AIESEC is the largest student run international organisation, founded after World War II to preclude another world war. Its vision is ‘peace and fulfillment of humankind potential.’ This organisation strives for a positive social change by utilising human potential the AIESEC Way, which comprises six values: Activating Leadership, Demonstrating Integrity, Living Diversity, Enjoying Participation, Striving for Excellence and Acting Sustainably.
AIESEC instill these values in youth by offering an array of personal development opportunities like leadership roles and international internships creating a global learning environment. Students have an opportunity to choose from 110 countries. They go abroad and live a life-changing experience, meet different people, work in a diverse environment and explore new avenues.
One of the undergraduate students at LUMS, Muhammad Shahzaib Bajwa, recently came back from an internship in Sri Lanka. He shared, “This opportunity provided me a chance to enjoy diversity. We were a group of people from Vietnam, France, Austria, China, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan, working together. This was a unique experience as we had different views regarding everything. We tackled each issue differently, and came up with assorted techniques and innovative solutions to one problem. At times, after hearing so many different dialects and looking at various cultures simultaneously, it seemed that a magic wand had reduced the globe into this small space.”
One of the core functions of AIESEC is to facilitate the idea of student exchange that takes place throughout the year. AIESEC helps in visa procedures, accommodation search, integration amongst the locals and sightseeing. Hence, it is quite a hassle-free procedure for the participants. Exchange internships also have a positive impact on people’s mindsets. When people go abroad, they correct the perceptions of the people they meet during their stay. And it also goes for someone arriving in Pakistan. One of the examples is as follows:
Zsofia Antal arrived from Hungary to work on a project called ‘Pakistan Tum Hee Tu Hou.’ It was a project started by AIESEC in Lahore, in which foreign interns who came to Pakistan write about their experiences over here. These experiences were documented online and will be compiled in the form of a coffee-table booklet.
This is a sample of Zsofia’s expectation before coming to Pakistan, “If you start reading the news about Pakistan on the internet, positive ones are rather hard to find, and even with the best intentions you cannot completely distract yourself from the negative image the media is showing you. I didn’t think I would constantly be in danger, but from all the news about the blasts and assassination attempts, it seemed like there could be a chance that I might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Now one of her leaving comments, “One thing is for sure, it is very much worth visiting if you’re looking for beautiful nature and hiking, diverse and lively cultural life and learning about the endlessly rich history of a place that has been inhabited since 5000 BC.”
Apart from the exchange internships, AIESEC engages its members in the form of leadership opportunities. You can get recruited in AIESEC in two capacities: members and exchange participants. Members can take up various active roles in different departments. They can even go on exchange. However, exchange participants are recruited solely for the purpose of going abroad on internships.
Keeping in mind the functional work of AIESEC, its talent management department conducts recruitment. The recruitment procedure is based upon Global Competency Model. This model analyses each candidate on the basis of certain competencies (not on your past experience) through applications, group activity and interview. It is a rigorous process and candidates are short listed at each stage.
Last year, AIESEC in Lahore received 300 applications and 67 were finally recruited. This year, they are aiming for a greater number, reaching out to more than 7000 people in universities like LUMS, LSE, UCL, PU and Hajvery for member and exchange participants’ recruitment. And other universities like BNU, NCA, FAST, UCL, KC, GIFT, PIFD and UMT for exchange participants’ recruitment. They are also planning on expanding to Peshawar and Gujranwala!
AIESEC is reaching out to youth and touching lives. We can certainly say that as long as our youth can secure our future, we will come through the crises our country is facing.