AIESEC – What’s the deal with this unpronounceable student organization?

AIESEC pronounced “eye-sek” is the largest youth-run non-profit organization in the world facilitating cross-cultural internships and volunteer opportunities for students. As a member of the Local Committee at WU, let me tell you about what we do and why we do it.

A little bit about us

First, let me clarify that the name “AIESEC” was not coined by a bad PR manager. It is in fact an abbreviation and stands for “Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales”.  The organization was founded by a group of economics students in Europe who after the Second World War wanted to contribute to international peace by enabling future generations to go on exchanges, thereby getting to know other cultures and creating a worldwide network. Since then, AIESEC has emphasized leadership and overall personal development and the fulfilment of UN’s Sustainability Development Goals throughout these experiences.

So, that is the theory behind our work, but how is the organization built up and how does one become part of it?

AIESEC’s Structure

As mentioned above, I am a member of the Local Committee at WU. Our organization is comprised of countless Local Committees in different cities and universities that each have their B2B and B2C sector. Whereas the B2C department focuses on sending students from their city or university on exchanges abroad the B2B department finds companies and organizations willing to recruit through AIESEC and welcome students coming from abroad for their exchange. Local Committees are overseen by or rather connected through the National Board, which corporates with national partners and hosts conferences, where committee members can develop their leadership skills and get to know students from other parts of the country. The Global Committee, situated in Montreal, oversees the 126 country committees across all continents. AIESEC, which has around 70,000 members worldwide, demonstrates how many students are committed to providing opportunities for young people to develop their personalities in a calm environment, allowing them to be the greatest version of themselves.

How do I become a part of it?

As a student at WU or any other university in Vienna you have two ways of joining our mission: as an exchange participant or local committee member. If you are interested in doing an internship abroad in a company like Microsoft, one of our global partners, gain work experience for your career and apply the knowledge you gained at university, you can sign up on our website and apply for more than 500 opportunities.

For those who are not interested or not yet eligible for such an opportunity, but still want to expand their skills and broaden their horizon, you can apply to become a team member in our committee for the winter semester 2021. You will not only take on meaningful and character-building responsibilities and become acquainted with the normal working pace, but you will also have access to various/numerous self-development workshops and an incredible/amazing student community.