After many exchange participants come back from an amazing exchange experience abroad, it’s often hard to put into words the challenges you’ve faced or unique moments you’ve encountered. It’s always important to reflect on your journey and document each day, what you did and how you overcame difficulties. Having this on paper will allow you to look back and pinpoint the moment where you truly grew and developed as an individual.
1. Try as many things as you can on exchange
When you go on exchange, you’re completely put out of your comfort zone. By venturing abroad alone, you’re already demonstrating a willingness to take initiative. However the challenges you overcome, whether it be language, transport, getting lost, losing your phone etc, are all things you can recount and talk about in interviews.
During the Post-Exchange Debrief, truly take the opportunity to answer any questions or reflection spaces provided to you to think over your few weeks, or months abroad. What did you learn, how were you solution oriented, how did you work with others, and how did you become more self aware.
After exchange, you should have a clear definition of your personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as awareness of your contribution in a group environment. Moreover, talking about exchanges abroad will also differentiate you from your peers in terms of the challenges you’ve faced, people you’ve met and difficulties you’ve overcome.
2. Join your Local Committee and take on as many roles as possible
After completing an exchange, with your newfound self awareness of your strengths, weaknesses and team contribution, our local committee roles further cement and enhance these skills. by building upon your strengths, you don’t need to become
You’ll have an opportunity to work and engage with a team to hit weekly targets and facilitate more leadership exchanges. The various leadership positions AIESEC provides including Team Leader, Vice President or Local Committee President will help you to realise your leadership style and how to be more holistic and inclusive. Some of these skills would generally be harder to gain in other work environments.
3. Prepare in advance for your interview demonstrate your skill set
First, look at the job description, and highlight any qualities they are looking for and compile a list of interview questions. Then answer the interview questions based on your AIESEC and non-AIESEC experiences to showcase yourself holistically. Providing a wide variety of work experience and volunteer experience will be beneficial to show where you’re spending your time, and how you’re developing your abilities.