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AIESEC – Global Platform for Students

AIESEC offers a platform for Indian students to develop leadership skills and interact and learn from students across the world. Prachi asked Siddharth Suhas, President, AIESEC India a few questions for more information:

What is AIESEC all about?
AIESEC is about young people exploring and developing their leadership skills through the international platform of experiences that we provide.

What are the aims of AIESEC?
AIESEC aims to impact the various global issues & problems by attacking the root cause: People. People cause problems, therefore people are the ultimate solution. Thus, AIESEC follows an indirect approach of providing young people across the world with an intense leadership & internationally sensitizing experience which enables them to drive positive impact once they move into professional career environment.

What are the criteria required for students to join AIESEC?
In terms of eligibility all students are eligible, however through selection processes we look at a set of skills, competencies and characteristics like communication ability, open-minded ness, proactivity and willing learners.

What procedure is followed to recruit students?
The basic procedure is this-Filling in our registration forms (Either the hard copy in the brochure or the online version on( aiesec.in), followed by group discussions, team activities and personal interviews.

Which colleges in Mumbai does AIESEC select students from?
We’ve been recruiting from several colleges, but we’ve got the bulk of membership from Xavier’s, Jai Hind, HR, Wilson, Andrews, National and Sydenham.

If AIESEC does not cover a particular college, can a student from that college join?
Yes of course, in fact we are looking to expand to several new colleges, particularly engineering and technical institutes.

How does this programme work? What exactly does a student go through once he joins AIESEC?
The experience flows by way of the individual’s choice, so it’s quite flexible. However the minimums include an international internship experience, working in a project team with co-volunteers ranging on topics from entrepreneurship to HIV AIDS projects or high scale events; And finally a leadership experience of leading a team/project or an entire department.

What opportunities does AIESEC offer to the students other than those generally available?
* I believe the access to a 107+ country network of like minded, young and enthusiastic people is a rare asset that ONLY AIESEC India offers to students today.
* At the age of 18-19 leading a team of volunteers, motivating them and driving performance is the ultimate fast tracking experience which teaches our members a great many skills which hone their ability to build winning teams, organizations and overall impact in AIESEC and then outside.

When is the next recruitment?
The next major cycle will be in the months of June-August 2010. We do however recruit all through the year for specific international internship opportunities as they open up internally within our global network. This is done in pockets and typically more through word of mouth and our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter etc.

What is cost involved? Do students have to pay anything?
Yes, presently students do pay a certain administration fee for the international internship or as we call it the “exchange program” opportunity. Joining in as volunteers is of no cost. The internship cost ranges based on type of internship and duration and varies on an average between 8-15 thousand rupees.

What would you like to tell the students regarding AIESEC?
I’d just like to welcome everyone to experience an opportunity that can truly change their life for the better. As university students today most of us feel that there is something missing to make our education complete, satisfying and purposeful. AIESEC is a new education in itself and will open their world to some awesome, fun and challenging new environment!

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