Taking a break from the election contests for a bit here, I wanted to give a plug to a great student organization at the University of Washington that’s kicking off their fall recruitment drive. I didn’t go to UW, but I got involved with the AIESEC chapter in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan back in the 90s when I was getting my engineering degree. It was without a doubt the smartest decision I made while at college.
AIESEC is the largest student organization in the world. What it does is run an international internship exchange program. Students at universities across the globe work with local companies to create internship opportunities specifically for foreign exchanges and then host the students who get matched up to them. Members of the organization can then apply for and be matched to foreign internships of their own.
After being involved in the Michigan chapter for a year and a half – helping build their website and working on exchanging students, I was matched on a foreign internship, traveling to Helsinki, Finland during the summer of 1996 to work for the telecom company HPY. It was an amazing experience to live and work in another country, not to mention how much fun it was to be with dozens of other college students from around the world who’d also come to Helsinki that summer to work at various local companies. Over the 12 weeks I was there, I was able to go on weekend trips to Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Tallinn, Estonia.
The University of Washington’s chapter has a small group of motivated students looking for more members, especially underclassmen, to get involved with the chapter and promote the AIESEC mission of better international understanding here in Seattle. The head of the chapter, Zhi Wei Wan, just got back from a summer spent in both Turkey and Brazil and is ready to get things going for this school year. He’s looking for people with an international outlook and some entrepreneurial spirit to join the local chapter and have the kinds of extraordinary educational experiences that are hard to get from classes alone.
Here’s the first meeting for those interested in joining:
Tuesday, October 7