Understanding CSR with AIESEC!

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Corporate Social Responsibility, also known as CSR, is an initiative being adopted by companies around the world. The term defines a company’s effort to somehow create a positive impact in society. This impact can come from donations to nonprofit organizations, sponsorship for social projects and volunteering initiatives for the company’s employees. It is a way for a company to strive for more than profit itself and somehow give in a positive return to society. And why do companies do this, after all?
Nowadays, consumers are more and more taking into account aspects of the organization as a whole before purchasing or standing up for a branch. This means that, more and more, things done by a company that overcome its final products are taken into account by consumers. Working with CSR and making it a public thing can positively impact an organisation’s position among the market and its buyers.
It is not only attractive to the shoppers, but also to external investors and new talents. It is pretty common to hear young people and professionals in general looking for places to work where they can see why they are working there, understanding a purpose in the job. Given that, a company that invests in CSR and that values positive initiatives is certainly a talent attractor and keeper. It influences in a more positive work atmosphere and encourages professional and personal growth to the company’s collaborators.
Besides improving the company’s image among its consumers and investors, attracting and retaining good people in a positive work environment, CSR projects are also responsible for bringing together nonprofit and for profit organizations, strengthening both sides on this relationship. It can also be an alternative source of revenue for the third sector organizations.
In AIESEC, as we value positive impact in society, we propose a way to our partners to implement social projects in their realities. PWC, one of our organisation’s global partners, currently sponsors social exchanges with AIESEC for ten young leaders from around the world, to travel to another country and volunteer there in one of our local projects, which are aligned to one of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (Find out more about the project here).
AIESEC in Switzerland is currently looking for companies who are interested in CSR partnerships, so if you are interested in implementing CSR in your company or even understanding it a little better, make sure you register here at http://bit.ly/AIESEC_4_Companies !

Get talent from abroad with AIESEC!

IMG_0164Switzerland is a country of great opportunities and it is considered a reference in diverse subjects around the globe. The country counts with great universities, stable politics and economy, international companies and good infrastructure. When it comes to entrepreneurship, Switzerland doesn’t stand so far either. Investments in the field have been rising throughout the last five years and relevance has been growing.

Fathi Derder, Vaud FDP National Councillor, entitled his book as “The next Google will be Swiss”. In an interview to the 2017 Swiss Venture Capital Report (you can access the article here), released by Startupticker.ch, Derder supports that the only things missing for Switzerland to “make it to the top” are Talent and Risk Capital.

When it comes to talent, there’s a gap in bringing the right people to the right positions. One of the solutions brought by Mr. Fathi is the Start Up Visa, in which people who want to build something positive, should be welcomed and received to the country. That way, good people with good projects would strengthen the Swiss entrepreneurial environment.

Fortunately, we currently have an accessible opportunity for international talents and great ideas to work for the country! By enabling companies and startups to receive young students and professionals from all over the world, with different experiences and views upon entrepreneurship, the Swiss market is closer to reaching its potential and being part of the youth leadership development AIESEC promotes.

In our Global Entrepreneur project, startups hire interns who work for defined projects from 8 to 12 weeks. It is a low cost and low bureaucracy process that allows companies to reach great results!

For more information, you can register in our website: http://bit.ly/AIESEC_4_StartUps

Effective team management leading to effective results

IMG_0141One of the key aspects that allow companies to achieve better results is effective people management. Although this responsibility is often attributed to the Human Resources department, managers and team leaders should recognize their active role on the employee’s performance, achieved results, motivation and development.

As an organization that seeks to develop leadership in its participants, AIESEC has developed Team Standards, a model for leaders to efficiently manage teams inside the organization. Check out our model below!

BUILDING
The first step of a team is building its identity. On this stage, the members get to know themselves, start bonding and understand the basic structure and activities of the area/ department.

Also, expectations are set as well as strategies and planning of the results.

On this moment, the leader has an active role in understanding his/hers members, by getting together individually with each one of them and setting personal development goals. This way, the team experience will add in results for the company and for the personal development of the individuals

PERFORMING
Now that the team members already know each other, their responsibilities and goals, it is time to perform. It is important to establish a regular routine, by having periodical team meetings, one to one meetings and activities of the team in general in moments known as “off work” (team bonding, activities, appreciations and acknowledgements of the member’s work..)

CLOSING
Once the project is reaching it’s end, it is important to elaborate a report, mentioning key results, what was achieved and what was not. It is a way to make sure information won’t’ be lost and can be passed for other areas or teams.
Also, having moments of debriefing, evaluating key learnings, next steps and the team experience as a whole.

By going through these steps, company leaders are able to understand better it’s employees and make sure talented people continue in the organization, contributing to its sustainability and long term results.

Want to know more about this theme and how to achieve better results in your company? Sign up here at http://bit.ly/AIESEC_4_Companies

How AIESEC connects youth and companies: Global Talent

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As the largest youth-led organisation, AIESEC aims to develop leadership in youth, and next to the Global Entrepreneur’s program, we run the Global Talent program. Through it, we connect young people to internship opportunities through our international platform, allowing your company to find the talent and innovation you have been looking for and activating leadership development in your international intern!

What does this product include? Here is an overview:

The flagship talent programme enables your businesses to provide meaningful professional experiences to a global network of youth talent who want to make a difference. The programme duration ranges from 3-18 months and is focused on bringing talent from all over the globe to your offices.
We provide a full range of support services that help make the experience as smooth as possible: from profiling the candidates, handling visa and logistics, to cultural integration and reception services. It is a flexible and effective business solution that can be implemented in multinationals across their various departments, or support fast growing SME’s in expanding globally.

AIESEC is partners with hundreds of organizations worldwide, such as Electrolux, ING, and DHL, as well as with D-Ploy and Complio amongst others here in Switzerland. For almost 70 years now we have been developing young leaders and contributing to organizational development of companies that believe in change, impact and innovation. By bringing different points of view and knowledge to the working environment, our partners are able to achieve bigger results.

And how can you be a part of this?
Register here in our website and checkout more informations for Global Talent and international recruiting:
http://bit.ly/AIESEC_4_Companies

Social Entrepreneurship – AIESEC Badung, Indonesia

I went abroad with AIESEC because I didn’t want to spend my summer holiday as a tourist.
I wanted to impact and to help people and I wanted to make a difference. AIESEC made this possible.
The Project “Social Entrepreneurship” in Bandung aimed to give economic aid to a poor village. We talked to the villagers and facilitated a workshop on how they could improve their living standards by working together as a team.
As easy as it sounds, we had some struggles to deal with. First of all, none of us 21 interns knew the language so we always needed someone to translate which made the conversations more difficult. Furthermore, most of the people in the village didn’t even know about the “better” life they could have and were more or less happy with the way it was.
I personally could develop quite some skills. I learned to be more patient, I learned about the issues coming up when working in an intercultural team (we were 21 Interns form 14 different countries) and I got to know about the Indonesian culture. Besides the main project, we also went to different high schools and presented our own culture to the students. We taught them about the canvas business model. To see them creating their own business model on their own idea was wonderful! Overall I had an amazing experience, that I would not trade for the world! The Indonesian people are extremely helpful, patient and understanding and the country has so much to offer: a rich culture, the most amazing food and a wonderful landscape. It was definitely not my last visit in Indonesia.

Indonesia

An awesome summer – Debrecen, Hungary

Last summer I got the opportunity to do an internship in Hungary. AIESEC Switzerland and AIESEC Hungary did a great job and managed everything.

I was picked up from the airport and brought to my hostel room. A single room for a reasonable price. Just like what I wanted. On the next day the responsible AIESEC member, showed me around the city, helped me to open a bank account and to get a student ID.

At the end, she even brought me to my workplace. Since then time passed quite fast. I made a lot of new friends at the office. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. We went out together on weekends and we had loads of fun. I tried the traditional dishes (and beverages ;)) and went sightseeing with my colleagues.

My work was great. I had a lot of responsibility, and I carried out very interesting and challenging tasks. It was a great experience! Honstly, I have never expected to have SUCH a great time.

In Conclusion, I improved my soft-skills, made new friends, developed my English-knowledge and most important, got a lot of awesome memories for the rest of my life.

-Maximilian

Hungary

Experience the charm of Guadalajara

In summer 2014 I was happy to go on a journey to Mexico, to experience mexican culture and share my knowledge with locals and other interns in the beautiful city of Guadalajara.

From the very first day I was treated warm-heartedly and everybody was making sure I had an amazing time. I tasted delicious food, cooked by my caring host mother, street vendors or restaurants, was able to attend some salsa lessons and could pick up a few sentences of spanish.

Trips like the one to Tequila, with people from all over the world, visiting scenic beaches or stunning culture sites made my stay unforgettable.

Even in the short time of six weeks, I did learn a lot, I met people who impressed and inspired me and it became a moment, which shows me new opportunities and gives me motivation to reach for more.

It was a chance given to me to widen my horizon – and I took it!

Philipp, 28

Mexico

The best summer of my life – Hanoi, Vietnam

The best summer of my life

In 2012, I spent the best summer of my life: For eight weeks, I went on a Volunteering Internship to Hanoi, Vietnam, – the city between the rivers.

Together with 20 interns from 15 different countries, we organized the “Global Leadership Activating Day”, a conference about “Social Responsibility” for vietnamese students.

Working in such an international team was amazing and I learned a lot about other cultures and practices; also the work with the Swiss Embassy and different local organizations was very interesting.

We not only worked, but also lived there with locals. Together we traveled the country, ate the most delicious food and experienced the beauty of the vietnamese culture.

I can only recommend to all young people:

Go out into the world and dare to experience an amazing journey!

Cedric, 23

Hanoi, Vietnam

General information on going abroad with AIESEC

AIESEC aims to create an understanding between cultures through the Global Community Development Program. Our international network is organizing this exchange program to provide you a fun and meaningful experience and the chance to immerse yourself in a foreign culture. It is an excellent opportunity for you to develop your entrepreneurial and leadership skills, to experience cultural diversity by creating direct positive impact.

AIESEC’s unique Global Community Development Program provides volunteer opportunities to help foster global awareness of cultural differences and social and environmental issues within local communities. Our exchanges range from 6 weeks to 12 weeks. Submerse yourself in the lifestyles of countries you’ve never been to!

Our GLOBAL CITIZEN program is divided in:

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Education

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Social Work

– GLOBAL CITIZEN Entrepreneurship

 

How can you take part in one of our programs?

Depending upon your university schedule, you can travel anytime, but the major peaks for project always are:

Winter Break: Dec-Jan-Feb-Mar

Summer Break: June-July-August

Volunteering means the position is unpaid. However, you will receive:

Accommodation: Included for the duration of the program either in a volunteer apartment/shared flat where you will be staying with a group of volunteers or at the local host family to increase the cultural experience.

Meals: Depending on the project up to 2-3 meals per day will be offered.

 

Application Process

1. Information & Application

Learn about our programmes either through an info-event, promotion or blog. Check the opportunities you have in all over the world through this website:

https://opportunities.aiesec.org/

Fill in the application form.

2. Interview

We would like to check your motivation, expectations and skills to go on an internship, we would also want to make sure that we can offer you the most suitable opportunities.

3. Preparation Seminar

In a one day long preparation seminar you will get prepared and ready to live in a different culture and get tips on how to find the most suitable internship.

4. Project Application

Start applying for the different projects. Your AIESEC coach will support you during the whole process.

5. Volunteer Experience

Start living your volunteer experience and learn about the destination’s culture, customs, history and challenges.

6. Return

Share your experience with others and inspire them to go on an internship as well. Become a member or a leader of your local AIESEC committee.

How Going Abroad Taught Me About Life – Everyday Leadership

Contributed by Janet Ong

Here are the stories from my exchange experience that surprised me in the end. This is my experience with AIESEC NCTU in Hsinchu City, Taiwan as part of the the project Connect the World from September to December 2013.

This cultural exchange program was designed for us exchange participants to make an impact on high school students by sharing things about and from our countries.

Surprisingly, this exchange program taught me a lot about life. I was approached by one of the teachers in one of the high schools I was teaching at. The teacher knew I intended to go to law school because of how I had introduced myself in her class. She wanted to ask me for more details on law school because she was very worried about her daughter, who was on the verge of giving up law school.

I told her that I wanted to specialize in criminal law and in the field of human rights because I wanted to be a court lawyer and be of service to people. She asked me how I already knew which specific field in law I wanted to pursue this early on. I simply told her that I always remind myself of why I wanted to be in this field to begin with. I remind myself that I am doing this not only for the sake of my career but also for the sake of the people who are in need of help and that I think being a court lawyer best fits this interest.

The exchange program is more than the learning you get from the four corners of the classroom, it is the learning from an experience in life.

She asked me this question so that she could help her daughter who was about to graduate but was attempting to give up. Surprisingly, she really wanted advice from me. I told her to tell her daughter to remind herself why she chose law and to remind herself of the positive things that happened in law school despite the difficulty she was currently having. The teacher said that her daughter was worried about the bar exam. In response, I told her that everyone was scared of the bar exam and even I was afraid of it. I told her that working hard for a dream would achieve good results.

What was the surprise here? After saying those things to the teacher, I  saw myself as the daughter who was worried about law school. Then I reflected on those words I said to the teacher. It made me realize that I can manage as long as I believe in myself. Friends and even former professors have been telling me that I can manage, that I have good academic standing and a keen interest in the classes in my undergraduate course in psychology. I get positive feedback from my classes. What is there to be afraid of? I am afraid of failing, but who isn’t? I am afraid of falling, but who isn’t? Everyone is. It is a matter of facing your fears.

Everyone thinks, I lack the courage to face them; I do not believe in myself; I do not trust myself. If I believed in myself, I would have the capacity to say I can do it. Then I realized, am I not like her daughter too? Afraid? I gave advice that the teacher appreciated and believed that it would be of help to her daughter. I realized, I can do it. I can pursue my dreams despite the struggles; believe despite the hardships.

I got letters and messages from my students, teachers and friends telling me I am a funny and jolly person. They said I have this motivation and energy that influences other people. It has always been a surprise for me to see in the letters or even hear this feedback because I do not see myself like that. I believe that I gained more confidence and courage from this project than anyone could ever imagine. I remember the poster/ad of AIESEC DLSU saying, “Get lost and find yourself”. I am indeed discovering a lot about myself from feedback from other people.

I realized now that we need other people who are courageous enough to tell us about ourselves. Feedback from other people no matter how minor can help us realize what is really happening in our lives. This is why I have to say that I am very glad that I met the people I did, experienced the things I experienced. If not for those, I would not have found myself. I would not have discovered something more about myself. I would not have been the way I am right now. I may have had a tough rocky road along the way but everyone does, right?

I believe that things happen for a reason. Now, I believe that these things had to happen to open my eyes and see the reality. I am grateful for the good and bad. If not for the bad, how could I have appreciated the good so much? Right now, I just do not know the right words to express how much AIESEC, my fellow trainees, teachers, students and friends have helped shape my life for the better. It is quite sad for me to leave because this is the place where I learned a lot, not about academics, but about life itself. It is a place where I found good friends. However, I have to say goodbye, face the things that I have to face back home and continue on with my life. People come and go in our lives but it does not mean that they will be gone from our lives. The people I met will always be treasured dearly. Everyone may be far away from one another but distance is not a barrier to maintain the friendships that we have created.

The world has still a lot to offer. The world still has a lot of surprises. There is still a lot more to learn from. Just smile at the world, and it will surely smile back at you. But this experience is one of the best I have ever had. This is my second home—Taiwan. This has been my Wonderland.

I am happy that I was here. I am happy that I was able to convince students who did not participate to participate. I was able to convince students who did not smile, to smile. I was able to see how keen and eager the students were whenever I was presenting. I am happy that I was able to see how the students’ eyes brightened. I am happy that I was able to see and hear the students laugh, joke and even be loud for a good cause. These were the actual experiences I had with my last class: the most difficult but the best class I ever had.

My last class was supposed to be the most unresponsive and I was told that the class does not really answer questions. However, it was different when I was there. They were welcoming and happy. My last class is where I can say I was really able to Connect the World and fulfill the goals of the project. This was the class where I can say that I really was able to make a difference. These are irreplaceable moments in my life that can make me say and realize that, “Hey! I did make a change”. It may have just lasted for a day, an hour, a minute or even just a second, but the little things showed me that one person could really make a big difference.

This is the teaching experience.
This is the experience of life.
This is the AIESEC experience.
Thank you very much.

After the exchange experience, where am I now? I had the courage to take up law school and continue my AIESEC journey. I am currently a first year student of law and a member of the Finance and Legal Affairs Department of AIESEC DLSU. What am I grateful for? I am grateful that AIESEC shaped my life and happy that I was able to contribute to AIESEC’s vision of “Peace and Fulfillment of Humankind’s potential”

Here’s a tribute for my AIESEC experience:

“The exchange program is more than the learning you get from the four corners of the classroom, it is a life experience. It is about finding who you are and learning more about yourself throughout the journey. I began to open up locked chests that I didn’t know existed within me. Moreover, I’ve realized how life is so wonderful and it never fails to give you those little things that make you smile.
It’s also about never giving up and never losing hope.

It was also in this exchange program that I found what I am passionate and dedicated about — and AIESEC is one of those things. AIESEC taught me how to stand up for myself and be a leader — a leader who will be able to make a wonderful and positive impact in my country and also in the world.

Lastly, it is indeed an honor and a privilege to be part of AIESEC. I will forever and always be thankful for AIESEC.”

“This story was written in contribution to the AIESEC Everyday Leader Series, that showcases stories of everyday leaders who are changing the world. Share your story with the world.