Monday, June 30, 2008

Updates from AIESEC US, LCs and a trainee testimonial!

Once again, we're happy to provide an update from AIESEC US, two LC updates, and a trainee's testimonial! Enjoy!

AIESEC US: Creating Cultural Understanding and Cooperation between the U.S. and the Arab World

by Carly Lewis, Executive Director, AIESEC United States

One of the most important aspects of AIESEC is the opportunity to contribute to increasing cultural understanding and cooperation between parts of the world where it is needed most. To this end, and influenced greatly by the events of 9/11, AIESEC U.S. started the Salaam Program in 2003 with the intent of increasing exchange between the U.S., Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, and the UAE. Since then, AIESEC has created more than 150 internships which directly contribute to breaking down misunderstandings between the U.S. and the Arab world. Now, as we have received an additional grant from the Department of State for $350,000, we are expanding the program again to include exchanges with Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. Our goal is to do an additional 60 exchanges by the summer of 2009 between the US and Bahrain, Qatar and Oman.

Holly Brekken (AIESEC St. Cloud LCP, 2004) said of her Salaam exchange in Egypt, “Through the Salaam Program I was able to be part of a culture that will forever leave an impact on who I am and how I see the world. Through my traineeship I had the privilege of interacting with amazing young men and women and helping them make a difference... After two unbelievable, and very short, months I went home with a heavy suitcase full of memories, many great friends, and a renewed passion for this organization and for life.”

AIESEC US is looking for alumni who may be interested in taking trainees from the Salaam program at their company in the coming year. If you are interested, please contact Kyle Schneider ( '

LC Updates

AIESEC Michigan
by John Davis, AIESEC Michigan LCP

“I have been in AIESEC for about two years now and I can say with confidence that currently we are having the most exciting, productive, and successful year in AIESEC Michigan that I have ever seen.

One of our greatest accomplishments has been the growth in the last year. We went from sending about 6 people abroad in 2006, to sending 27 in 2007; and, currently, we have recruited about 100 people to go on an exchange for this summer. We have high expectations for exchange this year and I know that with the combined talent in the LC, we can do this. We are continuing to work on a China-specific recruitment, and plan to lead the country in sending people abroad in 2008!

Another amazing accomplishment that we have worked tirelessly for is member recruitment and campus recognition. This year we increased our member recruitment efforts…and had the most successful Michigan recruitment in years. More than 200 people attended our info sessions and more than 160 of them applied to join AIESEC. AIESEC Michigan is becoming a staple on the University campus for those who want to develop their professional skills and who want to go abroad. In time AIESEC will be the premier group on campus for students...

It has been an amazing year; we have gone from a small LC doing minor things to a mid-sized-large LC leading the country and being an example of what AIESEC’ers can do when they work hard and are dedicated to the mission and vision of this amazing organization. We are continuing to set and achieve high goals and by the end of 2008 AIESEC Michigan will be an unstoppable force on campus and in AIESEC; I look forward to the challenges and achievements on the road ahead!”

AIESEC Ohio State
by Adriana Babic, AIESEC Ohio State LCP

AIESEC Ohio State has seen some great achievements in the past few months! Two of our LC members have just recently begun working on business development, and we have officially matched more than five members to traineeships this summer, and we are waiting for more! Our Global Village was a success: we had twenty-three countries represented, a great turn out, and a local newspaper covering the event: we made headlines the next day! Lately, our LC has been networking with other student organizations as well as the International Business sector of our university’s business school to help promote our events and our mission. AIESEC OSU has had a great few months and we look forward to progressing throughout the year.”

Trainee Testimonial
by Guo Ziao, trainee with Deloitte

“[AIESEC US] gave me …many details about both AIESEC and my program. Personally speaking, the biggest impact on me from this exchange program is making friends and networking. Staying alone and traveling so far away from my home country is a good reason for me to meet people. I acquired a broader and colorful view on life and the world by sharing other people’s life and stories. Undoubtedly, I will cherish all the friendships which will last me a lifetime. I am happy that my language and communication skills are improved a lot by embracing this biggest challenge bravely. The traditional value system of Americans surprised me the most. Previously, I was influenced by the plots in American movies and I thought all the Americas are very open and modern. However, I found here the majority of them hold a traditional value on work, family, and life. This is America, a huge melting pot. This is Deloitte, the strength of diversity! I never imagined that I can meet so many different people – the AIESECers in Georgia Tech, the intern friends from UGA, UF, GS, my colleagues, and even my clients – and make friends with them.”

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

AIESEC at the Olympics!

Clarke Caywood is an AIESEC alumnus. He also holds a Ph.D., works as a Professor at Northwestern University and is currently in China carrying the Olympic torch! You can learn more about Clarke here and his AIESEC story is below.

"It might seem like a long time ago, but my lessons from AIESEC have stayed with me for over 40 years. In fact, as a member of the graduate faculty of the Integrated Marketing communications department at Northwestern University (, I continue to raise internships for my graduate students (over 50 percent are international) in the tradition of AIESEC every year. One difference might be the price (we secure support of $16,500 for each student for 11 weeks), but the spirit of AIESEC reigns in my process. My Olympic experience this summer will also reinforce my AIESEC education and beliefs.

In 1968 the University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of AIESEC was vital and exciting. The group of UW students was so dedicated to the concept that we worked overtime to find meaningful internships in our small college town (Madison was under 100,000 populations). First Wisconsin Bank, Oscar Mayer and other firms were the corporate exception in a city dominated by the University and Wisconsin state government, but they knew the value of developing new talent in a global environment. At that time, Madison was thought to have more “foreign” cars per capital than other cities. The influence was the strongly global faculty who often came from international schools, conducted international research and brought home a Volvo, Saab, MiniCooper (the original one), MG or even Allard. I drove an Allard, Austin-Healey and TR-3. (It was a bad habit my Dad taught me and has stayed with me to this day (Porsche C4S)).

From foreign cars (the terms is oddly dated) to global students, the leap was comfortable and fun. While I had “won the lottery” that year for raising more internships than my peers; I regrettably was unable to assume my internship in Copenhagen Denmark due to some surgery from poor skiing behavior. Instead, I stayed in my home town of Madison, worked in the PR function of Oscar Mayer and hosted our international AIESEC guests.

It was a great experience. I wish I could remember their names but the Scandinavian group of men and women was excited to be in Madison. Wisconsin still has a great tradition of celebrating its northern European values and traditions. They found their welcome warm. We took them on weekends to local tourist sites (Frank Lloyd Wright’s school Taliesin, Wisconsin Dells (natural rock formations and tacky tourist attractions), the World Circus Museum and more.

The faculty advisors of AIESEC from the School of Commerce also showed their global nature. I particularly remember a backyard event at the home of Management Professor Ed Petersen and his wife Ruthie with Marketing Professor J. Howard Westing and Peg (my future father and mother-in law).

My global halcyon days continue. As I write this I am on my way to Lijiang China by way of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Bejiing. I will be celebrating my long interest in world issues (not as an athlete) but as a guest of the Olympic Committee, Samsung and China to carry the Olympic Torch for 200 meters. As I carry that torch, I will remember that it was AIESEC that gave me my first organizational introduction to a global world. As I run, I plan to carry a memento of my students, family, universities and AIESEC."

UPDATE: We have a picture!