard them as valuable potential customers. Long gone are the times of foreigners being seen as construction workers or cashiers – almost 30% of students in Austria are foreign-born and many of those highly-qualified people will be staying in Austria to build their careers and future.

Competing in a globalized world

But Austria doesn’t exist by itself – the world is so globalized, that no company in the world can solely rely on considering the environment within the borders of the country it operates in. Austrian companies have to compete with the world in order to get a market share even in their own country. If you were to decide to produce and sell a chocolate bar, you would have to learn to compete with multi-billion international corporations, such as Mondelez or Mars. This is also where hiring internationally comes into play. Whether you’re setting up a chocolate-bar business or a sophisticated tech start-up, you’re competing with the world right now, and you’re sure to benefit from having people from all over the world helping you. Maybe an intern from India has already done an extensive internship in a company overseas and can help you figure out how the market there works and what your competitors are thinking. It can open up your own perspective to see new ways of running your business and promoting your products and services that can completely revolutionize the business. But numbers speak, and studies led by McKinsey and company in 2015 showed that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns. This shows clearly that diversity is extremely important to companies and employers, not just employees and that it exceeds the boundaries of a classic “buzzword”.

AIESEC’s role in diversity

That’s where AIESEC comes in. We have a global network in countries all over the world and we work tirelessly with our international partners to connect companies and NGOs to the best interns and volunteers. We make being global and international achievable and easy, giving you the opportunity to reap the benefits of international hiring with little to no fuss. In the end, everyone wins.


Written by Nadja Jevitc

19 ways how to get around… without unpleasant surprises.

Even though COVID-19  impacted our lives and more or less confined us to our homes, quarantine time could also be the perfect time to aspire to some adventures, inspire your wanderlust and get you up and running for the upcoming projects you might undertake with AIESEC around the globe.  

As you might know, AIESEC is present in more than 120 countries. So before going to any of them, you are not ill-advised to look up and follow its laws and intrinsic rules! While some “no-go’s” might seem ridiculous and unnecessary, they could be pointing out some cultural values which might differ from your own! So here are 19 ways to be an exemplary world traveler.

1. Don’t be surprised if you “get a cobra” on a train in France.

Kissing is forbidden on French trains; it is allowed, though, at the train station but only just before the train arrives. So make sure you time your farewell kiss wisely. Did you know that there is another “kissing law” in Nevada that prohibits men with mustache from kissing women?

2. Keep your shirt on… seriously.

There is a law in Thailand that prohibits anyone from putting their shirt off while driving a car. So next time you are renting a car or a motorbike make sure to keep that in mind.

3. Hiking naked… it’s a thing!

The Swiss government had to remind its citizens that public indecency laws also apply to mountain hiking as well after some Swiss and German hikers made it “a thing”, fining a bare-bottomed man with $100.

4. Ready, set, fire!

A heads up if you are one of those people who love wearing camouflage attire: there is a law in many countries in the Caribbean that forbids it! So check the countries before visiting.

5. Just be sexy. 

This one is exclusively for men. If you want to wear loose-fitting trunks on French beaches, swimming pools or other places where swimming attire is needed, you probably won’t get to swim at all. In France, only Speedos are allowed for hygiene reasons! 

6. Pigeons and breadcrumbs… Are you sure you want to do it?

While tourists are waiting amidst the numerous pigeons on St. Mark’s Square in Venice to get the perfect Instagram picture, the yearly cost for each citizen to clean up after the pesky birdl rounds up to 275 euros per year. This considered, the government prohibited feeding the pigeons in 2008. So just spare yourself the fine.

7. Sightseeing in high heels.

In Greece, high heels are banned from places like Acropolis or any other ancient monuments out of fear of causing damage.

8. Have a prescription to chew!

Any manufacturing, selling or importing chewing gum in Singapore is forbidden. It could get you fined or even imprisoned unless your “chewing” has a medical or therapeutic purpose.

9. Just plan your last loo time.

In some flat blocks in Switzerland it is forbidden to flush the toilet after 10 pm, because apparently some residents get disturbed by it.

10. Take care of your chicken!

Yeah, sure, we all like to casually pet chicken. Just don’t take it with you for a hot-air balloon trip in New Zealand…there is a law restraining you from it. But make sure you don’t leave it wondering freely if you are staying in Georgia (Quitman); chickens are prohibited from crossing the street.

11. Sharing bathrooms.

There is a law in Scotland stating that if anyone should knock on your door asking for a toilet, you should let him use it. How considerate!

12. Show some decency, Winnie!

If you have some Winnie the Pooh shirts tucked in your backpack, make sure you don’t wear them in public in Poland. The cartoon bear isn’t wearing knickers, so it is considered inappropriate.

13. It is illegal to wear a suit of armour in British Parliament.

We all have this one suit of armour lying around at home for that trip to London, which is fine, just don’t go to the British Parliament wearing it. There is a law from 1313 which prohibits it; but since it is not as fashionable as in the Middle Ages, the British government won’t revoke it. Because why would they?!

14. Registering to a hotel room reconsidered.

A law in North Carolina states that if a man and a woman register together at a hotel and say they are married, they would by the common law marriage rules legally be considered just that, married. 

15. Taking an Uber in Colombia

 This is a weird one. Uber is illegal in Colombia because they failed to register as a taxi company. Maybe consider using a regular city cab instead.

16. When not to ask for time.

Think twice before asking for time in Madrid between 3:40 PM and 6:50 PM, as there is a socially accepted ban of “time-asking”. This isn’t an official law, though, but wearing a watch might spare you the looks

17. Hanging your underwear outside in Seville

If you are spending your holidays in the state of Seville next summer, make sure not to hang your underwear or any “suggestive attire” outside.

18. Selfie with Buddha?

In Sri Lanka turning your back to Buddha is considered disrespectful and it is also punishable by law. So selfies are a big no-go in sacred places.

19. Be a responsible driver!

When driving on the German motorway, make sure you don’t run out of gas because you will end up paying a fine. And if you want to quickly walk to the petrol station to get some spare gas, you might be advised to restrain yourself. That’s prohibited as well.

Are there some weird laws and rules I missed? Feel free to comment and add your own experiences with strange laws. Remember, empowering others is an AIESEC leadership skill; so let’s keep our criminal records clear.

Written by Klara Pahor

Zukunft der Arbeit: Generation Z & Covid-19

Täglich werden unzählige Artikel darüber geschrieben, wie sich der Arbeitsmarkt und unsere Arbeitsweise in Zukunft verändern werden. Dabei sind es vor allem zwei Faktoren, die im Moment immer wieder als Motoren für Veränderung angeführt werden: Einerseits ist es der Einstieg der Generation Z in den Arbeitsmarkt. Andererseits haben gerade auch die letzten Monate aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie ganz konkret neue Arbeitsmodelle hervorgebracht.

Geboren mit dem Internet

In Texten über die Generation Z (Gen Z), stößt man immer wieder auf folgende Punkte: Ein Leben ohne Internet ist unvorstellbar. Kommunikation übers Smartphone und Arbeit am Laptop sind selbstverständlich. Social Media ist ihre zweite Realität. Was den Arbeitsmarkt betrifft, erwartet sich die Gen Z vor allem mehr Flexibilität und Möglichkeiten der Individualisierung. Ich selbst sehe mich als Teil der Gen Z und stimme diesen Punkten durchaus zu. Allerdings kann ich nur vor zu groben Verallgemeinerungen warnen. Zuerst muss uns bewusst werden, dass in anderen Teilen der Welt neue Technik noch keineswegs so weit verbreitet ist. Daher schwingt auch immer ein Hauch von Eurozentrismus bzw. westlicher Dominanz bei dieser Definition der Gen Z mit. Davon abgesehen, ist die Gen Z selbst äußerst heterogen und von Widersprüchen geprägt.

Eine Generation der Widersprüche

Während wir als Gen Z durch die neue Technik mit der ganzen Welt vernetzt sind, sehnen wir uns doch nach Struktur und Sicherheit. Geborgenheit finden wir meist in der Familie oder im engen Freundeskreis. Obwohl oder gerade weil wir auf unseren Smartphones rund um die Uhr erreichbar sind, ist uns eine Trennung von Arbeit und Privatleben sehr wichtig. Technik bestimmt unseren Alltag, aber wir suchen den Bezug zur Natur. Gärtnern wird wieder zum beliebten Hobby. Wir lieben es die Welt zu bereisen, suchen aber zugleich nach den Wurzeln in unserer Heimat. All diese Widersprüche in unserer Generation haben natürlich auch Auswirkungen darauf, wie wir uns unsere Zukunft in der Arbeitswelt vorstellen. In einer Zeit, in der viele von uns gerade auf der Suche nach dem ersten richtigen Job sind, hat Covid-19 die Wirtschaft auf den Kopf gestellt. Damit wurde vielen Unternehmen aber auch klar, dass es notwendig ist ihr Konzept von Arbeit zu überdenken.

Nach Corona ist nichts mehr wie zuvor

Die letzten zwei Monate haben uns gezeigt, dass Arbeitsmodelle, die bisher nur am Rande existierten oder als illusionäre Wunschvorstellungen abgetan wurden, auch für die breite Masse interessant sind. Und unter den richtigen Voraussetzungen können diese auch von Unternehmen gelebt werden:  Twitter oder Microsoft sehen das Homeoffice als relevante alternative zum klassischen Büro und Neuseelands Regierungschefin hat in einer öffentlichen Ansprache Unternehmen zur Einführung einer 4-Tage-Woche ermuntert. Mehr Flexibilität und Freizeit klingt nach dem idealen Arbeitsmodell für die Gen Z. Bedenkt man jedoch die zuvor erwähnten Widersprüche, muss man davon ausgehen, dass auch klassische Arbeitsmodelle wie die 40-Stunden-Woche im Büro weiterhin relevant bleiben könnten, da sie Sicherheit und Stabilität vermitteln.

Auf die Jugend hören

Aber warum fragen wir nicht einfach bei denjenigen nach, die es wirklich betrifft? Warum fragen wir nicht die Gen Z, wie sie sich ihre  Karriere in der Arbeitswelt vorstellt? Der YouthSpeak Survey von AIESEC macht genau das. Er bietet Jugendlichen unter 30 eine Plattform, um ihre Meinung kund zu tun. Er gibt ihnen die Möglichkeit, ihre Zukunft selbst mitzubestimmen und ihre Wünsche und Bedürfnisse zu äußern.

Verfasst von Hanna Gsell

Speak Up: On Ideas, Initiative and Impact

Towards a sustainable future

In September 2015, the end of the United Nations General Assembly in New York seemed to bring with it a ray of hope for the future, a bolt of excitement and anticipation. 195 world leaders had agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals and committed to work towards a better future for the planet. For the first time in a while, we had something invaluable to help in our efforts while moving forward: a concrete plan. A set of targets that, if achieved, would finally mean the end of many long-standing problems which threaten life on the spinning globe of magic we call Earth.

Real progress is a tricky thing though. It doesn’t simply happen by adopting initiatives and hoping for the best, nor is it built on plans that we don’t follow up on. Progress, in its essence, is all about commitment. It’s about small, but purposeful and continuous actions that add up to big results. It’s about all of us deciding to take a stand and speak up about what matters, knowing that the outcome will decide our future. 

Let’s speak up together

This is exactly why we’re curious. As we mark the five-year anniversary of the plan for sustainable development, we are eager to hear from the very ones who hold the power to shape a different future. We’re interested to know more about YOUth. And we want to take it further than we’ve ever done before.

Why? Well, because in times such as the ones we happen to live through, it is vital to remind ourselves that what ultimately brings us closer to the SDGs, to change, are individuals. People who make an effort every day in order to raise awareness, to promote understanding and to inspire action in their communities. 

Because we know that, no matter what, we can not create progress without being inclusive. What we need is a deep awareness about everyone’s level of knowledge, everyone’s reality. And that is exactly what we want: to find out more – about your ideas and processes, about the hardships you face and about the way you are perceiving your environment. We want to give you a stage to showcase your thoughts. To shine a light on what it means to be a young person in 2020. Then, we want to use it to show what you can really do.

Consider this an open call: whoever you are, wherever you are, we want you to speak up. If you’re working to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality, or if you’ve never heard about them, we want to know about it. If you’re among the ones dreaming of a better world for everyone, we want to tell your story.

SPEAK UP and share your opinion by participating in the YouthSpeak Survey. It’s high time for the youth of the world to take the rains and make their voice heard.

Written by Ioana Varga

Coronavirus: The Effect on Human Rights

Today, the world faces a tough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation affects not
just our daily life, but also a lot of things are different now from how they used to be. There
are lots of new rules and regulations all over the world every day. That is why one question
comes to one’s mind. Do human rights still have a meaning or do they lose their significance
during the fight against the coronavirus?

Lockdowns vs. Freedom of Movement

One change, for example, lays within Article 13, „the right to freedom of movement“. It
includes traveling, going on exchanges and moving to another country. However, these days
some states have closed their borders and only citizens can enter the country.

Self-isolation vs. Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

This lockdown of countries leads to another significant part of the quarantine ㅡ self-isolation
at our homes. Normally, we as citizens have the right to meet up for „peaceful assembly and
association“(Article 20), like demonstrations. However, in these times the governments ban
these meetings to prevent the spreading of the virus. Apart from the demonstration, it affects
the private life of people with sick relatives and family events like weddings or funerals.

Tracking the Virus vs. Interference with Privacy

A more drastic change in the current situation is the loss of our privacy. According to the EU,
which is solely responsible for giving these companies the free-range to use user data, it is a
way to track down the virus and to minimize the spreading of this disease. The biggest
companies that use and collect anonymous location data in countries like France, Germany,
Italy, and Austria are in fact the national carries, such as “Telekom” in Austria.

All these points show us the impact COVID-19 already has on our Human rights and more
changes are still yet to come. Of course, we understand that the reason for all these
limitations is to save lives. But what we can learn from the whole situation is being grateful
for things that have always seemed natural to us and help other people to gain their right to
‘life, liberty and the security of person’ (Article 3).


Written by Monika Valjan, Petra Lippe

Why is travelling important?

When you ask people what they like the most, the most common answer is usually travelling.
Everyone likes having fun, meeting new people and creating memorable experiences.
However, if you wait too much; you will find yourself stuck in a routine that won’t allow you
to ‘leave’. Lack of money, lack of time, business, family, and practically anything could affect
your future travel decision. Therefore, you should take every opportunity as it happens, the
sooner the better. Here are some reasons why you should travel and why you should do so,
as soon as you have the time.

1. Open your mind

Travelling opens your mind in a way that you do not expect. Every place you go you will meet
new people with a different cultural background, customs, and ideas. From there you will
learn to open your perspective and look at things in a new way. You will have the chance to
learn new things and at the same time become more open to new ways of life and in general
learn to appreciate life more. Every person has a unique story and background, only by being
in contact with them you’ll be able to understand the beauty of this diversity.

2. Leave your comfort zone

Sometimes daily life forces people to be under certain constraints, such as, duties, moral,
education, religion or the similar. On the contrary, travelling will allow you to be free in
discovering who you want to be, where and whenever you want. You can experience a new
side of your own personality and in the end, you’ll find yourself to be more confident and
independent, because everything you did was without your family or friends’ help.

3. You choose

You are the protagonist of your experience. And in an ideal situation you should be free from
stress and concerns; thus, travelling is the best opportunity to discover new passions, plan
new trips, reconsider past hobbies, and enjoy every moment along the way with your loved
ones. In this way you will fuel your energy with positivity, coming back home with good
stories to share and at the end reflect the changes you would like to make in your past

4. Develop other skills

Travelling will give you valuable skills to employ in your personal, but also professional
career. A new environment always comes with new challenges that you have never faced
before. You need to adapt and react to new and unexpected circumstances. This way you will
develop new, soft and hard skills.

5. International friends

Being a traveller is different than being a tourist. Once you immerse yourself in a new culture
you cannot ‘avoid’ learning their language, asking questions and exploring. This will let you
meet locals or other curious like you, making friends who share your passion and creating
relationships that go beyond the distance.

Once you start, you cannot stop. Travelling becomes a habit and even a need. Staying in one
place gets boring and I don’t know about you, but I cannot wait to visit friends, search for
new events, find cheap plane tickets, all as an excuse to travel somewhere new. What about
you? !


Written by Noemi Fiore

How to cope in quarantine: Tips and Tricks from AIESEC in Vienna BOKU

It‘s safe to say that the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our lives in their core. Our mobility has been restricted and we are now spending the majority of our days inside of our homes. Everyone has adjusted to quarantine life differently: some tried their best to continue with their normal lives by setting up home office and keeping a productivity log, some have focused their attention on improving themselves, be it physically or spiritually, and some are still having a hard time adjusting. We don’t know how long this new life is going to last and that scares most of us. But the important thing to note is that we must always look for a silver lining. In the true AIESEC spirit, we must remain solution-oriented and ask ourselves: what is this pandemic teaching us?


Because now for the first time we have the time to really look at our lives and ask ourselves what is truly important to us. The stillness is bound to make us think and after the initial shock, make us evaluate our every day.


So we would like to share with you a list of things we have learned during the quarantine and that we hope to take with us when the restrictions are lifted and we go back to our busy schedules.


  1. A busy schedule isn‘t everything.

Many have found the time away from the office very deadly to their productivity. Feelings of guilt after the entire day of watching Netflix and eating snacks fill the confessionals on social media. But we say – that‘s okay. Taking a few days or even a week to rest and do nothing can actually be very beneficial for our productivity. Now that we have the gift of time, we can take a few days or even a week to recharge and adjust to the new normal. Feeling good makes us do good and that is something worth remembering.


2. Our health and well-being should come first.

 It is easy to forget our health and well-being in the rush of a Monday. But now that we don‘t have anywhere to go, we have the time to focus on ourselves. We can stop skipping meals and exercise and cutting hours to our beauty sleep. We have the opportunity during quarantine to make these healthy habits into a routine. After spending some time in PJs and catching up on Netflix series, feel free to go for a jog or a walk, cook your favorite foods and share recipes with friends. Take care of yourself first, so that you could take care of others.


3. Connection with those who matter most knows no restrictions.

For some of us who are studying abroad and are currently separated from our families, quarantine has been especially hard. The Internet has played a vital role here in keeping us connected with those we love. Some of us who were lucky enough to catch a flight back home have been reconnected with old friends years after we lost touch. The vulnerability that we feel in times of crisis can bring out the worst in people, but also bring us closer together. It reminds us of what is truly important.


4. Be more present.

When was the last time you had the uninterrupted time to spend it with your family? Do you remember playing board games, exercising together, watching movies? Now we have the time to remind ourselves of these things and we also get reminded of how much we miss them. Use this time to take interest in what your loved ones are passionate about, let them show you their favorite board games, movies or bands. And make a mental note for the future to call your brother more often and answer to your dad sending you memes.


5.We should be grateful to live in times of global connectivity.

We take the internet for granted. We have the ability to keep in touch with those who live far from us and at the tip of our fingers and we also have access to loads of information from all around the world. We can take care of important administrative tasks sitting on our couch or take an online class to improve our skills. Most students in Austria won‘t have delays in their studies thanks to the flexibility of Universities to hold online lessons and exams. This is a huge advantage in regards to past crisis experiences and also to some other countries and cultures who aren‘t as developed. That is something to be grateful for, and while we‘re on the subject of gratitude…


6. We should be grateful for the little things in our lives.

We have seen how quickly the corona epidemic has spread across the world and changed our lives from one day to another. Before the quarantine, we didn‘t even think about whether we would find our favorite type of pasta in the stores. Going to the store freely is no longer something we are able to enjoy, among other things such as meeting friends for coffee, reading a book in the coffeehouse, going to movies or just taking a walk around the city for no other reason than to enjoy the beautiful architecture and scenery.


7. Different people – same fears.

Many countries around the world are experiencing the same effects due to the global spread of the virus and people all around the world are having similar experiences. Fear is something we all feel. The hardest-hit countries like Italy, for example, have received support from the global society during this time. #prayforitaly is a symbol of global solidarity. That is something we could keep in our minds even after the crisis has ended.


 8. Our planet can benefit from short periods of calm.

It has been three months since the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan, China. The country has already reported lower levels of air pollution. The Venetian Canals have cleared up. The overall pause in global travel has benefited our planet more than we thought possible. This situation showed us that we can make faster progress in our fight against climate change. Could we be able to give up certain excessive luxuries for the sake of our planet? Maybe the majority of production could become local again. Maybe we can lower the amount of international travel. The corona crisis has stopped our lives completely, but that has given us a view into possibilities for our future lifestyle. It would be irresponsible to forget these lessons, no matter how hard the adjustment might be.


We will try to remember these lessons and apply them to our future no matter what it holds.  We hope to have inspired you to think more about your present moment and see benefits in it. If you have any other lessons you would like to share with us, visit our social media channels and let us know!


Written by AIESEC in Vienna BOKU

Leadership in Zeiten von Corona

Die letzten Wochen haben viele plötzliche Veränderungen mit sich gebracht. COVID-19 hat sich auch in Österreich immer schneller ausgebreitet. Seit dem 16. März herrschen in Österreich Ausgangsbeschränkungen, die die Ausbreitung des Virus verlangsamen und eine Überlastung des Gesundheitssystems verhindern sollen: Das Haus verlassen wir nur noch zum Arbeiten, Einkaufen, um anderen zu helfen. Bewegung an der frischen Luft ist zwar erlaubt, allerdings nur alleine oder mit den Personen aus dem eigenen Haushalt. Für viele bedeutet die derzeitige Situation eine komplette Umstellung ihres Lebensstils: Arbeit im Homeoffice, keine Treffen mit Freunden, nicht mehr auswärts essen, die ganze Familie ist ständig zu Hause… Ich übertreibe wohl nicht, wenn ich sage, dass diese Situation jeden auf eine bestimmte Art und Weise herausfordert. Und gerade deswegen ist Leadership, wie ich ihn durch AIESEC kennen gelernt habe, in dieser Zeit so wichtig!


Am 11. März wurde COVID-19 von der WHO zu einer Pandemie erklärt, d. h. es handelt sich ganz offiziell um ein globales Phänomen. Um die Lage in deinem Heimatland richtig einschätzen zu können, musst du dich daher über das Geschehen auf der ganzen Welt informieren. So kannst du zeigen, dass du ein World Citizen bist:

  • Informiere dich über die aktuelle Lage auf seriösen nationalen und internationalen Nachrichtenkanäle (Internet, Radio, Fernsehen…).
  • Hinterfrage alle Informationen kritisch und nimm dich vor Fake News in Acht.
  • Überprüfe Informationen, in dem du verschiedene Quellen und Medien zu Rate ziehst.


Gerade in Krisenzeiten ist es wichtig für andere dazusein. Trotz Ausgangsbeschränkung haben wird dank neuer Medien etliche Möglichkeiten miteinander in Kontakt zu treten und uns gegenseitig aufzumuntern. Geh auf die Gefühle der anderen ein, aber vermeide es negative Stimmung zu verbreiten und zeig, dass du das Zeug dazu hast, andere zu empowern:

  •  Telefoniere regelmäßig mit Menschen, die dir nahe stehen.
  • Melde dich auch mal denjenigen, von denen du schon lange nichts mehr gehört hast.
  •  Denke vor allem an ältere oder alleinstehende Personen und lass sie wissen, dass du für sie da bist..


Besondere Herausforderungen, erfordern besondere Maßnahmen! Für viele ist es ungewohnt, den ganzen Tag zu Hause zu verbringen und keine strikte Trennung zwischen Freizeit und Arbeit zu haben. Sei kreativ, um dich an die neue Situation anzupassen und konzentriere dich auf die positiven Seiten von Homeoffice & Co.

  •  Du kannst deine Routine nach deinen individuellen Bedürfnissen gestalten.
  • Finde heraus, wobei du dich am besten erholen kannst und plane genug Pausen zwischen Arbeitseinheiten ein.
  • Achte auf genug Bewegung, vom online Coach über eine sportliche WG-Challenge bis hin zu einer Runde um den Häuserblock hast du auch hier die verschiedensten Möglichkeiten.


Es ist ganz natürlich, dass in unsicheren Zeiten nicht immer alles wie am Schnürchen läuft. Wir verbringen einen Großteil unseres Tages zu Hause und vermissen unsere sozialen Kontakte. Vielleicht kommt es auch durch das Zusammenleben mit anderen zu angespannten Situationen, denen man zurzeit nur schwer entkommen kann. Deswegen ist es wichtig, dass du dir Zeit für dich selber nimmst, denn nur wenn du verstehst, was in dir vorgeht, kannst du negativen Gefühlen und deren Folgen entgegenwirken.

  • Nimm die Zeit dafür, über dich und dein Leben nachzudenken – meditiere, schreibe ein Tagebuch oder ähnliches.
  • Kommuniziere deine Gefühle nach außen – lasse vor allem die Menschen, mit denen du zusammen wohnst, wissen, was in dir vorgeht.
  • Setze klare Grenzen – schalte dein Handy aus oder mach die Tür zu, wenn es dir zu viel wird.  


Verfasst von Hanna Gsell

10 things to do to tame your Wanderlust during COVID-19

Borders are closed, flights are canceled and you don’t know when you will pack your suitcase again. Although we know that we have to stay at home for our own safety, we all can’t wait for the next trip. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t explore other places right now. Here are some tips and tricks on how you can get a sense of traveling even during the quarantine.

1.Read a book about the other side of the world

Read a travel guide. Yes, those books with tips on what you should visit in another country and other useful information about the destination. We know that you go on Instagram to search for cool places, but give it a try. If you are a big fan of fiction ― go for a story that takes place somewhere else in the world. For example, the novel ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts ― let yourself be inspired by its vivid portrayal of bubbly life in Bombay.

2. Make traditional food

One thing people start doing more in quarantine is obviously eating. But why not make it more entertaining and cook a dish from another cuisine. Do some research on the internet and pamper yourself with a Mexican taco, Ukrainian dumplings, or Thai tom yum soup. Next time you are traveling, you will know what to search for.

3. Watch a movie about another country

Doesn’t matter if it’s a YouTube travel show, a Netflix documentary, or a foreign soap-opera as long as it feels completely different from home. But there is one thing that you seriously have to watch. We are talking about ‘Kedi’, the most adorable movie ever about cats and kittens enjoying their life along the streets of Istanbul. Take a rest from scrolling your news feed and let the Turkish music, city views, and cats calm you down. Meow!

4. Plan your next trip

Sometimes planning is as enjoyable as what we actually plan. Don’t take this pleasure away from yourself and think of places you want to go to as soon as we can travel again. Look for a tourist must-see, places to try national cuisine, or where to take the most stunning photos. Now you actually have time to arrange everything from scratch so don’t miss it.

5. Learn some words in another language

There is hardly something more useful for a trip than knowing how to speak the basics of a local language. Take some time to practice saying ‘hello’ in Arabic or how to shop in Spanish. Luckily for you, there are dozens of free resources online and maybe you’re going to speak a new language after the quarantine is over. Vamos Habibi!

6. Try out a daily routine of someone from another culture

When we have our usual working or studying routine, most of the time we are not in the mood to try something new. But now when you’re supposed to stay at home almost 24/7, which we hope you do, you can check out some routine features from the other cultures. Take a siesta for example. The main point is not blaming yourself for taking a nap even if you’re not tired. You’re not lazy, you’re Spanish today!

7. Get to know someone from another country

In the time of social-distancing, staying in touch with people is important. Find yourself a pen pal from another country to ask them dozens of questions about their culture. What is the best national dish in their country, the most popular bar, and if there are some weird language expressions ― why not find out?

8. Do virtual museum tours

Will there be a better time to visit the most popular museums virtually? Hopefully not. But while it’s the only option you have, walk down the digital corridors of the Louvre and the British Museum and take some screenshots.

9. Make a travel board

Create a picture board with photos, postcards, and tickets from your previous trips
Let yourself be as nostalgic and emotional as possible and appreciate all the amazing experiences that you’ve had so far. Take your time to enjoy the process and put the board in a visible place. Now smile every time you see it. Good job!


Written by Rita Papakina

Summer at Roots Camp: Mahlzeit Austria 2019

By: Annalise Cajic

Volunteering at Roots Camp

Hanna has been volunteering at Roots Camp while participating in the Mahlzeit Austria project.

As the Mahlzeit Austria project nears its end, Hanna reflects on her experience working at Roots Camp. AIESEC volunteers at this summer camp are promoting an unplugged and sustainable lifestyle to Austrian youth. Living without running water, electricity and the luxuries of modern life, Hanna realized that you don’t need these things to have an amazing experience. She also learned that we must respect nature if we want our planet to thrive.

Since the Mahlzeit Austria project is promoting SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), the camp is teaching its campers that living sustainably is possible. Actually, it can be a life changing experience.

And loving life’s simple pleasures is easier than you think!

Working at the camp

Campers sleep in teepees and live without electricity and running water.

Upon arrival at the camp, which is located south of Vienna, Hanna is responsible for the young campers. This includes making sure they sleep well, preparing food and organizing activities. Since campers sleep in teepees and prepare meals on the fire, leaders such as Hanna are needed to ensure a smooth transition to this new lifestyle. 

She adds that she was always “present at the different activities such as archery, wood carving [and] the games station at the wrestling tournaments.” Doing archery in the woods sounds like a good time. Wish I was there!

Living off the grid

Life without electricity and running water sounds like a difficult task. However, Hanna explains:

“It became quite easy to adapt to the living conditions… I just found my inner Jane from Tarzan and lived life to the fullest there. You shouldn’t stay too much focused on the difficulty of adapting to the life there… You basically have to get over it and enjoy it.”

That’s it. To have a successful AIESEC experience, you need an open mind and a positive attitude. Only then can you become a leader.

Learning to live sustainably

In its essence, Roots Camp is about respecting our environment and enjoying life without the luxuries we take for granted. This is how volunteers promote responsible consumption on behalf of the Mahlzeit Austria project. Hanna summarizes: 

“If we ruin nature than our whole ecosystems are ruined, so respect nature and learn how to appreciate it, but also use it… It’s called Roots Camp so we do go back to the roots of where it all started.”

Memories made

Beyond working with children and adapting to a more sustainable way of living, Hanna says that “it’s quite nice to experience what it’s like to live without a phone, to live without a hot shower and always cook your food on fire and actually make fire all the time.” Overall, she describes working at the camp as a “cool experience.”

Lots of memories were made at the camp, including this sunset!

If you are meeting volunteers from around the world, doing archery in the forest and promoting an SDG, your Summer is cool in more ways than one.

Click here to find your next AIESEC experience. 

Working at Wiener Tafel: Mahlzeit Austria 2019

By: Annalise Cajic

Meet a Global Volunteer in Austria

Marija, Global Volunteer and aisecer, poses at the Wiener Tafel office in Vienna, Austria.

“I have always wanted to visit this city [Vienna]. And then, I chose this project because I saw this opportunity to work in [an] office, to see how things are done… [h]ere, people are really really friendly,” says Marija Milicevic. As a Global Volunteer, she is working  at the Wiener Tafel office to promote and learn about food sustainability.

From Serbia, Marija speaks English as  a second language and is practicing her German in Vienna: “you get used to it,” she tells me. “Sometimes they forget that you know English and they start to speak [German] a lot… but it is [good] practice.”


About Wiener Tafel

This non-profit organization collects and redistributes food that would otherwise be thrown away. Wiener Tafel also raises awareness about the effects of excessive food waste on the environment and works to reduce this problem through projects such as “Soup with Sense” and “TafelBox.” This Summer they have taken some AIESEC Global Volunteers under their wing to continue their mission for sustainable consumption and production.

Working at the office

Sharing her experience so far at Wiener Tafel, Marija says:

I saw how people wish to help others… it really surprises me because in my country, it is not the same situation. They will like to help, but we do not have something like Wiener Tafel to give that opportunity. Definitely after this project I will be more responsible about wasting food.”

Marija prepares letters and pamphlets that promote projects by Wiener Tafel.

She has no previous experience working for an environmental initiative, but says that “after this, I will start to take part in some other volunteer projects.” This opportunity is motivating young people to increase their knowledge about food waste and expand their borders at the same time. Looks like Marija is becoming a better global citizen every day!

Her enthusiasm is inspiring, and there is no shortage of it going around among the volunteers. 

Advice for future Global Volunteers

When I ask her if she would be a Global Volunteer again, she says “yes, definitely because during this project I met really really good people and I hope to stay in contact with them. I feel like I am growing up during this project.”

Whether you are learning German or promoting food sustainability, the best way to get good at something is to be immersed in it. When you are saving the planet and becoming a leader (as Marija is), it’s the same deal. Don’t learn about something from afar. Get out of your comfort zone and jump right in.

And doing so alongside people who love to explore and learn is even better. 


First workshop completed! Mahlzeit Austria 2019

By: Annalise Cajic

This week, global volunteers debuted their workshops on food waste…

After spending the week preparing their workshops for youth on food sustainability, Mahlzeit Austra volunteers put their skills to the test for the first time. (Learn about the workshops and their creation process here).

At Mahlzeit Austria, volunteers such as Daria and Olia are promoting one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to youth. Here’s a run down of the some volunteers’ experience with their first workshop. What did they learn and what will they do differently in the coming weeks? Let’s find out.

Mission success: Mahlzeit Austria Volunteers Olia, Maria, Lasha and Daria at their first workshop about food waste.

My roommate, Daria, is sitting on the couch as we discuss the results of the first workshop. “For me it was cool, because children were really quiet and good,” she says.  BTW, Daria is my friendly roommate who may appear many times in this blog. We’re lucky we get to hear her input on a lot of these important matters!

Fellow volunteer Olia tells me about her lack of experience with children and speaking German. It was no surprised then that teaching children in German was even more daunting. Fortunately, they pulled through using teamwork. Despite the challenges, she tells me, the “children understood us and we felt their support and interest.” I guess this is my chance to thank any child who listens attentively and enthusiastically. They make all the difference!

Never stop improving

As we walked out of our first workshop,  we immediately discussed how to improve ourselves. Our final consensus is to include more games. Daria tells me, “maybe it can be more fun for children, because sometimes it’s like a lecture and they need to move more. I think children need it.” I agree. Children don’t want to listen to a lecture. Neither do I. 

When asked what she would have done differently, Olia reflects, “I would have probably added more games, but it went well in general. the amount of feedback we received was priceless because children liked us and listened to the things we told. The best is that they realized how important the topic is.” The SDG Mahlzeit Austria is promoting (responsible consumption and production) is important to volunteers and youth alike (or anyone who cares about humanity’s future, tbh). That’s why these volunteers welcome feedback and improvement.

That’s because the most important part of anything we do is getting better at it. Taking an event as a learning experience is at the heart of any AIESEC opportunity, and it’s why they are committed to providing youth with global experiences.

Teamwork > Flying solo

Remember enjoying participation? It’s one of AIESEC’s core values and ties in nicely with what we’re doing in Vienna with these workshops.

Though working with other people can be tricky (you have dealt with lazy group members and annoying partners, because haven’t we all?), I was happy to see my colleagues work together successfully. They also seem to notice the benefits of doing so.

“Benefits of working in a team environment are obviously in a number of ideas which we can produce together. We can also all participate in a project which makes our job easier because we don’t have to do everything on our own.” You said it, Olia! I couldn’t agree more.




3 books to read for the Summer

As the academic year has come to an end, one always seems to aspire for a rejuvenating Summer. Not sure what else you can do than your experience abroad? Whether you are currently prepping to get ready for your internship or volunteering project, I strongly advise you to take time to read these three books this Summer. What makes your experience with AIESEC so unique is that we help you conquer the world with our ‘Inner- and Outer Journey’ for leadership development, this means not only to gain professional hands on experience or impacting a community, but to also dig deep within yourself to enhance what we acknowledge as leadership qualities, being more self aware, being a world citizen, being solution oriented and being able to empower others. These books truly reflect on how to enhance these qualities and will help you on your journey to conquer the world. 

The first book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. A truly inspiring author who takes her approach to how to embrace your innate creativity and how it is your key to success. She draws inspiration from her family an friends to prove just how going for what you truly want and breaking down your fears will make you truly successful. This work of art contains how to create your art, how to cope with professional challenges or to accomplish your dream or to as well make your daily life more rewarding. Every young person should give this a read. 

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The second book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. He speaks of the seven habits every leader should form and obtain in order to be truly successful in life itself. He also speaks of how to make these habits stick and why they are ultimately necessary in order for you as a person to grow and the importance of working in a team. His book is now widely read amongst professionals and young people seeking to upscale his/her business or organisation. 

Image result for 7 habits of highly effective book


Last, but not least Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. This Stanford University professor came up with the theory of Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset. Mind you that growth mindset does not necessarily see growth in the sense of numbers, but growth as a person. On this note I would like to quote Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

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Take a chance to read these books this Summer on your experience. I believe these books will make you more self aware about what you want in life and who you are, they will make you more agile and solution oriented and I believe they will encourage you to empower others. These books will enhance your experience abroad with AIESEC. Have a great Summer and let us know online what you think by tagging us on your social media at @aiesecinaustria on both instagram and facebook and using the #livetheexperience hashtag!  


Missed the opportunity to go abroad this Summer? Don’t miss the opportunity to go abroad this Winter, sign up here.

Our Global Approach to Entrepreneurship

As we go into our 7th batch of Empower Austria, I thought I would commemorate it by taking you through the essence and motive of our project. Empower Austria was born in September 2016. It was designed to meet the short time skill requirement needs of Austrian Start-ups and to bring in young internationals and their perspectives into the local Start-up scene. By the end of the Summer, we would have brought 150 interns to over 100 Start-ups. In three years, we have had the opportunity to partner up with multiple excelerators, start-up platforms and even create our own entrepreneurship kit in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation. (UNIDO)


Empower Austria is our project based on AIESEC’s product shaped for the entrepreneurial scene, Global Entrepreneur. Global Entrepreneur was created in 2015 to cater to Start-ups and young aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world. We aim to cater to Start-ups by bringing aspiring international entrepreneurs to your venture whilst we offer these young individuals the opportunity to internationally develop themselves and their career. 


Our global value proposition for businesses is to ultimately to bridge the gap between an expensive and globalised company. We aim to solve this gap by helping you acquire bright minds from all over the world with our processes it would be as easy if not easier than hiring locally and all of this at an affordable price tailored for the Start-up scene. These passionate interns are carefully handpicked to not only contribute, but also learn from your venture. With Global Entrepreneur, we seek to help globalise your Start-up and customer bases grow to exceed borders and languages. 


As for the interns themselves, we promote this opportunity to be able to dip their toes into their aspiring career and for them to understand the behind the scenes of a fully functioning Start-up. In all our products, AIESEC for youth focus on leadership development and creating opportunities for young people to step out of their comfort zone. These interns actively apply for these projects as an opportunity to extend their horizon culturally, personally and professionally. 


On this note, we invite you to be part of inspiring and being inspired by the entrepreneurs tomorrow. We invite you to be part of a movement that is beyond borders and to boost your venture at the same time. Our project is tailored for a Start-ups just like yours. What are you waiting for? Sign up here.

5 Common Mistakes While Traveling

With Summer around the corner, we thought we would share five common mistakes for you to watch out for on your upcoming trip! 

  1. Not buying insurance.  One of the biggest investments one should take forward is travel insurance. Insurance that covers emergency medical expenses beyond your country’s borders. Often it can also extend to covering all cancellation fee may an emergency arrive. 
  2.  Arranging transportation from the wrong airport. One city with two or more airports that sound the same? It might deem as self-explanatory, but better be safe than sorry because these things do happen. Leave your self 30 seconds to double check the airport on your ticket before arranging transportation. 
  3. Not checking Visa requirements. As previously stated, might seem self-explanatory but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It’s also worth mentioning to be aware of how long in advance you need to apply for your visa as some might take a number of days up to a couple of weeks. 
  4. Touristic vs Authentic. Don’t get trapped in the touristic part of traveling! Step out into the authentic whilst your there. Listen to local recommendations when available and do not solely rely on travel books. Plus point is that local areas tend to be cheaper than the touristic ones. 
  5.  Being culturally insensitive. Take the initiative to step out of your comfort zone, to understand the local reality and new cultures. An open mind will help you absorb the culture and help you gain better understanding thus developing your world view. 

These things can be deemed as intimidating if you are a beginner traveler or if you’re traveling alone. Good news is that when volunteering with AIESEC, we cover all of these bases. We ensure and handle simple insurance and visa processes before you leave, we arrange airport pickup from AIESECers upon your arrival and you get a taste of life in that respective country by volunteering towards one of the Sustainable Development Goals! Find your perfect fit at aiesec.org


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 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!

The work world is changing, how can I adapt?

The world of work is changing. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children entering primary school today will be employed in jobs that do not yet exist. Sustainable Development Goal 8 aims to increase productivity and tackle unemployment rates. It also aims to eliminate all types of informal work to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth. (Sustainable Development) If most jobs are predicted to be taken over by automation and soon artificial intelligence, how can we prepare ourselves for the future? We need to prepare ourselves in a way that will easily allow us to adapt into future jobs, but as well for us to fulfil our passion. In my opinion, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is an amazing framework to kick off your plan towards your professional life with success and passion!

Be Proactive
Reactive people focus on the things that are simply out of their control. Proactive people on the other hand realise that complaining about something that is not going to change anything, but there are things that can be controlled that can influence your ultimate goal. People normally focus on the things that they cannot control, because it is simply easier, because it does not require you to actually do something about it. But in order to be successful and to work into creating an outcome you hope to see, do something about it.

Begin with the end in mind
When you leave this earth, what do you want to be remembered by? Are you achieving your goals? Are you actively working towards becoming the person you ultimately want to be? Make sure that what you are doing today contributes to what you want people to remember about you when the time comes and for you to live your life to the fullest.

Put first things first
Think about when someone asks you what you deem as most important in your life, what are you thinking about? Now, think about how much to contributed or spent time with that today and if not today in the past week? Are you truly putting first things first?

Think win-win
This is a crucial point for your future working life and your way up to success. Not everything is a zero sum game, in order for you to win, someone else does not have to lose. If we think this way, we will never be able to fulfil SDG 8 and without a collective win, you will never be able to grow to your fullest potential.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood
Say you worked really hard on a paper for University until it seems like you were putting in more effort into your paper than your friends were in theirs, but you got the lowest grade in the class. This is important, because often times we do not understand what the exercise wants needs or how it is supposed to be answered. We do not listen to what the professor or whoever is grading your paper wants you to mention or how you should structure your paper or what that person wants you to learn from it. So seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Team work is the dream work. As cliche as it sounds, if you work as a collective you will be able to achieve much more than you would on your own.

Sharpen the saw
You have to work on the foundation before you build your house. What does that mean? We need to work on the things that mentally and physically do us good in order for us to strive in this life. Do the little things that make us people, that helps us relax, the things that bring us joy, the things that will motivate us and give us the energy to do exactly what we want to achieve.

Start working on this seven points today and await your successful, passion filled journey on contributing the SDG 8. The world is your oyster! What are you doing this summer? Do you want to travel and work on a project based on one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals? Find your perfect match at aiesec.org!

Some Plastic for Dinner?

Let’s talk about the mess we are making in our oceans. But first:

3 things you need to know to survive:

  • Water covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface.
  • The human body consists of 70-80% water.
  • Without water, a person can not live for more than 7 days.

Water is the source of our life. So why, according to estimates by the UN environmental service, are about 8 tons of plastic, household, and industrial waste, thrown out into the ocean every year?

Even such a large natural resource is not able to recycle so much waste. There is a poisoning of the fauna and flora of both coastal and marine, the decline of fisheries.

Plastic waste makes up clusters and stains in the waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans. Most of the garbage is generated due to the dumping of waste from densely populated areas of the coast. Often, marine animals swallow bags and small particles of plastic, confusing them with food, which leads to their death.


It was found that only in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, the amount of plastic increased 100 times. Even small particles can change the natural ocean environment. During the calculations, about 90% of the animals on the shore die from plastic waste, which they mistake for food. 


What could be more dangerous than plastic? Microplastic of course! 

According to the existing definitions, microplastic is any piece of plastic, five millimeters to one micrometer, that is, one-thousandth of a millimeter, in size.

New research shows that microplastic, in addition to being present in the air, is found in some foods, and especially in seafood. And this is quite logical: since there is a lot of microplastic in water, it is consumed by fish and other marine organisms that take it as food. Scientists add that microplastic is found even in deep-sea organisms, and mussels and oysters have the greatest risk of accumulating it in themselves.

Sustainable Development Goal 14 “Life below water” calls for careful management of this essential global resource that is a key feature of a sustainable future. 

Do something to protect the most important resource for our lives today! Volunteer for the SDG 14 this summer contributing to environmental projects, by applying on aiesec.org!


Valeriya  Palhuyeva
International Development, University of Vienna

What is FridaysForFuture and why should I care?

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve most likely seen it on social media, on the news or maybe even in real life, in your city. Kids around the world are taking to the streets, protesting a political and economic system that hasn’t been taking the needed action to stop climate change. They call it FridaysForFuture. But many people have been asking – is the topic really urgent enough that kids should be skipping classes for it?

Answer: yes

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the situation is very urgent indeed. We are already experiencing a 1ºC rise in global temperature compared to preindustrial times, but this number will only go up if we continue emitting carbon into the atmosphere at the rate that we’re doing it now. That means rising sea levels, endangering our global supply of food, our homes as well as the habitats of many plants and animals. It also means more extreme weather phenomena, even more deadly than climate disasters we’ve already been experiencing now. We can’t afford to ignore this crisis, because unless we come together as one humanity, and completely change how we do things, our days on this planet are numbered.

climate change scenarios

Unfortunately, coming together as one humanity to completely change how we do things is not something that has ever been done before. As Vox‘s David Roberts describes it, “It would be like the US mobilizing for WWII, only across the globe, sustained for the rest of the century. Nothing like that has ever happened.” Indeed, certain countries are taking steps in the opposite direction as we speak. Changing our policies to stop climate change will mean a very inconvenient and uncomfortable period ahead. Many governments and corporations are not willing to make these sacrifices.

That is why we are seeing kids worried enough to go on strike. That is why Fridays for Future is a huge movement and only growing. According to their website, during the week of March 15, there were at least 1.6 million strikers on all 7 continents. Young people are the generation that will need to live in the world that is currently being destroyed. There’s plenty of reasons to take it personally.


Concerned? Me too. So what can we do?

Firstly, there are a huge number of small steps you can take in your daily life to make sure that you, personally, are not making the situation worse. You can find lists of actions all over the internet, like this one from RESET.org.

Secondly, why not join a FridaysForFuture climate strike, and find out first hand how important it is that we push our governments to take urgent climate action, and keep the temperatures from rising even further. You can find out when and where you nearest strike is taking place on the FridaysForFuture website.

Thirdly, since global problems require global solutions, you can take action in a Global Volunteer project for climate action. Simply search for Climate Action projects on AIESEC.org and apply for one of the 6-week projects on the platform. It’s a great chance to learn about another culture, while helping make sure we stop climate change around the globe.

There are many other ways you can contribute. About the only thing you should not do, is nothing. Science shows that we can’t continue living like this. So let’s take action.

Graphic/photo credits: Vox.comfridaysforfuture.at


SDG 4: Why does education matter?

In 2015, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development under the auspices of the United Nations in New York, Member States formally adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda provides for 17 goals, including a new global goal education (SDG 4). This goal is to provide inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Education is a key element that will achieve many other sustainable development goals (SDGs). If people have the opportunity to receive a quality education, they can break out of the vicious circle of poverty. Extreme poverty is now defined as living on less than $ 1.25 a day. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) has been conducting research in 105 countries, where 75% of the world’s population lives, or 5.7 billion people. Experts found that 23.5% of them live below the poverty line. Experts noted that more than half (662 million people) of those who live below the poverty line are minors. The poorest regions in the world are sub-Saharan Africa, where 58% of the population lives in poverty, and South Asia (31%).

Therefore, education contributes to reducing inequality and achieving gender equality. Based on data from 114 countries for the period from 1985 to 2005, it was found that one additional year of study corresponds to a 1.4 percentage point reduction in the Gini coefficient.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work and participation in political and economic processes will contribute to the sustainability of the economy and benefit society.

Investing in educational programs for girls and increasing the age of marriage will provide an income five times higher than the amount invested.

Education also plays an important role in promoting tolerance in human relations and contributes to the formation of more peaceful societies.

Have you ever thought that you can make a difference in the world, it starts with that first step and works well as the butterfly effect. If you want to contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals and tackle the issues you’re most passionate about, find the Opportunities here.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

written by Asli Ertem

In order to achieve full and equal access to education and participation in science for women and girls, and to encourage empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (8%).

Access to education, participation in science and gender equality are all pressing social issues that must be tackled in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Gender bias and stereotypes are pushing girls and women away from science related topics. In most cases, further obstacles like socio-economic status, traditional norms about gender role status prevent them to access education and exclude them from participating in these fields.

Access to education, participation in science and gender equality are all pressing social issues that must be tackled in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

As YouthSpeak Forum we value and stand for SDG 4 Quality Education and SDG 5 Gender Equality. Join us on 19th March and take part in our workshop related to Quality Education and other SDGs. Let’s take action to remove all the barriers that hold women and girls all over the world from getting their right to access education and pursue their goal of fully participating in science.

Let’s celebrate today and every day, women and girls who are leading innovation to debunk the myth that science and technology can’t be interesting for a woman!

Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
#IChooseAction. Do you?

YouthSpeak Team Takes Action! Part II

written by Asli Ertem

“What can a single person change anyway?” We are all familiar with this question. It is a sentence we hear in the middle of a hot conversation or a slinking thought in our head once in a while. But we have to keep in mind that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a single action will go a long way. As the YouthSpeak Forum Organizing Team, we shared some of our little steps we take towards awareness and sustainability every day:

Masa Mitic
Economical University of Vienna • Law

Yet another passed, another will come soon and so on and so on…it’s an endless circle. Every student knows this feeling, the exam week. But they don’t come along alone. With every new exam week, new books come along. For a simple book of 200 pages that is produced in a edition that is consisted out of 20.000 books 56 trees need to be cut down. Now, just imagine how many trees do you need for one university campus, how many forests have to go away? Instead of buying a new book, try to borrow it from a friend, or from the library or just buy it from someone who doesn’t need it anymore. You will not only save money, but with selling/buying/ borrowing a book from someone, you will keep a forest alive.

Nikola Brandstaetter
University of Vienna • Law

As Madeleine Daria Alizadeh, Founder of dariadeh recently wrote in her blog, approximately 1.6 billion tonnes of the food produced for us goes to waste. A new analysis from 2018 shows, that if we keep up with the current this number will increase by a third by 2030, with 2.1 billion tons lost or thrown away, which is equivalent to 66 tonnes per second. In 2016 815 million people, which accounted to over 10% of the world population, were suffering from chronic undernourishment. Furthermore, food waste and loss accounts for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Reasons for that are diverse. Especially in industrialising countries, where wealth grows, the demand for more diverse food, food that is not grown locally, is increasing. Supply and demand have to be matched better and companies have to start promoting items that are about to expire soon. On the other hand, we buy too much food and anything that doesn’t meet the aesthetic standards after a few days in the fridge might be thrown out. But also government regulations have to be made, as for now there is little to no incentives for companies to reduce food waste. Governmental restrictions on expiration dates, storage and size (like in China, where the size of blueberries that can be sold is regulated) support food waste rather than diminishing it. I try to reduce food waste by buying from local markets, not buying too much food and not throwing away things, when it does not look that delicious anymore. I also eat food when it already passed it expire date and still seems good to me. What do you personally do to reduce food waste?

Denise Steger
Economical University of Vienna • International Business

Growing up in the heart of the Alps, South Tyrol, with nature everywhere around me I always asked myself as a kid, why we had to “import” electricity from over 100km away to our small village. I knew about the possibility of using hydroelectric power to produce electricity but didn’t understand why we didn’t implement this technology in our village yourselves since we had a rather powerful river just flowing through the valley. My dad was the major at the time and as soon as he heard my thoughts a new inspiration came to his mind. Over the course of 3 years he managed to plan and implement the construction of the northernmost hydroelectric power plant of Italy and it was put into operation in 2007. Do you know “How hydroelectricity works” ? It is a more sustainable alternative to coal or atomic energy and doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Interested to learn more and do more to create your own impact and take action? Join us at the YouthSpeak Forum 2019!

YouthSpeak Team Takes Action! Part I

written by Asli Ertem

“What can a single person change anyway?” We are all familiar with this question. It is a sentence we hear in the middle of a hot conversation or a slinking thought in our head once in a while. But we have to keep in mind that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a single action will go a long way. As the YouthSpeak Forum Organizing Team, we shared some of our little steps we take towards awareness and sustainability every day:

Carolyn Lai
University of Vienna • Politics

Coming from Malaysia, diving is a must. I love the ocean and life under water. It gives me great pain to know that water pollution is a serious problem in Malaysia. Because I grew up in one of the most metropolitan cities in South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur, it never occurred to me how statically water pollution was increasing. Each year, beaches become more unsanitary. The fish in our rivers contain 80% plastic. Generally, Malaysia lacks a central agency to manage the overall aspects of water resources management, so I decided to take it into my own hands. Tap water in Malaysia is not drinkable, so for as long as I can remember, my family buys big bottles of filtered water to put into our water dispenser at home resulting in the disposal of four 5 litre plastic bottles each week. To take action, I now boil tap water to decrease the number of disposed plastic bottles each week and encouraged my grandma to do the same. Now whenever water is served in our household, it is boiled tap water.  I hope that one day, all families in Malaysia will mirror this action step. I stand for SDG14 & SDG 6.

Valeriya Palhuyeva
University of Vienna • International Development

According to the data published on the website “Global Index of Slavery”, at the moment there are 40,3 million slaves in the world. Have you ever wondered how many slaves work for you? Don’t be shocked by this question, because victims of modern slavery may be people of all nationalities and cultures. No one in the modern world is protected from slavery. The general terms “modern slavery”, “forced labor” and “human trafficking” are used to refer to the act of recruiting, harbouring, transporting, delivering or obtaining a person for the purpose of using it for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation by physical force, deception or coercion. Look around you and think, do you really know how the things you buy were made? That your smart phone, t-shirt, computer, cup of coffee…

Out of the 17 SDGs, human trafficking is specifically mentioned in three targets under three goals: 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 16 (Peace Justice and Strong Institutions). However, many other goals are related to combating human trafficking, which is deeply rooted in development issues in general, including poverty, education, child labor, abuse and exploitation, gender inequality and discrimination, migration, and the effects of climate change.

Be Aware! How many slaves work for you?

Asli Ertem
University of Vienna • Sociology

When I watched the ‘True Cost’ documentary a few years ago I was shocked by the reality of fast fashion and my ignorant consumer habits. It was a wakeup call for me to realize how we damage our environments and support all kind of inequalities for the sake of following cheap, fast fashion trends.

I stand for SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. I decided to learn more about the concept of responsible consumption and change my habits accordingly. First, I changed the way I look at wearing fancy outfits every single day in general and minimized my shopping activities to few times a year from sustainable brands. Now, I also try to follow and go to second-hand markets and events in the city. But most importantly, when I don’t need or wear something, I make sure to donate them. And I really recommend that to every single person!

Interested to learn more and do more to create your own impact and take action? Join us at the YouthSpeak Forum 2019!

5 Ways To Stay Sustainable While Studying

written by Asli Ertem

Once again, this year, the call for sustainable and conscious living is loud and clear. As YouthSpeak Forum, to ensure sustainable consumption and production will be one of the Global Goals we’ll be tackling in March.

“Sustainable consumption and production is about promoting resource and energy efficiency, sustainable infrastructure, and providing access to basic services, green and decent jobs and a better quality of life for all. Its implementation helps to achieve overall development plans, reduce social costs, and reduce poverty.”

As exams are right around to corner, we took this chance to rethink our lifestyle and habits as students, thought of 5 ways to “do more with less” and contribute to a better environment by making green choices this month.

1.Stay away from disposables.
You have probably heard this one a couple of times now, but it can be never mentioned enough. To survive during the exam period, we go through cups of coffee, tea (and hopefully a lot of water). The majority of us also bring our own food to the university to keep it healthy and economic. Unfortunately, that would mean a lot of waste every single day unless we opt for reusable cups and containers over disposables ones. So try to reduce your plastic waste by buying few reusable items for this month. Plus, places around the university give discounts if you bring your own reusable item to fill!

2.Reduce your paper waste.
Paper is one of the main areas where university students can save money and the environment. The options are endless when it comes to reducing your paper waste. You can easily borrow books from the university library or maybe buy them second hand from someone who don’t need it anymore. If you’re studying from notes or slides, try not to print them. You have colorful highlight options on your laptop as well!

No matter how hard we try, even in the best case, we end up with unnecessary amount of printed assignments or papers handed out by lecturers by the end of each term. For that, most universities have recycle bins in the campus buildings. Be sure to put paper, plastic and cans in those bins. Take your game a step forwards and make it a habit to separate& recycle your waste at home as well. For that find the nearest recycle bin to your house and if you’re living in Austria it shouldn’t be too far anyway!

4. Avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
Most of us consume more energy while studying… Charging our laptops and phones multiple times a day and staying up late or even all night is only normal when you have a lot to do. Still, unplugging your chargers when not used or switching off your devices along with all the unnecessary lights while you’ re studying is only a few little things you can do. Research from the University of Kent has found that students can contribute reducing energy consumption by 37% if they can see the amount of energy they are using in real-time and are motivated by their peers to save energy.

5.Bike, walk or use public transportation.
Avoid driving your own car to the university campus. For many reasons it is the better option. Did you know that transportation accounts for more than 25% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions? So, You will not only get some fresh air and save money but do more good for the environment more than you think by reducing your footprint.

Interested to learn more and do more to create your own impact? Check out YouthSpeak Forum 2019!

The Most Important Declaration

written by Asli Ertem

“It is time all nations and all people live up to the words of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal
and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. This year marks the 70th
anniversary of that landmark document.”

– Secretary-General António Guterres.

Every so often a thing comes to pass with such an importance that we must stand up and recognize it. We must take on and spread its message as far as our voice will carry. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the first and the most fundamental declaration of human rights. It was drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the World and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 10 December 1948 in Paris.

Since then, 10 December is celebrated as the Human Rights Day. Different than the previous years, in 2018, the Human Rights Day has a special meaning to it. This year marks the 70th Anniversary of this remarkable document that proclaimed the inalienable rights we are each individually entitled, no matter who or where we are. ‘Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.’ Article 2

Although it may seem like we have a long way to go, there is a lot to appreciate in these statements that acknowledged the freedom and equality we all deserve way back in 1948. Now, On the 70th Anniversary of this universal milestone, The UN Human Rights Office, is calling every person to #StandUp4HumanRights and strive for equality in their actions. As a first step to make a difference I took the Human Rights Pledge*. “When anyones human rights are denied, I will raise my voice, I will take action. I will use my rights to stand up for your rights.”

Today, on 10th December Human Rights Day, #IChooseAction. Do you?

“International interns are a highly welcomed addition”

Last week, we had a chat with our Empower Austria partner, ONDEWO, an awarded Austrian high-tech startup developing AI-based natural language understanding and automated conversation flows. ONDEWO helps companies digitize their human-machine-interface and “stay human” at the same time. They’ve developed a “SMART DIGITAL ASSISTANT Platform” that builds on artificial intelligence, NLP technology, machine learning algorithms and an automated conversation flow management framework.

This winter, they participated in Empower Austria, our 12-week startup internship program, and took an intern from the Netherlands — which proved to be a great success. We’ll let CEO and CTO Andreas Rath explain to us why.

AIESEC: What was important for you to consider while choosing an intern?

Andreas Rath: We consider fit with team as well as cost-benefit aspects. First, fit with the team is important so that effective collaboration as well as team fun can be achieved. Second, we are happy to invest into good interns by training them, challenging them and thus helping them grow and develop. For these investments, we are of course also looking for a return. Thus, interns are always welcome if they use this personal growth opportunity, choose to play a significant role in the company and contribute to success and impact.

A: Why did you choose to work with an international intern?

R: The two founders have a strong background and very good experience with work in an international context (e.g., USA, Canada, Netherlands, France, Finland, UK, Italy, Middle East). Furthermore, we are already an international team at ONDEWO with employees from Austria, Germany, Netherlands, the Philippines and Ukraine. International interns are thus a highly welcomed addition.

A: You’re currently working with a Dutch intern, Leoni. How has Leoni contributed to your startup?

R: Leoni had great impact already. She was given a lot of freedom and responsibility to handle HR, Marketing and company operations and excelled along all tasks with her highly motivated and self-driven approach, her strong analytical skills and structured way of working and her drive towards excellence.

A: At which point of your startup development did you see the need for increasing the number of employees?

R: From the first second on. Our business model is based on scalability and there are always too many topics and not enough hands. Being forced to prioritize from the first day on, we focused on finding grant money of which we invested 90% into hiring more employees. We are growing now and we will continue to grow the next years.

A: What is the most challenging part when hiring people in a startup?

R: Three things make it challenging: (1) Uncertainty in tasks, (2) job riskiness and (3) limited cash. First, there are no fixed positions in the beginning and the required skill set can shift even on a daily basis. Thus, finding experts and allrounder talents in one person that in addition can deal with the ambiguity and uncertainty of the task shifts is challenging. Second, without a proven track record and limited recurring revenue streams, startups are always the more risky choice for employees compared to secure jobs at established companies. Thus, startups need to find other ways to become attractive and compensate for this risk. Third, with limited cash in the startup phase, many interesting senior profiles are difficult to win. Bonus in 2 years or stock options don’t pay rent. Finding a compromise is required here.

A: What HR structure are you using?

We have divided the company in two teams – product and commercial. The product team drives the technological development and builds our product. The commercial team shapes interactions with stakeholders such as users and customers. There are strong ties between the two teams but this split also allows for efficient work while deep-diving into topics. Administrative workload is being handled by the management and every employee has certain additional administrative tasks. So no worries, no-one only does the coffee 🙂  

A: What is an added value of having internationals in your team?

R: International employees help us in three ways: fresh ideas, overcoming groupthink, and preparing for international expansion. First, we are building products that are at the cutting edge of technology. We like to include the latest thinking from all around the world and therefore rely on international employees. We believe that broad experience is always value adding. Second, teams can easily start to think and act alike, especially in small startups with frequent interactions. Bringing in new employees with different backgrounds in culture and language helps a lot! Third, we plan to expand internationally and thus need to better understand target markets. Employees with a native background are valuable first guides in this expansion.

A: Describe your team and how are their background diverse, how has this shown when working together?

R: We are diverse in many dimensions. Age ranges from 20 to 36. Male and female. Some techies and others with commercial focus. Employees with a doctor’s degree, others with practical experience. Some living in Vienna, others joining via video conference from a rural part of the Netherlands. Multiple nationalities, ranging from Austria, Germany, Netherlands, the Philippines and to Ukraine. Working together works well with a joint vision and shared values.

A: Would you take part in Empower Austria again, would you recommend it and why?

R: Yes, full recommendation and always again. We believe in exchange, and on top, we found great person to support our startup.

Do you also want to grow your venture with young international talent? Find out more and drop us a line at empower.austria.at!

Adaptability – the key to staying competitive

Original article by Aseel Badran on aiesec.org

We live in a world of challenges, risk, and instability, and on each day, we might face many situations where we have to deal with sudden changes and respond to challenging environments. As a result, the competitive advantage no longer arises exclusively from the previous experience, positions taken, or formal education, we need to increase our competitiveness by automatically adjusting our performance to the current conditions with the maximum flexibility in the workplace as well as our personal lives.

Another feature of change in the world has been the development in the nature of jobs, therefore, the best job candidates are those who are comfortable making quick business decisions,  able to acquire new skills, and ready to learn new technologies needed in the current fast-moving marketplace, in one word, those who can adapt.

Being adaptable has many benefits, but we should realize that they may need some practice. Below we have listed some of those benefits:

  1.  Adaptability is the new competitive advantage

According to iCIMS, the top three soft skills recruiting professionals value most in a job candidate included problem-solving (62 percent), adaptability (49 percent) and time management (48 percent). While the sets of hard skills differ depending on the employer and the position, recruiters look for adaptability as a key soft skill.

  1. Adaptable employees can become great leaders

Employees who are adaptable excel as leaders. They can influence people around them to embrace change, they take the responsibility to add a lot to the company and give it more opportunities to progress. Those who want to succeed and push themselves are always seeking out bigger and better things, they always bring new ideas and take the initiative to push themselves and others around them to be creative. Take advantage of them!

  1. Adaptable employees are self-motivated

Those who can easily adapt to changes, accept challenges, learn new things, have the feeling that you can do anything. They believe they have the skills, the knowledge, and the ability to learn and change achieving a better version of themselves. Because self-motivated people are internally driven, managers and companies will not need to make a lot of effort to reinforce their strong loyalty and commitment.

In the rapidly-changing market of these days, employers are always seeking for employees who can come up with new ideas and take the initiative to make them happen. These days, adaptability has become the new competitive advantage, a critical quality that allows employees to stand out. If you are looking for highly adaptable employees, make sure to have a look here.

Are you a startup looking to level up your game with adaptable and talented people? Check out the Empower Austria project and contact us to find out more!

Don’t Give Up

Living in this fast paced, competitive world of ours, there is a lot of pressure on us from a very young age. Get good grades, have extracurricular activities, get into a good university etc. It’s hard to manage all of those things.

When I was growing up I was learning several languages, doing sports learning an instrument and all of this next to school. When I started university, this didn’t change. I am a person who likes to keep busy because I believe that it makes you grow as a person.

But this also has its downsides. There are days when all of us think “why am I doing this right now?” or “I don’t want to do it anymore”. Staying motivated is a difficult task but there are ways to ensure that. When I feel overwhelmed with work, I like to take some time off and just do things that I really enjoy where I don’t have to think about my work load. I spend time with my friends where I can just relax.

Sometimes what really helps me as well is just being by myself. Most of the time I am surrounded by a lot of people and it can get very overwhelming so sometimes being at home, reading a book or watching a movie can do wonders for my motivation.

However, what I noticed is that when your work is what you love you can achieve incredible things. Find something that you enjoy, go after it and you will have all the motivation you need. Don’t give up when something doesn’t work out, just keep going. Success is not measured by your achievements but by how many times you are able to stand up again after you fall.

You have to go out there, make new experiences, step outside of your comfort zone and you will discover what it is that you want to do.


What I lost through AIESEC


That’s right. Being in the organization for years I lost many things. But it’s not what you think. It’s a good thing. My entire experience I have lost so many fears. From a fear of public speaking to a fear of failure and many more. But how can this be? How can working in an organization be so liberating? Well, by being in AIESEC you are being put in new environments and faced with new challenges every single day. You are encouraged to do things that you never thought you would, like speak in front of a class of 500 students. But after you do it, you feel incredible. You feel pride, a sense of accomplishment and the next time you have to do it, it gets easier and easier.

You are constantly surrounded with many different people from different nationalities, with different skill sets and different stories and you develop with them. Learning from each other is what makes this organization so special. The connections you make with people are not just work related but are genuine friendships. And the biggest benefit of all is the leadership development. If you already know something about AIESEC you will know that we are an organization that aims to develop leadership skill in young people, because we believe it is the fundamental solution to the world’s problems. But what does leadership even mean?

The dictionary says that leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this. 

But it is so much more.

There is quote by Seth Godin, an american author and marketer, that defines it perfectly to me: Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.”  By developing leadership you are enabling yourself to grow and at the same time helping others to do the same and to make their ideas a reality and if every single person is aware enough we can achieve things of unthinkable proportions.

If you want to be part of an organization that not only develops you but also encourages you to help develop others, then you can sign up here and trust me, you will not regret it!


New Year, New Me

Two weeks have already passed in 2017. According to a survey, only around 68% of people are still carrying on with their New Year’s Eve resolutions. That’s over 30% of people who have already given up on them. After just two weeks.

There are various opinions about New Year’s resolutions. Some people say, ‘I don’t need a new year to better myself and to try to achieve goals’. Others say, ‘I need this moment when the new year starts, to really be able to commit to my changes’.

Regardless of your stance on this matter, most of us have made some kind of resolutions at the beginning of a year. And when you commit to something, you should make sure that you achieve it.

But how can you make sure that you set new year’s resolutions that you can actually achieve?

The key is self-awareness. You have to know yourself, so that you know what you are capable of and what you can actually achieve. Once you reach that point, you won’t say that you will become a millionaire in 2017 (which doesn’t mean that you can’t) or that you will become the president of the United States of America (which is less likely, but who knows). Start small – every huge, ambitious goal can be broken down into smaller, achievable goals. Achieving these small goals will make you feel a sense of accomplishment and you will feel more motivated to actually go further and strive for the bigger ones.

Once you have reached that level of self-awareness, all that is stopping you is a lack of discipline. The way to the top is a hard one. Nothing that really matters comes easy in life, but working hard means achieving great things, so isn’t it all worth it?

However, when making new year’s resolutions, you should not just think about yourself. It’s easy to say ‘I will lose weight this year’ or ‘I will pass all of my exams’ but you should also think about others, who are less fortunate than you are. There are people (many people) in this world who do not have the luxury to think of new year’s resolutions at the end of a year, because they are just trying to survive different kinds of hardships. Think of those people, when contemplating what you will do this year.

AIESEC provides you with the opportunity to go abroad in summer and actually help those people. Our social projects are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, meaning that you will be on the right track to actually contributing to a better future. Volunteer this summer and make this year meaningful. You can find more information here!

If you’re thinking “I would like to contribute, but I can’t afford to leave my hometown” — fear not, we have an option for you, too! Join AIESEC at your local university and make all these social projects possible, while developing yourself personally and professionally and joining a huge international network.

2017 can be a big year – if you make it big. Be self-aware, show discipline and care for others and it will be the best year of your life!

Youth activism is important

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

AIESEC is the world’s largest youth run organization, officially founded in 1948 after the second world war by a group of young students from different countries with the goal to avoid cross-cultural conflict.

Now, more than 60 years later, we are active with more than 70.000 active members worldwide and present in over 120 countries and territories. But what do we do?

The main goal of AIESEC is peace and fulfillment of humankind’s potential, which we believe can be achieved by engaging and developing every young person in the world for a better future. Young people have power and we can make a change. We should not be underestimated. In AIESEC we help students from all around the world to develop their leadership skills by putting them into challenging environments and through that letting them grow.

With our three exchange programs we send people abroad to do social internships, work in startups and intern at companies all around the world. As an example, in the last 5 years over 102.000 young people volunteered abroad to tackle social issues in another country. Due to our cooperation with the United Nations, all of our social projects are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and are actively contributing to solving these issues.

You can be part of this movement. Join AIESEC and become part of a huge international network, develop your skills and contribute to making our present and future a better place.

You can find more information here, and here is the registration form, if you decide to sign up!

Can you guess the country?

Did you guess India? Then you were correct! India has many very advanced sectors but unfortunately education is one thing that is still not available equally everywhere. You can do something about it! Go to New Delhi and work in the ‘FOOTPRINTS’ project. Prepare and deliver classes on different subjects to children. Contribute to the Sustainable Development Goal #4 – Quality Education and make an impact while getting to know the incredible culture of India.

Take Action and apply for the project here:

To find out more about Global Volunteer, visit this website.

Quality Education

SDG #4. Quality Education.

‘Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think’ – Albert Einstein

We have to teach our people about other cultures and to understand and accept others – We are all human and our differences make us unique. They shouldn’t tear us apart but unite us.

Everyone on this planet deserves the same level of education so that they can use their resources to their best abilities.

If you want to take action, check out this opportunity in Finland


And fill out the YouthSpeak Survey, to let your voice be heard:


Teamwork. A word that people like to throw around, but what does teamwork really mean?

There is a variety of definitions, but why is it so hard to establish one? I think it’s difficult because teamwork comes with many facets. Being in AIESEC, I defined the most important parts about teamwork — relationships, cooperation and leadership.

Growing up I had the deep belief that teamwork is something that distinguishes me, that I am a good team player. I kept that belief but my perception of teamwork changed as I got older. Being a shy kid I always tried my best to not be the centre of attention, especially when thrown into a group of people I didn’t knew before. So in a team environment I would take the passive role as someone who is always agreeing to others and trying hard to not be destructive in any way.

So how did my understanding of teamwork develop by joining AIESEC?

Being a member of AIESEC put me in a whole variety of team experiences. Starting with being team member I realised that being good friends with everyone doesn’t necessarily lead to good results. You need to make sure that every member still knows their responsibilities and nobody neglects their duties so that the consequences won’t be that bad.

Moving on to a team leader position I got to know the importance of gaining an understanding of every different team member and finding a way to include everyone in the team. You need to respect different personalities and find a common vision and goal that everyone can strive for. We try to cooperate, using our individual skills and providing constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between the individuals. I was leading a group of different personalities but I would try my best to find common grounds by communicating and working together.

Working with a lot of different people and ideas I also realised that sometimes you need to take leadership of your team. Leaving behind ideas just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings can lead to a disadvantage for the whole team. If you are confident in your ideas and beliefs then take the ownership for the wellbeing of your team and the results you want to achieve

By putting me in various team experiences and giving me the chance to take the leadership role, AIESEC helped me to get a far better understanding of teamwork.

Written by Sebastian Berg

University life: 
Getting what you need in 4 steps

What do you do when your university schedule does not quite fulfil you?

Panic, drop out, change subject or even university?

Absolutely not, you simply figure out what you are missing and get it from somewhere else.

First of all there is nothing wrong with changing your field of study. Just make sure that you are 100% clear on your decision. Not all of us know what we want to do in our lives, which goals we want to achieve, what we want to spend our time on and with whom we want to spend our time.

If you need some proof you can simply contact some of my older friends and they will tell you how often I changed my life plans. Even in this moment I don’t have a plan that is set in stone and it is very likely that it will not be the way I expect it to be right now.

However, that does not stop me from being super interested in various different subjects and wanting to learn something new every day.

So if you are not satisfied with your university courses; fear not, I have a solution that allows you to tailor your university experience to your needs. As long as you don’t totally hate the subject you are studying I am sure there will be at least one or two points that will help you shape your future.

This topic has been on my mind a lot recently. This is coming from me spending two years at university, finally feeling like I found the right way to get everything I expected to get from university, from my day to day experiences. For me this wasn’t easy, but I will give my best to make your life a bit easier.

Here we go!

Step 1: Talk with (the right) people

Growing up a lot of us make the mistake of asking the wrong people for advice. Talking to people in general can be very insightful, but be careful which advice you follow.

To explain this with an example:

Let’s assume for a second you want to create an amazing start-up. Whom would you ask for advice? Your professor? Your parents? Your friends? Or perhaps someone who actually has an amazing start-up?

The answer to this might seem very obvious, but you meet people every day that struggle to implement this thought in their search for guidance.

So far so good. There is another point you should watch out for when looking for advice.

When you are working closely with someone, to learn from what they are able to do. You are not only learning from their behavior, but also from their attitude. Respect yourself enough to walk away from someone who might have the knowledge you need, but does not apply it according to your beliefs and your values.

Of course finding a person who has the exact skills and attitudes you are looking for is not always easy, but I assure you it is worth finding the right people to talk to.

To summarize: Talk to the people that are where you want to be.

Step 2: Learn with others

“I am so much faster when I study this by myself.”

Who of you had this thought before? – I sure did.

From experience I can tell you that when it comes to studying it is not always about understanding the subject or passing an exam. To learn the most about a topic it often helps to see it from a different perspective.

On the one hand, this gives you the possibility to refine your understanding and your ideas. On the other hand, seeing what motivates other people to learn and develop themselves in a certain area can also restore your curiosity and interest in your subject area.

Step 3: Create impact in the “real world”

Throughout my university experience I asked one question a lot: “How can I apply this?”

I rarely got a good answer. For me personally this was one of the main reasons why I started looking for something that I could do additionally to my studies.

What I found was AIESEC. There I started to use the skills I got from university, different jobs, and internships all in one place. By working with many different stakeholders and developing leadership in the people that surround me I started changing the society I live in.

This was eye opening for me because I found something that I deeply care about. Knowing that not everyone has the same goals, I can only tell you: Find what you stand for. Find something that you want to create. Few things are as fulfilling as creating impact through your own actions.

No matter where you find this space to apply your knowledge practically, I am sure looking for it will be worth your time.

Step 4: Strive for goals

Nothing in life is as easy as giving up.

In the times of delivery services, Netflix & Co it is very easy to waste a whole day by indulging in small, short term happiness boosts. As dedicated as we seemed when we put our goals and dreams on paper, for every journey there comes the time when we forget why we even started it.

As nice as creating an impact in the “real world” sounds in the beginning, there comes the point when reality actually hits you. As long as the budget only exists on paper it does not really limit you. Even working in a team is a lot easier if it is not you who has to worry about the team’s structure.

Do not let reality push you down. I strongly believe that the beauty of achieving goals gets lost when achieving them is too easy.

To achieve your goals, sooner or later you will work with real resources. Working in AIESEC lead me through a lot of ups and downs when it comes to that. Getting used to the threats that reality has prepared for us made my life a lot easier and helped me to stick to my goals more persistently.

Last but not least: Know what your goals mean to you. Be clear on what you want to achieve during your time as a student and follow up on it.

Do not back down – it is worth it.

Final recap of the above mentioned tips:

  • Talk to (the right) people
  • Learn with others
  • Create impact in the “real world”
  • Strive for goals

I’ll leave you with this. In the end: is it up to your university, your parents or your government to create your future? Or do you perhaps have a bigger duty in that than everyone else?

After having studied different subjects, worked in different companies and student organizations, for me the answer to this is obvious:

What do you like most about your time as university student? Is there something you disagree with? Questions? Comments? Like my ideas? Tell me in the comments below!

By Lukas Bensch

How I joined AIESEC and why I stayed (a.k.a my last 2.5 years in AIESEC)

Hello, my Name is Johannes Schneeberger and I’m currently studying one of the most hipster studies, Environmental Management a.k.a Umwelt- und Bioressourcenmanagement, a.k.a UBRM, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences a.k.a BOKU. Okay, that was probably a lot of a.k.a’s for now.

If the first part is too boring for you, just skip it because it’s about the military. To answer the first questions – how I joined AIESEC – I want to congratulate and thank the Austrian Military. For those of you, who aren’t familiar with Austrian law, I’ll give you a little introduction why in the world the most central country in Europe, needs to rob six to nine months of every young man’s time, in which he could to something purposeful. All young men in Austria by law are obligated to either do six months of military service or nine months of social service. Well, I chose to be in the military, for the sake of starting one semester earlier with my studies.

So due to the fact that the official language in the Austrian military is not English, my level of English – which was already bad – got even worse during my time in the Bundesheer. Nevertheless, I have to be thankful, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been as appealed when in the first week, a random student started to pitch AIESEC in my lecture, since at that point AIESEC was the chance for me to finally get properly fluent in English. This, and the fact that I like an international atmosphere, made me join AIESEC and I wouldn’t regret this decision in a million years (though the initial reasons were pretty trivial and egoistic).

You would probably ask me now why I don’t regret my decision – or more precisely, why I stayed. Obviously, I didn’t stay because after two and a half years I still solely wanted to improve my English skills. There are thousands of reasons why I stayed, but let me point out the most relevant ones.

When I was back in school I hardly managed to find likeminded people who were eager enough to join my Interrail travels or to do extraordinary stuff. That fundamentally changed when I joined AIESEC. Throughout my journey I had the privilege to mostly work in the on-ground marketing area, doing info booths, promoting our cultural exchange programs on social media or pitching AIESEC in front of 200 students. Therefore, I had the chance to get out of my comfort zone, talking to random people and actually getting to know a lot of students on the campus.

Was it always easy? No, for sure it wasn’t, but I saw my development in public speaking, in doing sales or in simply figuring out a way to communicate effectively, so people would understand what I was trying to explain them. I would say I definitely got more self-aware about my strengths and weaknesses, and got constantly more solution oriented by seeing the thousands of opportunities, instead of focusing on the one obstacle.

So, I was in this Marketing area for one year and I enjoyed it a lot, but since AIESEC is about always challenging yourself and taking new opportunities, I did exactly that back in December 2014, when I applied to be the main responsible for the entire Local Committee at AIESEC at BOKU. It was a huge step for me, because I personally was not really sure if my previous achievements qualified me enough to be the leader of 20 young people. But then, the AIESEC spirit kicked in and I asked myself if I would regret it one year later if I hadn’t applied. Furthermore, those amazing people who worked with me, whom I can proudly call my second family, supported me immensely. So I went for it, and had the honour to lead AIESEC in BOKU for the past year with an amazing bunch of young, motivated and courageous people, who volunteered in order to make a better version of themselves and simultaneously making the world a better place.

Yeah, I know it sounds quite fluffy, but I think nowadays that’s exactly what is missing for many people. Having a vision for the world and acting up on it, no matter what. AIESEC is essentially a group of young people, who really believe that there could be peace in our world and therefore are fostering cultural exchange and developing young leaders, who lead with their heart and not with their greed, for profit or power.

While being the leader of AIESEC in BOKU I had the amazing opportunity to join conferences with more than 300 individuals, coming from more than 50 different countries all over the world. That;s cultural exchange, and it showed me once more the importance and necessity of AIESEC being a worldwide youth voice. All this made me realize how interconnected our world is and made me a world citizen, who doesn’t think in country borders but who finds the similarities between all those different cultures.

On top of all this, I had the chance to facilitate trainings and I needed to figure out how to make a lecture engaging, without having people fall asleep, since they had just slept three hours the night before. This was also a huge challenge for me, since I’d never done it before and in the beginning, I didn’t really believe that I could be a good trainer. A lot of effort and amazing people who supported me, proved me wrong and finally I can proudly say, that I’m able to empower and engage other people.

All these experiences are reason enough for me to invest the majority of my time into AIESEC, because at the end of the day I get so much more back!

Advantages of working with young people

It is important for a company to have the right mix between old and young, experienced and maybe less experienced employees. Some companies prefer to hire employees with a lot of know-how and hands-on experience. However, one thing is for sure: It is always an advantage to have young and motivated people in your company. So, what are those benefits?



Generation Y, born between the 1980s to the early 2000s, also known as the Millennials,

are eager to continuously learn and develop themselves, plus they never stop exploring because of their thirst for knowledge. Young employees are really enthusiastic about their first job and they want to prove what they have learned so far.


Motivate your workforce

Introducing a young person to your workforce could be a chance to develop also their team- and training skills. Younger people have new, fresh ideas and also new solution approaches. Furthermore team members can get highly motivated due to the enthusiasm of a younger person.


Technological expertise

Younger people grew up with the Internet, mobile phones and many more innumerable technological devices. When sometimes experienced employees get confused with modern technology or just Excel Sheets, the Millennials can help them using time-saving shortcuts and formulas. Generation Y has an unique knowledge in technology which should not be missing in your company.


Social Media Fluency

Speaking of technological expertise, Social Media is becoming bigger and bigger and it is unavoidable for a company not using at least one Social Media channel. It is a must-have nowadays and the Millennials grew up with it. More experienced employees sometimes feel not comfortable working with Social Media channels, younger people can help them getting used to it and maybe to really start liking it.



Due to the fact that the world is growing together and young people grew up in a connected world, they have made friends all over the world. Their network not only consists of people from one continent but of people from all over the world. This could be very helpful concerning the internationalization of your company. Furthermore this worldwide network is nowadays easier to maintain thanks to Social Media and the Internet …and so the circle is complete.


All in all, it can be said that having Millennials in your company is not only necessaryut essential and a great investment for the future of your company.



Notes on Leadership

Notes on work, success and leadership – things we forget about


There’s been so much ‘nagging’ about how to become a leader so far. Still, after becoming one, holding on to the gained values is essential. Though, sometimes, pressed by the circumstances, leaders tend to forget some of the values, so here’s a ‘heads up’ about it.


Stay away from ‘the high view’


The usual attitude of many leaders of organisations is “I’m the boss, I’m the special one and you’re just an employee”. Well, that seems a bit wrong, doesn’t it? You know it’s wrong, maybe they know too that it is wrong, but such things happen a lot to people in high positions. Still, that’s not what leadership is all about. Leadership is also about recognising the value of each teammate and using that for the benefit of the organisation, of the common purpose. This is also connected to self- awareness.


Self awareness wins


This is not only about self-confidence, but about realistic self-confidence. It means understanding your strengths, your limitations and in consequence acting from competence: know when to rely on someone else. A good relationship with oneself is always a great benefit when leading – it gets you a good relationship with the others as well.


Don’t force things


Forcing one’s own view onto a situation blinds him or her from seeing what is actually going on. Therefore, one might act inappropriately and mess things up for the team, but also for him- or herself. If not forced, things usually fall into place. Always mind the timing: act the appropriate way at the appropriate time.


Yielding or decisiveness?


It’s just like ying and yang – balance. The middle way always gets the best results. Not falling into extremes is important for a leader. Mixing listening, co-operating, being open with being decisive has the best outcomes for everyone.


Leadership – The Classics


Speaking of being open-minded, here is some precious literature about leadership that will surely help: (all good things come in threes)


  • ‘The Art of War’ – Sun Tzu
  • ‘The Prince’ – Niccolò Machiavelli
  • ‘The Republic’ – Plato

Office diversity

Advantages of Cultural Diversity in the workplace

Thursday morning: Getting an E-Mail from China, answering a phone-call from the USA and having a meeting with a group of customers from India. Cultural diversity takes place in our everyday life, also in our work place. It is important for companies to recognize the advantage of the full potential and benefits of this kind of diversity in the workplace. So what are those advantages?



  • Increase of creativity

Employees with different cultural backgrounds have divergent attitudes and ideas. Furthermore there are also different ways how to solve a problem. Hence you can obtain more ideas and you will have various solutions for one problem or even new alternatives which is a massive advantage for your company and problem-solving strategy.


  • Increase of productivity

Productivity can increase exponentially when diverse people put together all their ideas, thoughts and solutions to meet a goal. In addition, we are living in a high-speed world in which decisions have to be made quickly, therefore companies have to adapt quickly nationally and internationally. The combination of these different point of views, diverse strengths, new processes and skills can be an unique advantage concerning the productivity.


  • Language skills

In the world of globalisation and internationalization language skills are an essential competence of companies nowadays. To build a strong relationship with other companies abroad you should speak the same language and understand your partners. Understanding and speaking a language fluently is hard work but in working with diverse people you do not have to be afraid of language and cultural barriers. Furthermore, getting to know the cultural background and traditions of your business partners could be also a tremendous advantage. Your company can gain a greater perspective on the cultural background which can lead to greater success in global business.


All in all, cultural diversity is an essential part which gets more and more important in our fast-moving, globalized world. Companies should strengthen this diversity and see this as an integral part of the business plan. At the end, this could be the difference.



Source: http://www.ethnoconnect.com/articles/9-business-advantages-of-diversity-in-the-work-place

5 Life Lessons You Will Learn Being Abroad

It’s this time of the year again. The weather gets colder, the days get shorter, the clothes get warmer and you spent more time inside. Summer seems further and further away and it gets harder to remember what the sun felt like on your bare shoulders. Wouldn’t it be great to be at the beach somewhere and get a tan? (And even better if you could develop yourself and help others while doing it?)

Luckily, you can jump on a plane and summer is only a few hours away! But if this isn’t enough reason for you to travel this winter, here are five more:




  1. You will learn to live with less

Unfortunately taking your entire wardrobe (or your entire room) on a trip abroad is pretty much impossible. Packing forces you to really think about what you are going to need – and what items you absolutely can’t live without. Knowing you have to carry these things around makes you think twice before packing the 5th pair of shorts. And you will see, you won’t even miss it! Need some general advice for packing? Check out this website for some tips!


But it’s not only about clothes and personal belongings. While traveling you will consume less in general. It’s way more fun to spend your money on experiences, going out and sightseeing than on new things. And once you experienced that you can live with a lot less, you can implement it in your daily life at home. With less items taking away your attention, you are left with more energy to focus on everything that truly brings you joy.


  1. You will learn how awesome you are

A lot of the plans you have and make while traveling will not work out. Maybe better things happen instead. Maybe not. But you will see that you are okay, whatever situation you are confronted with. There’s always the next stop on the road, new people to meet and new adventures waiting for you. Seeing that you can handle all the situations traveler’s life throws at you will give your confidence an extra boost.


  1. You learn to take care of your health

There are numerous studies that show vacations are good for your physical and mental health. One study for example showed that there is a direct connection between annual travelling and all-cause mortality. Another study deals with the correlation between depression and vacation among women in Wisconsin, USA. Women who took vacations at least twice a year were less prone to depression and tension.

Traveling for better health? Sounds good to me!


  1. You learn to live in the moment

When traveling, you don’t know what the next moment will bring. You are forced to live in the now, to enjoy the places you visit, to concentrate on the people you meet. In everyday life it is so easy to worry about the last test you weren’t good at or the assignment that is due next week. Our thoughts often drift to events in the past or future taking our focus away from the now. While traveling, you realize how valuable the events of the present are. You can let yourself be surprised by the happenings of the future and use all your energy to enjoy the fascinating beauty of the present moment. This skill is not to underestimate in your life back home. It will make your studies, your job and relationships a lot better.


  1. You learn to appreciate home

Coming home after some time abroad allows you to see things differently and to implement all the amazing things you learned while traveling. So you are not only getting to know new places. You will get to know and worship your home country, friend circle and family even more.“

This quote by Terry Pratchet sums it up perfectly:


“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.“


So what are you waiting for? Go abroad in the upcoming winter holidays and enjoy all the amazing benefits traveling brings along.


Start preparing now and check out the projects AIESEC has to offer!

Contact us and we’ll help to get you on the road!

Todays AIESECer, tomorrows leader

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better. “Bill Bradley

Every and each one of us have found ourselves unsatisfied with a certain situation happening to us, either in our society, somewhere over the ocean or a bit closer to us, in our community, at our university…and felt like we in, particular, had no influence over it.
What if we told you that you could definitely have an influence? What if we told you that the world is yours to explore, change, and make a better place for yourself and, for at least for one more person? There is the solution, contained in one word, in one organization.
The magic formula is AIESEC.

Place for the 1st picture

We, in AIESEC put a lot of time, energy and effort into creating leaders of tomorrow. We believe that each individual in this world can make a difference because a potential lies in every single one of us because we all strive to become the best possible versions of ourselves.

So, how do we do it ?!
We ensure that our members gain the four core concepts of AIESEC Leadership development as demonstrated:

Place for the 2nd picture

Being self-aware means to have the capacity to recognize ones strengths and weaknesses, to acknowledge its own emotions, beliefs and thoughts because by getting to know itself, an individual has an opportunity to grow and make advances in its life.
Involvement in AIESEC enables a person to engage into experiences that will drive to understand and live personal values, focusing on strengths over weaknesses and explore one`s passion/s.

By being solution oriented means to come up with solutions to challenges. It means that one is approaching the problems with optimism and an open mind, being flexible and always ready to take the necessary risks. After all, it is essential to bear in mind that the obstacles we encounter on our way to goal are not there to stop us, but push us beyond our comfort zone.
Being a member of AIESEC means to be personally challenged but having in mind that as a part of AIESEC community, you will always be supported and inspired to achieve great things.

To develop “World Citizen” characteristic means to be aware what is going on in the world, enjoy taking an active role in contribution towards making it a better place for everyone. The key for achieving it lays in believing in our own abilities to make a difference in the world because sometimes, even supposedly small steps and contribution from your personal side can make a great difference.

The characteristic that bonds every key point from above and makes it possible to actually get closer to our common goals is to be a team player, meaning to empower others. It implicates that a person is able to communicate ideas clearly, engage in meaningful conversations with others, in diverse environments, and co-create spaces of collaboration that empower people to take action.
AIESEC is a community where knowledge and experience is freely given, received and shared among ourselves and society, wishing to unite people all around the world.

Get in touch with students with Consulting Challenge!

Many employers face different challenges during a recruiting process. It is not only important to know what kind of employees you are looking for, but it is also essential to present the company itself as an attractive work environment. The more specific the tasks and requirements are, the more difficult it is to find the perfect candidate. This is why AIESEC created Consulting Challenge, a unique interactive career event that gives you the opportunity to get in touch with top students from the Business University in Vienna.image1


On the 17th of December get ready to gain insight into the current student market and address your target audience within the framework of case studies.


How will the application and the Challenge proceed?


From 125 applicants, only 60 will be selected based on their CV to ensure that the participants suit your ideal profile. By giving us details regarding your target audience, we can promote accordingly so that qualified applicants approach you in order to increase the chance that you find the suitable employee(s).


This first step of Consulting Challenge is the perfect way for the students to get an overview of what your company stands for, while simultaneously enabling you to get to know the students and observe them work on a solution for the simulated case of your choice. Allow the students to find out more about your company culture and explain your vision and values by giving them the chance to work on a practically-oriented case study.


Reflect on the case study together with representatives of the other participating companies in the course of a podium discussion. Emphasize the key points of a job in the consulting area and present its many facets in a nutshell.


Use the planned networking lounge in the evening as a more informal meeting between companies and students. Interact with representatives of other companies and students, establishing a connection to those who left a lasting impression during the case study or perhaps get to know some of the students chosen by the other companies.


Among the companies represented in Consulting Challenge are EY, ZEB and BearingPoint.


Have we aroused your interest? Make sure to visit http://consultingchallenge.at/ in order to find out more details about what Consulting Challenge means!

Summer series:Adventure in Austria coming to an end – Part 4

With their adventure in Austria coming to an end, Ana, Yassine, Shu and Tereza have made some thoughts about their experience in Graz. With each day and week, they collected memories and little life lesson, which are important to all of us.
Each one of our volunteers had her own and unique experience. Depending on their background and on the different working atmosphere, they all got something to cherish from these 6 weeks in Graz. Shu was one of the volunteers who had a very special experience in Graz, partly being her first time in Europe and having to go through a rough change of background. Overcoming the cultural shock and communication problems, she started to get deeper into the Austrian traditions. Being it her first time working in a cafeteria and restaurant, Shu was happy to learn how to cook Austrian recipes. Moreover, having to work with disabled people, who had difficulties moving and communicating, she could learn more about herself and how to approach people with special needs. As always, for Shu, it is always important to smile!
Tereza on the other hand had to work with long-term unemployed young people, so she had another type of challenge to deal with. She explored four different projects and therefore got to know a lot about different social problems and how young people face them. What she points out is the importance of liking or at least not hating your job. Being motivated and trying to find motivation in your working life is of great importance. According to Tereza, the government should push young people to make an effort for their lives and not help them dwell in an unproductive routine. For our dear Ana, this has been an experience which will be hard to forget and is very grateful to her buddy Carla and all her working colleagues for the great summer spent together. She believes that everything happens for a reason!

Yassine also had an important experience in Austria. He is happy to have learnt to rely more on himself and become more confident. Having to work with disabled people, he has become more patient and understanding. He could also learn how to cook simple recipes, which he will be happy to cook back at home, and most importantly, he overcame his indisposition to wash dishes, which now seems to be quite unproblematic to him. Another important fact was becoming more independent while living away from his parents and more responsible. He now wants to start drawing his own path in life.

At the end of the six weeks, what matters the most is what our lovely volunteers will take with them and what made a difference in their lives. For Shu, this was the first time in another continent and she made the most out of it. She is grateful to have had the chance to be part of the program and thanks all her colleagues and partners.
For Tereza on the other hand, these six weeks were a very well spent time. She was always very motivated and eager to improve herself. According to her there are some points that might need improvement, such as the position of the volunteers in the company and the possibility to have more opportunities to make their own programs and have a stronger say in the program.
These six weeks have certainly given a lot to all of us. Both volunteers and us working closely with them have gained a lot and will not forget this experience we shared.

Author:Giannenta Milio

Summer series: Seeing Graz through another perspective – Part III

4 Volunteers, Blog post Number 3, a lot to 2 and 1 mission: Having the time of their lives while being a volunteer in Graz! Time is flying by so fast – it’s already the fourth week for our great international volunteers Ana, Tereza, Shu and Yassine who are working for Jugend am Werk. 

During these last weeks they have learned a lot about themselves and disabled people. Saying that „disabled people are capable of innovating and creating many pretty things and what I like so much about it is the moment when I see the smile on their faces“, puts also a smile on Yassine’s face. On the one hand our volunteers learned something about themselves: how to integrate easily and approach to the clients and the team members. On the other hand Tereza “hopes that the teenagers learned something from her teambuilding this week”, so in the end everyone gained some experience in a different way.

Additionally they could also improve their German in learning some new words and within four weeks they also got to know the Austrian and European culture. Shu states that she „learned lots of new things during her trip to Budapest, while taking the Eurorail for the first time“. Our four volunteers also try to cook together to introduce their cultures and national food to one another. Plus, in this past weeks Ana “learned about the Austrian economy and how Austria tries to introduce young people with problems of the professional world.”


So aside from all the travelling and exploring Europe, you may ask yourself, how does a normal day look like as an EP? Work starts at 9 a.m. and ends in the afternoon around 3 p.m. In “incafé” there are usually people in the morning drinking coffee. Before midday, the preparations for lunch have to be done. Shu mentions that the rush hour is at lunch time when she „serves guests and sends the dishes to specific tables“. Despite all the work concerning the café, they prepare activities once a week for their colleagues to get to know them and their culture better. Tereza, who is working in a different project than Shu, states that her “work is different every week as there are more projects – sewing bags, handicraft and decorations, kitchen and two projects concerning gardening works.” Furthermore she says that working slowly is important because the goal of the organization is not quantity but “to give the opportunity to work to people who have problems finding a job”.

Time is going by too fast for our four volunteers. Although after four weeks they have a daily routine, every day is still special for them because there is always something new and interesting to explore here in Graz and Europe.

And if you can’t get enough of their stories, stay tuned for the next blogpost!

Author: Giulia Di Pietro

Summer series: Seeing Graz through another perspective – Part II

After having spent the first two weeks in Graz, our dear volunteers Ana, Yassine, Shu and Tereza have started to get deeper into Austrian culture. They have started exploring this culture and communicating with Austrian, especially their colleagues.

Most of the volunteers have not yet really felt a culture shock. They all feel comfortable with living in the Austrian society with its customs, food, habits etc. and they do not feel that this culture differs all too much from their own. However, Ana points out that there clearly are some differences, even though they might not be very substantial. For example, at the beginning it was alien for her to wait for the traffic lights to turn green before crossing the street. In Spain, her home country, one would not wait for green lights but check if there’s a car in sight and cross the street if this not the case. Also, she highlights that Austrian people treat the environment respectfully and more carefully than Spanish people do. This goes also with the cleanliness of the streets or rather the city as a whole. Shu in particular feels that there is a quite a large difference between Hong Kong and Austria, especially regarding lifestyle “Hong Kong has a very quick speed of life. However, in Austria, it is very different. Everyone lives a very relaxing and slow speed of life”.


Furthermore, our volunteers are starting to get in touch with their native-Austrian colleagues. They explore how people here generally think, what point of views they may have and how they live. “I like the typical conversations about religion with Yassine, who is of Muslim religion, and also to see how far away “my world” is from his. The important point for me is that we respect what the other says and we search for a better understanding of our point of views trying to be assertive and without judgement”, says Ana. Of course, we must not forget that language is an obstacle that is hard to overcome. A lot of Austrians do speak English, but only to a certain extent. According to Yassine, the beginning was hard as he could not really understand what the others were talking about, but he’s improving and is now able to extract the key information. Because of this difference in languages and cultures, Shu has learnt a valuable lesson on how to overcome language barriers: “I found that even though you cannot speak German, the most effective way is to smile. Just SMILE!”. Tereza has also had many good experiences. She is open for new stories and new opinions and at the same time also her Austrian mates are. “I feel quite comfortable, I like listening to people telling different stories and exchanging ideas”, she states. A cultural exchange that comes along with cultural experience is taking place and is giving the four volunteers new input for their view on the world as well as on themselves.The volunteers have also made the most of the central position of Austria in Europe, over the last weekend Ana and Yassine went for a trip to Slovenia, Shu went to visit Budapest and Prague, and Tereza has been visiting other parts of Austria too. “Austria gives you the chance to visit a lot of countries because you can move very easily and the transport is really cheap”, says Ana.

So, the four are in the middle of this unique experience. We do frankly hope that they will go on as well as they did until now. We’ll keep you updated!

Author: Carla Kowanda

A social project with a transcontinental impact

Our department of social projects puts its main focus on a project called ‘Global Education‘, with the major task of introducing intercultural communication and a social, open minded discourse about diversity into the everyday schedule of participating classes in Vienna.

The project is based on a cross-cultural learning approach. By inviting students from all over the world to teach children at the age of 6-10, it spreads awareness about different cultural topics, such as cultural diversity, sustainability and world issues. Currently, we have three Viennese primary schools participating: the Josefinum Volksschule, OVS Zeltgasse and VS Kaisermühle. The projects last 6 weeks, in order to create trustful evolving relationship between students and school children.

The aim is to opt for a playful learning environment, where children can get involved with social world issue topics that are normally not taught in school, and to teach them about tolerance and the beneficial aspects of cultural diversity.

Teaching in Austria

A sample showed us, that most children at this age have already been confronted with racism, social exclusion and prejudices of differnet kinds. This makes clear, how important it is, to raise the question and discussion about cultural diversity, especially here in Vienna, where many immigrants from our eastern neighbors have found a place to stay and to raise their children.

Our main goal is for the children to experience cultural diversity as something enriching and positive, as an endless source of learning opportunities and a way to connect with people from all over the world. As the lessons are taught in English, the children will simultaneously experience improvement in their language skills.

On the other hand, the incoming students get the chance to get to live and work in another country, with a different culture and unknown traditions. Those experiences are the ones that help to boost their personal development the most. Therefore the project is not only a rewarding opportunity to help children gaining knowledge in important world issues, but as well a chance to get out of the own comfort zone and improve the know-how in multicultural interaction.

There is the possibility for everyone to get involved and become part of Global Education. One of the best possibilities to do so is by becoming a host family and accommodating an incoming student for the duration of the project. It is a unique opportunity to get in contact with a new culture and new traditions and to enjoy the diversity that the world offers right in your own home.

As we are always striving to improve our projects and to implement new strategies we are now working on a collaborating with non-governmental-organizations, to provide the students with a lager pool of opportunities. Moreover we also hope for the students to get the possibility to get involved, not only in the teaching process, but also in afternoon activities for example in youth clubs, in order to reach even more children and to build an even stronger base for an ongoing learning experience.

Author: Sara Balitzky