AIESEC story

“For me coming to AIESEC was kind of a random thing. Because I was studying at university, and I was born in an artistic family, which means I wasn’t familiar with maths, physics, management, and finances. I wasn’t dreaming of the career of artist. Firstly, I studied at an English school, then I joined Art school, and then I moved to the university which obviously was the next step after this school. It was the same university where my father studied.

I had to choose a specialization. I wasn’t good at English, and I didn’t want to become a translator or a guide, I didn’t feel passionate about it. I had in mind that I didn’t want to spend all my time working in front of the computer, so design is actually not for me. In the same time, since my childhood I have loved crafting things from textile, so I chose textile design faculty.

On my second year of studies, I heard of AIESEC from my friend who was part of it and had so many friends from different parts of the world. It seemed so interesting to me, as my friend was only 20 years old, but she has already met some pretty important people from different companies, and travelled a lot. My friend was so passionate about it, to the point that I wanted to join this community myself.

The first half of the year was difficult for me, because I didn’t know anything about finance management faculty, where we had meetings. But I felt very curious about all this, and knew I would manage it. When I got involved in my first project, I knew I had to be the leader of it, because I knew how things should be done.

Since the beginning, I was working in the marketing area. I heard that there were internships for students in AIESEC. I have to say, I have travelled before with my parents, I have been like to 15 countries. So, I thought I knew the value of being abroad, and the value of understanding different cultures. It’s my biggest passion now. I believe that learning why people abroad behave like that is the best education. But this requires deeper involvement than just being in a touristic place. I believe that most problems we have in our world can be solved with cross-cultural education, and understanding; you should be more open-minded, and more active.

When I studied at school, I was good, but I learned more from live experiences than from the books. That’s why I decided to finish my University two years earlier, as I knew I wouldn’t work in this sphere. So, I got my bachelor degree. By this time I have spent 3 years with AIESEC, and I decided to move to Moscow, but before, I wanted to go on an internship.

I used to think – everything in Europe is better than in Russia, I probably have to move there. But when I started talking more with different people I realized maybe I was wrong, thinking like that. Russia, in fact, is a beautiful and interesting country. There are many difficulties, but in the same time there are lots of opportunities.

By getting to know deeper other cultures, I also realized how much I value the Russian mentality. How much I like sharing my knowledge of my country with people abroad who always wonder at how many amazing things we have here. When I showed videos about Saint-Petersburg, I realized how much I love my city, because there are so many simple things there, which could not be found in Indonesia for example, where I was for an internship.

In Saint-Petersburg you have this pleasure of walking around the city, enjoying the views, but not in Indonesia: too many people, too much traffic, sometimes you don’t feel comfortable walking alone. In general, there was less freedom for me in Indonesia. And it is the basic thing, which is really important for me. I don’t want to be restricted by any religion. I don’t want to be judged. So, on the whole, I love working with AIESEC, because I love working with different people to understand their views, even if I can’t agree with everything.

I am lucky to work in marketing, because my role is to show the value of experience of living abroad, the importance to support such projects, and international exchanges for universities. I heard so many stories of the students who were much more conscious after internships; as they found out they want to know more, to educate themselves, and to find their personal studying goals. So, it’s really important that people become more self-aware by working in AIESEC.”