Sarnasused ja erinevused rahvusvahelistel konverentsidel

Mina olen Anna ja olen AIESEC in Tartu president. Olen AIESECis olnud üle pooleteise aasta ning selle aja jooksul olen käinud ka mitmel rahvusvahelisel konverentsil. Septembri viimasel nädalal käisin EuroCo-l – tegemist on Euroopa regiooni konverentsiga, mis toimus sel sügisel väikeses Hollandi linnas Venlos.


Minu jaoks oli see kolmas rahvusvaheline konverents, mistõttu oli mul tore näha tuttavaid nägusid eelmistest kordadest. Samuti oli mul olemas ka ettekujutus, mida need viis päeva endast kujutavad. Konverentside mõte on jagada osalejatele informatsiooni ja teadmisi, kuidas teha enda riigis asju paremini. Lisaks on konverentsidel suur roll ka sellel, et inimesed saaksid omavahel suhelda ning jagada teineteisega häid praktikaid, nõuandeid või sõlmida partnerlussuhteid.

Igal rahvusvahelisel konverentsil alustatakse kultuurse osaga ning esimene päev juhatatakse sisse roll call’ide tantsimisega, mis on igale AIESECi filiaalile omased tantsud. Kuigi vähesed riigid teavad teineteise tantse, soovitakse neid kaasa teha sellegipoolest. Samuti loob see meeldiva ja sooja õhkkonna edaspidiseks. Lisaks roll call’idele toimub konverentsidel ka kultuuriõhtu nimega Global Village, kus kõik riigid tutvustavad enda sööke, jooke ja traditsioone. Välismaalastele meeldivad alati eesti maiustused ja täissuitsuvorst. Samuti meeldib paljudele Eestit külastanud noortele ka meie loodus ja vaatamisväärsused Tallinnas.


Konverentside sarnasused peegelduvad ka sessioonides – kuna aasta üks olulisemaid konverentse on International Congress, siis mitmed sessioonid, mida viiakse läbi kõikidele delegaatidele üle terve maailma, kohandatakse regioonide jaoks ja tutvustatakse ka nendele liikmetele. Kuigi sessioonid on sarnased või samad mingi ajaperioodi jooksul, kohandab iga läbiviija teemat vastavalt enda käekirja järgi. Samuti on hea korrata olulisi organisatsiooni põhimõtteid läbi selliste sessioonide.

Lisaks sarnastele sessioonidele on konverentsidel ka galaõhtud, kus tänatakse kõige tublimaid. Tavaliselt on galaõhtu suursponsoriks üks AIESECi koostööpartneritest, kes tutvustab enda ettevõtte võimalusi ning toetab kogu õhtut. Sel aastal oli toetajaks International SOS, mis on maailma üks suurimaid meditsiinilise abi ja tervisekindlustuse pakkuja.

Iga konverents on ka omamoodi erinev. Kuigi sessioonides esineb sarnasusi, võib konverentside ülesehitus olla väga erinev. Näiteks oli selleaastane EuroCo üles ehitatud AIESECi toodete peale – Global Volunteer, Global Entrepreneur ja Global Talent. Nendes sessioonides tutvustati suundasid, kuhu AIESEC soovib liikuda, ning töötati selle kallal, kuidas saaks Euroopas protsesse kiirendada ning rohkem koostööd teha. Üheks sessiooniks oli ka turundus, milles ma osalesin ning mis andis väga palju mõtteid, kuidas võiksime AIESECi Eestis reklaamida ning millised võiksid olla need vahendid ja lahendused. Sessioon oli äärmiselt praktiline ja positiivne.

Kõige olulisem erinevus konverentside puhul on loomulikult inimesed. Iga osaleja toob mitmeid teadmisi ja oskusi oma riigist, mis algselt ei pruugi olla väga suur ressurss, ent pikematesse ja sügavamatesse vestlustesse laskudes õpib tundma nii inimest ennast kui ka seda, mis olukord on teise riigi AIESECis ning võib saada ka häid mõtteid, mida parandada enda riigis.


Konverentsile sõitu toetas SA Kodanikuühiskonna Sihtkapital (KÜSK).

6 Things No One Tells You About Travelling

5am in Mui Ne after having travelled for 5 hours on a night bus, completely exhausted and amazed by the view.

1.Travelling is tiring
As exciting as travelling is, there will days where you just feel overwhelmed or exhausted. There will be days where you just don’t feel like doing anything or going anywhere. There will be days where you feel extremely frustrated (maybe due to language barrier, and not being able to communicate with the taxi driver and constantly ending up being lost in the city or 20 minutes late to everywhere). And it is totally normal, it does not mean that you are being ungrateful.

2.You don’t always have company.
It’s not all Instagrammable moments. Yes, it is true that you will meet lot of cool people during travelling but at the same time there are going to be many moments when you will be on your own. That is the perfect way to become more independent, and do exactly what you want and when you want.

3.Food will be an Issue
Even if you are someone like me, who likes to try out new things and experiment with new tastes, you are not always going to love the food. The struggle is bigger when you are allergic to or despise certain foods. One of my friends can’t stand the taste of coriander but 90% of dishes here in Vietnam are seasoned with coriander. Or if you’re vegetarian and you end up in a country where ‘vegetarian’ might just mean picking the ham off a pizza.

4.You will run out of money
I felt such a comfort and relief and I read that others struggle with money too. Even having planned out my budget back in Estonia and not going on crazy shopping splurges here in Vietnam, I seem to spend more than planned. For long-term travelling it is wise get a back-up credit card, sweet talk your parents and be prepared to work

5.You look at home differently
You will start to appreciate things you took for granted but at the same time develop more critical view on certain matters. Travelling gives you a new perspective and broadens your thinking.

6.Untold stories
The best stories and most memorable adventures will happen during travelling. And there will be stories and moments that you will not capture with your camera or will not be able to wholly re-tell to someone. But this is exactly why we travel and what we look for.

How Traveling Changes Your Perspective on the World?

Living in a developed country, there are many things that I take for granted. For example, I never pay too much attention to the fact how clean and fresh Estonian air is, or really appreciate our educational system. But something changes when you travel. Let me correct that, something changes when you travel outside of your comfort zone. There is a possibility that you will see and notice things that just might change your view on the world. During my first days in Ho Chi Minh City, I found it very difficult to breathe because of the air pollution. It is odd for me to think that people who have grown up here might not even know what it feels like to have their lungs filled with clean air and most likely they are unaware of the consequences polluted air has on their health. But they say that time heals all wounds, which translates to: with time you will get used to it. I have been here around 3 weeks, and I do not even notice the polluted air anymore.

Vietnam is becoming the new China and there’s a trend taking place right now, where companies relocated their manufacturing from China to Vietnam due to more cheap labor force and cheaper cost of logistics.

As someone who is used to living in a very safe environment (no natural disasters or major political crises), it is easy for me to be ignorant on the subject. I might be aware of the problems around me but it is different if you see first-hand how consumerism is directly affecting people’s life quality. And especially if that dangerous trend of consuming as much as possible and as fast as possible is combined with being uneducated on the aftermath effect. We see child obesity taking place in Vietnam (due to the introduction of fast food), crazy amount of plastic and trash lying around everywhere, and as mentioned before air pollution. Most of the factories that operate in Vietnam would not be allowed to operate in Europe due to major environmental policy violations.It is a quick and cheap way for Westerns to get rich on the expense of someone else, and at the same enjoy clean environment and wealth while someone else is paying for the consequences.

In AIESEC we do pay attention to such injustice and contribute to solutions. Check out our Global Volunteer programs, which are directly linked to educate young people across the world on matters like this.

How to Travel Light

Summer is here, which for many of us means adventures, travelling around and discovering new places whether that be aboard or road tripping across your home country. To make the experience more comfortable we have put together a list of tips how to travel light and how to decide what you should pack with you and what items you can leave behind.


1. Before we even get to packing, we need something where to store our things- meaning a comfortable carry on. Do invest into a good carry-on. It is a mistake I make all the time: thinking that my current suitcase is good enough and I always forget what is feels to literally carry it around instead of strolling around with it. If you prefer a suitcase, the easiest to carry around are with 4 wheels, and even some backpacks do come with wheels. Often times carry-ons themselves weigh differently, so do get the lightest one.

2. Before moving to the list of items to take with you, let’s talk more about bags to travel with. One quite popular advice is to get a bit smaller bag than what you are normally used to traveling with to insure that only the necessary things come with you to the trip.

3. One of the things that always takes too much room in the bag are different toiletries (e.g hair products, deodorant, and toothpaste). Unless you’re traveling to a remote village with no electricity or running water, purchase all of your toiletries at your destination, and leave these bulky items behind and save room in your bag.

4. Netanya Trimboli, Communications Manager at Hostelling International USA has recommended to go through a list of qualities a clothing item needs to have in order to travel light

Your ideal travel clothing is durable, takes up minimal space and weight, is wrinkle-free and opaque, and matches with the rest of your clothing in style and fit.

Versatile, low-maintenance clothing is key to packing light. Consider these 5 factors that make an article of clothing desirable when traveling and aim to have each piece you bring satisfy at least 3 of them:

  • Comfortable for touring around, but can be dressed up for the evening
  • Is appropriate for cool or warm weather
  • Doesn’t show stains
  • Folds up small
  • Coordinates well with almost everything else you’re bringing

 5. Only pack enough clothes for 7 days, no matter how long you’re traveling for. It is easier to find a laundromat once a week than it is to carry all of the extra weight around with you the entire trip.


7 Airport Hacks

As I am writing this, I have been in Vietnam for almost 2 hours, I am sitting at a café, I just ate something delicious (but way too spicy for someone who is used to eating boiled potatoes aka your typical Estonian). Within the past almost 48 hours I have either waited for a plane at an airport or been on a plane. And here are some thoughts and a mini survival guide to airport life.

  1. Something that I realized while waiting for a plane at London’s airport: Cheap fares do not necessarily mean saving money. I got my tickets to Ho Chi Minh City relevantly cheap compared to other offers online (saved around 200 euros compared to the average ticket price). But the alternative cost included long layovers, buying airport food, and not having a good sleep. So by the time I made it to Vietnam, my saved euros from the ticket fare were almost cut to half. I guess cheap fares are beneficial only without multiple long layovers.
  2. If your checked-in luggage is underweight, re-arrange your things from your hand luggage to make it lighter because you’ll be carrying that one around. The lighter the better
  3. Pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on. Something I did not do this time and EVERYtime I needed to go through security again I thought of it (but did not act on it). To avoid paying huge mark-ups for bottled water at the airport, bring your own empty bottle (which will go through security just fine) and fill up at a water fountain after the checkpoint.
  4. Bring a portable phone charger: For example at Doha airport I could not find a place where to charge my phone. It’s not always guaranteed you’ll be able to charge your phone (or laptop) at airport.
  5. If you have a longer layover think about the opportunity to visit the city. I’ve done that couple of times when the distance between the city and the airport has not been too time consuming and when it’s not crazy expensive to actually get to the city.
  6. This one is very important when it comes to flights with long layovers: check every now and then your flight info from the screens. Often times the departure time or gate is changed.
  7. If possible move your most valuable things into your hand-luggage. For example I had my laptop the whole time with me, my perfume, and sometimes even some clothing items just in case the something were to happen to the check-in luggage

Millennials, Are We a Tech Savvy Generation?

The millennials. There are gazillion titles and ways to categorize us and define us. One of the numerous characteristics of Millennials is that we are the tech generation or at least this is how we are constantly referred to and how we like to see ourselves. You know, when your mom can’t figure out why wifi is not connecting on her phone and you’re the one who has to solve the problem, or how we have an app for every life situation, and let’s not forget the crazy amount of social media we consume.

On average teenagers spend 6-9 hours per day on their social media platforms, digital marketing is the new way to reach the younger generation and the Millennials are changing the way we interact with others.

As reported by Millennials choose their holiday destination based on the “Instragrammabilityt” of the location.

Gary Vaynerchuk predicts during the next few years online dating (app based dating) will become a new norm.

And according to :“Millennials tend to opt out of cable-television services. A study found 26% of millennials have never had pay-TV services, but more than 70% take advantage of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu“

We are the generation who has never lived without technology. And it’s easy to agree with the statement that Millennials’ love for social media usage is changing the way of business making and ways of communication, but is this enough to claim that the Millennials are also a tech savvy generation?

I was surprised when I read an article published by, which stated that

report by the nonprofit Change the Equation, which focuses on science, tech, engineering and math literacy, shows that some 58 percent of millennials have failed to master tech skills that help increase workplace productivity. The number is more surprising given that they spend 35 hours per week using digital media, the report states. A full 19 percent of millennials fall into the “Below Level 1” category, indicating that they “would have trouble sorting email responses to a party invitation into pre-existing folders to keep track of who can and cannot attend,” the report said. The person at the lowest skill level earns 40 percent less than the person at the highest skill level when you hold other characteristic constant,” said Rosen. About 80 percent of middle-skilled jobs required technology skills, and this number is expected to grow

Although claims that 44% of Millennials say they have the latest and greatest personal devices, and embrace more easily new IT strategies, it does not mean that on average Millennials are tech savvy. In the near future as stated by we will be able to see the clear distinction between the tech savvy one’s and most likely the clearest indication will be the differences in salaries.

To Someone who Has Never Traveled Outside of their Comfort Zone

When I was 11 I was obsessed with British culture. Mainly it was due to the fact that all of my English teachers up to that point were somehow connected to the UK, either they were British or their spouses were British. And it most certainly did not help that I was very into Harry Potter (yes, posters up on my wall and going to HP movie premiers in costumes). So one can imagine how desperately I wanted to visit London. It was the dream destination, I knew everything there was to know about London (or at least I thought so). But when you are 11, solo traveling is not an option and my mom was not keen on the idea of taking me on her own to London. You ask why (I most certainly did at every possible occasion). She said that she did not know the language and was unfamiliar with the city. You see, my mom only traveled because of work or went on these super touristy group trips. And the thought of being alone in a city where she has never been before was just too much for her, so I had to postpone that dream for 5 years and visited London for the first time when I was 16.

But there are so many benefits of traveling outside of your comfort zone.

S O M E T H I N G new

You will most likely experience something you have never experienced before: The most obvious one is you can add a new city or a new country to your list, you might get a glimpse of a new culture. Traveling outside of your comfort zone could mean to someone perhaps trying out solo travelling, or actually getting the chance to plan the trip on your own from start to finish. Or instead of staying in a hotel as per usual, why not stay with a local and try out couch surfing or Airbnb? Or switch the plane for a train, or travel multiple cities instead of one city at a time, or instead of visiting the capital, go to a smaller city or to a country side? There is so much room to experience with something new.

D I F F E R E N T perspective

I recently read a story of a girl who had never traveled outside of the States. She had never even traveled outside of her home State or even outside of her city. So imagine her reaction and all of her emotions when she landed in Prague for the first time for her school trip and stayed there for almost a month? What changed? Her perspective of the world. Suddenly the world was a bigger than just her southern culture. She gained crazy amount of inspiration, the yearning to explore and travel and realizing there is so much more out there than just what we go through on daily basis.

D I S T U R B the boring

What are the stories you want to tell one day? The adventures you want to have? To have something you never had before, you guessed it, you have to do something you have never done before. And why not share stories of volunteering abroad with a purpose, meeting locals, working in a new environment, and making this Summer the best Summer you have had so far? Do it. Do not hesitate. Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you!

Youth Speak Contest

The Youth 4 Global Goals campaign was created to mobilise young people to take action towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. It has a set of initiatives aimed to make people aware about the Global Goals, understand them and take action. One part of the campaign is Youth Speak Survey: the survey got 162,292 answers in 2016, engaging people across more than 120 countries.

But here is the main reason why YOU should care about the survey:

Based on the results of the previous YouthSpeak report, Universities and Businesses seem to be disconnected from young people’s desires and interests. And YouthSpeak Survey is one of the ways to eliminate that disconnection.

Youth speak survey gives an important and valuable insight on what youth value and believe in today, and what are their personal goals are for the future. For example last year 68% of the survey participants believed that society will be better by 2030. Their biggest scares concerning the future were corruption, lack of resources, war, global warming, and lack of humanity. The survey takes a closer look on how youth stays informed on daily bases, collects information on how the young generation defines great leadership, and what their 5 year plans are after graduation.

You are one of the 1.8 billion young people that live in the world today. The way our world will be shaped by 2030 fully depends on us. Therefore, youth cannot be left out of the global agenda today – YOU cannot be left out. This survey gives you the space to voice your opinions on key challenges, hopes and ambitions. It lets you share your passion with the whole world and lets you learn how you can get engaged with the issues that matter to you the most, in order to generate positive impact in your life and life of people around you.

Based on the last year’s survey the most important thing in the first 5 years after graduation are global opportunities. In order to make sure that YOU get the job you want, AIESEC provides global volunteering and internship opportunities all over the world in all fields. In order to promote Youth Speak Survey, AIESEC in Estonia has created a Youth Speak Contest. AIESEC in Estonia charges a price from people who want to go on any of AIESEC’s exchange programmes – fill in the survey and follow the steps below, and get a chance to get your fee exempted.

Fill in the survey
take a screenshot of the ‘thank you for filling this survey page’ that appears at the end of the survey

Like our Facebook page “AIESEC in Estonia” and post publicly on your Facebook timeline with the screenshot and caption, ‘I stand with SDG# …. , I’ve made my voice heard through AIESEC survey. I’ve done my bit, have you? #AIESECinEstonia #SDG #Letsgetreal #Y4GG’.

(Note: the post needs to be public on the timeline)

STEP 4             

Check out the most amazing global opportunities AIESEC has for you

4 Reasons For Solo Traveling

I was 16 when I visited Vienna for first time. It was love at first sight, and I knew I wanted to explore the city more then what I saw in that week of doing everything that was even slightly categorized as touristy. The first time I travelled on my own was 4 years ago. I was 18 and I spent 3 weeks in Vienna. And I never thought that I would enjoy travelling on my own as much as I did. Here are the top 4 reason why you should try travelling alone.

  1. You Can Do Anything Y O U want.

Wake up whenever you want to wake up. Visit the museums that you want to or visit exactly 0 museums, if that is what you wish for. Spend the day outside of the city or stay in your room the whole day: planning the timetable is entirely up to you. No need to convince someone else to do the thing you want to do during the trip.

  1. Meeting New People.

Meeting new people is definitely one the biggest highlight of solo travelling. If you are travelling on your own, and especially for a longer period of time, you will meet new people because solo traveling pushes you outside of your comfort zone and make it easier to interact with strangers. For example during my trip to Vienna I met ton of new people from all over the world, who were like me and just visiting the city  for couple of weeks.

  1. Staying in the Budget

If you are travelling on your own, it is easier to stick to the budget. Last Summer I spent 10 days travelling through Germany and ended my trip in Amsterdam. Even though it was July (aka the high season of tourism when everything is super expensive) it was one of my cheapest trips so far just because when travelling with friends, everyone has different spending habits and it’s easy to spend money on things you would not normally spend money on.

  1. It Is Empowering

It is empowering to spend time on your own and feeling comfortable being alone. It makes you more independent, and more solution oriented. It becomes easier to socialize with new people. And it is a skillset you can put into use in your everyday life and it is an experience that no other experience is similar to. Definitely a point the on bucket list.

And believe me, there are more than just 4 reasons for solo travelling, but the rest of them,you have to figure out on your own. A good place where to start is an international experience AIESEC. Check out the amazing opportunities that AIESEC has for you!

What is Youth Speak and Go Abroad with AIESEC Without Exchange Fee

About a year and a half ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. During this time the initiative Youth4GlobalGoals become one of most powerful movements towards the Sustainable Development Goals. The reach has crossed more than 120 countries and territories around the world.

Youth 4 Global Goals campaign was created to mobilise young people to take action towards the SDGs. It has a set of initiatives aimed to make people aware about the Global Goals, understand them and take action. This campaign has three parts to it:

  • Youth Speak Survey: the survey got 162,292 answers until today, engaging people across more than 120 countries. The result is the voice of Millennials giving an opinion about what SDGs they would act upon, what kind of motives and fears they have.
  • Youth Speak Forum: an event realized around the world that brings together young and senior leaders to form a space for inspiring conversations and creation of actionable ideas around global issues. In various countries governments and UN agencies have supported the event.
  • Youth Speak Projects: considering the insights got in the Survey, AIESEC is running the social projects around SDGs and Millennials needs. This is how a young person gets an opportunity to directly contribute to an issue he or she relates the most to, while developing the leadership potential.

Organizations like Asian Development Bank, PVBLIC Foundation and UN Habitat were the founding partners of the campaign and many more are joining the movement now.

Ours is the first generation with the potential to end poverty (SDG number 1) – and the last to avoid worst effects of climate change.

Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General

Fill in the survey and enter the youth speak contest, out of those who fill in the survey and post the snapshot of the thank you page  to AIESEC in Estonia Facebook page under the blogpost post as a  comment with the hashtags #AIESEinEstonia #Y4GG,  2 people will be selected for free exchange program by AIESEC in ESTONIA.


To learn more about the Youth4GlobalGoals campaign, visit

First Time Going Abroad with AIESEC

Aleksander is 21 years old, taller than most of us, and is currently a second year Food Technology student at Tallinn Technical University. After joining AIESEC in TUT this February his summer plans changed from doing internship in Tallinn to volunteering abroad.

So what are exactly you doing this summer, Aleksander?

I am going abroad with AIESEC. I am participating in volunteering project in South-Malaysia in a small city called Johor Bahur for 6 weeks. During the project I will help to raise awareness, especially amongst the youth, on food waist. We’ll talk about how to consume more responsibly, what to do with food left overs, how to cook something delicious of yesterday’s left overs. Because there are many who lack of food and at the same time there are many who live in abundance.

But why at all should one go abroad for the summer?

But why not? Is there anything better? We have already been at home, and we have plenty of time to be here more. But to go abroad and see how things are done there, and how people live- this is something that challenges the way we think.

Malaysia is pretty far away from Estonia, didn’t you want to go somewhere closer to home?

But that was the whole point: to go as far as possible. That also means that the cultural differences are much more noticeable compared to the experience I would have somewhere close to home, let’s say somewhere in Europe. Close to my cultural comfort zone, I already can assume how people are and think and work, but to somewhere far, I imagine I will experience and learn so much more than if I were to stay somewhere closer.

How much time did it take you to find the right program?

It took me around a week to figure out what I even expect from the program and the SDG I want to volunteer for. Because I study Food Technology I wanted the project to connect somehow to my major as well. And then it took me a week and a half to apply for different programs and do the interviews.

What is the scariest part about going abroad?

Hm, I am not scared of much. Maybe the fact that everything will be so different, which is good but it also means that I might not know how to act accordingly in every situation. That I might insult someone by accident because I am not familiar with some cultural or religious aspects. But at the same time it is a learning point. I will learn from my mistakes when I young, and avoid such incidences in the future.

Why should one go abroad?

If you are thinking about volunteering abroad, if it interest you, do it now! Don’t say that you are going to do it, or don’t say that one day or next year I am going to do it because you might miss out on your chance and end up not going abroad. So pull yourself together, take the first scary step, and just do it!
Find the best program for you on

3 Steps to Kick-Start Your International Career

Laura Liisa is 22 years old  foxy read head with a bubbling personality and with a go-getter attitude. As we wait for our breakfast to be served she turns to me with a big smile and asks :“ So, should we start now?“

So, Laura Liisa, spill the beans, how does a young person kick- start their International career?

I think there are 3 really easy steps for that

Firstly, take interest in the global world.

You have to take an interest in the global world and think bigger and further than just the reality of your home country and constantly develop that type of a mind-set.

One might ask how to develop that interest or why one should even be interested in global issues. I think that the whole world is moving towards being united and connected. Take for examples the EU, we do not have these kind of boundaries that we used to have in the region decades ago. It is smart to think through even before you start your career how are you going to fit into that society and working culture we are moving towards to.

Secondly, join and international organization.

I joined an international organization in the beginning of my university because I realized this is the best option where to get that international experience from early on.

Joining an international organization puts you into a position where you are facing different cultures and where you have an opportunity to learn from someone and build that foundation of cultural understanding. For example I am currently working in a company with 6 Latvians and 1 Brit (and then there’s the one Estonian, me).’ In order to be efficient in an international company you need to be able to communicate well with other nationalities. I think one of the reason why I was hired to work at that company is that I don’t mind stepping out of my comport zone, and it is relatively easy for me to connect with different people. And this is a skill set that I possess right now because I was part of an international organisation.

If you are actively participating and doing different things in an international organization, you are actually developing yourself because an organization is a legal body as any other company with the exception that people are more personally motivated to do things. They are motivated by self-development, and they joy of giving versus just being motivated by money. In an organization you see the structure, you understand your role and see how your contribution affects the overall results. And this is the same when working in a small or medium sized company.

Thirdly, apply for that job.

I consider this to be the trickiest part. Maybe others experience this differently but it took me 2 years to gain that courage to apply. When I started to think about applying it took me another 2 months to actually send out those applications. By that time I had been a board member in AIESEC, I had taken care of the over-all finance and lead teams, which is one of the biggest challenges. And the responsibility that came with these positions was huge. Another good thing about AIESEC is that it is okay to try and fail, which is not always the mind-set in companies. And my AIESEC experience gave me the necessary confidence and skill set to apply.

Are you interested in an international career? Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you!

6 Questions For Start-Up Shipitwise Marketing manager

Viktorija describes herself as 20 something years old rebel who moved to Estonia from Lithuania.  After couple of years in university she decided to leave and move to another country to see what will happen. So far she does not regret any of her decision.

We met up on an untypically warm and rainy February night in an upcoming hipster neighborhood in Tallinn. Had a cup of tea and a lively discussion about start-ups, start-up culture in Estonia and how Vik has made her way into all of this.

What do you do exactly?
I study in Estonian Business School and as well I work in Shipitwise as a marketing manager. I am a growth hacker. The start-up is very new and fresh and is in a developing stage. My goal is to make the start-up grow.

So, I must ask, why start-up?
After finishing my AIESEC experience, everything was circulation around start-ups and everything seemed very sexy about it and I did not see myself getting into a corporate world. Start-ups are very flexible, they have a different work flow then traditional companies, start-ups are very global, and as a non-Estonian speaker that environment suited me very well.
I recommend being part of a start-up because of an idea and mission, because it is different, because it is interesting, and there is a lot of room for personal growth. Start up is an experiment, and I would recommend it for a young person likes a bit of chaos. You learn everyday something new, you become stress resistant, and you become faster learner. I find people to be bit different in start-ups: They are more open minded and it seems to me that Estonian start-ups in general are more culturally diverse, more tolerant, more collaborative then other companies, which makes it very unique place where to work. I feel like if I were to sit in my office just for the whole day, I would learn a lot just by being there. So it is a place full of energy, ideas and learning and sometimes it seems like the room is about to explode because the room cannot contain all of it. But start-up is also about actions. You have the confidence to do it because you have people around who will guide you, mentor you, give advice, and you get the sense that you are not doing it on your own.

Well, is your typical work day sexy then?
Yes, it is actually. I would not say that I wake up and feel sexy, it is not about that.But every day it feels like I am doing something that is actually needed and it feels like I am learning at the same time. At the end of day I feel like I gave something that I have and took from it as well. Everyday ends with a win-win situation. It is a very sexy job.

 How has your time in AIESEC contributed to your current career?
So when I joined AIESEC 3,5 years ago I started very randomly: I was a member, a project manager, I was part of Human Resources, then I found myself being on communications team, which turned out into marketing team and at that point I knew little about marketing or communications. But I decided to put effort into it, I was learning about the topic, I studied a lot. And I discovered that I really liked it. I was drawn to it because it is not stable. The world of marketing and communications is constantly changing, you need to learn all the time and know what is happening in the field. It is like computer software that needs to be constantly updated. When I moved to Estonia, I got a position in AIESEC National Board as a Vice president of Marketing and I thought that I was going to share my knowledge, experience, working on what I know but I learned a freaking a lot during that year.

When it comes to recruiting, what do you think start-ups need?
It is hard to say start-ups in general, every start-up has their own needs, own directions, but for what I personally see is that, especially young start-ups, they need to recruit a dynamic team because in the beginning it is all about the team, and if the team cannot work together, the start-up cannot move forward. I still don’t know what magic they do in Shipitwise, but the team is insanely great. Like really.

What might Estonian start-ups look like in the near future?
I believe in the next couple of years we will probably see more virtual reality on the market, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, because this is what has become sexy right now and will attract young people.


How to Get Better at Being a Leader?

Creator of Global Leadership Summit Bill Hybles once said: “Everybody wins when a leader gets better”.

But how does a leader get better at… being a leader?

I think the secret formula of being a great leader is realizing that leadership is about moving things forward. Moving from point A to point B, and this concept is applicable to all various aspects in one’s life, whether that is in be relationships, personal goals, HR or business development. Leadership comes from within you. Leadership is something that cannot be learnt in a class room or only from textbooks, it requires practice.

AIESEC is very passionate about developing young leaders and how we do it is through providing young people with the opportunities of cross cultural exchange to integrate in a new culture and work in challenging situation.

AIESEC has broken down leadership development into 4 parts:.

Being a world citizen

You cannot change the world around you, if you do not understand it. AIESEC provides youth with the opportunities to explore new cultures while building their professional portfolios, creating a killer CV and developing essential soft skills.


AIESEC experiences develop self -awareness in youth. These experiences provide plenty of challenges and puts a young person into an environment where they have an opportunity to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses, which is a major step in their formation towards becoming an excellent leader.

Being solution oriented

These leadership experiences enable the youth To have the mind set and the courage to step into messy situations, and instead of complaining, take action to solve complex problems.

To empower others.

Growing in your empathy and the ability to see qualities in others that they themselves might be oblivious to. Making sure that through effective communication and encouragement you are able to be part of someone else’s journey of moving from point A to point B

What is your point B?? The best time to start self-development is now, not a month or a year or 10 years from now. Opportunities will come and go but don’t you want to grow personally to be able to accomplish anything professionally. Create your own story. Check out the amazing opportunities AIESEC has for you!

#3 AIESECer’s Leadership Story – Dajana

Dajana, member of incoming global volunteering team in local committee Tallinn University

I was born in Estonia. All my life I lived in Estonia. My parents were born in Estonia. I have Estonian nationality. But when people ask me what is my ethnicity, I can´t answer to this question. Why? My mum is half Russian and half German. My dad has Russian, Ukrainian and Finnish background. My native language is Russian but I have German surname with 2 grammar mistakes (what makes it actually Jewish). So who I am? I don’t even know it by myself. I am totally multinational child and I am proud of being an example of so many cultures mixture.

Why I told you this now? I just know that absolutely all people in the world are different. Everybody is unique somehow. Even if you are one hundred percent Estonian or one hundred percent Russian there is no another person who is one hundred percent Estonian or one hundred percent Russian having exactly same personality as you. I believe that everybody has own opinion, own dreams, own goals, own values, own culture etc. Somehow all these different people with different thoughts and ideas must live together on one planet. There is only one way to do it. We just don’t have another option as to accept each other, accept our differences.

I think that when you are able to do that you get from the world much more than before. This is the reason why I am a member of organisation AIESEC. AIESEC is full of different students from different cultures. What we would talk about with each other if we were all same? There is always something to research with AIESECers. Every day I get to know something new about my friends in AIESEC. I feel I am really open-minded and ready to communicate with any person. I am not scared of differences in people. It is even opposite with me. I love them. I know I am full of empathy and I want to share it with the whole world because I am against racism and any discrimination. I just wish everybody feels safe in our society. I know that I can´t change the world alone, only all together we can do it.  Multiculturalism units AIESECers and it makes us strong. We are all different but we are one big family.

Now you have the chance to be part of AIESEC and develop yourself as well.

Link to join

“We are from the world”

Libby Chiu, 22, from Taiwan, recent graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature and currently living in Estonia. In the summer of 2015 she was part of a volunteering project with AIESEC in Cairo, Egypt, and this led to the next experience she is currently having with the organization. She is now the Vice President of Talent Management of the national team of AIESEC in Estonia and she told us a little bit about her experience in the land of the pharaohs. While in Cairo, she worked in a project called Enlighten, with the goal of teaching basic English to the local kids and exposing them to different cultures.

We caught up with Libby for a little chat about her AIESEC experience in Egypt and Estonia, check it out:

Libby in Cairo, Egypt

Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
Going abroad was always in my plans during university. At first, I was planning to do an academic exchange, but I changed my mind when I realized that AIESEC’s volunteering opportunity is not only about developing myself in a cross-cultural environment, but also having a social impact on the local community. I had never though that I, as a young individual, could have an impact on anyone. So I felt it was a cool idea, and that is why I decided to go on an exchange with AIESEC.

What was the biggest cultural shock you experienced abroad?
Cairo is an interesting and exotic city. The life in Egypt was very different from the life I had in Taiwan. Firstly, because of the language barrier with the local people. I had to use body language to explain what I wanted to buy or google the photo for them. Secondly, traffic and cars were mixed with donkeys, carts, bikes and camels, all on the same road. And the constant traffic and noise with unwritten code. But overall, I enjoyed this culture shock a lot. This is what made my experience so different and memorable.

What was the best part of your experience?
I made lots of good friends from all over the world and we still care about each other. The connection does not disappear with the end of the experience. Instead, it grows stronger. There were more than three projects happening simultaneously in AIESEC Cairo University, so I was able to build up a connection with almost 100 interns from different nationalities. Every time we went out, some Egyptian would ask us where we were from and we always answered: “We are from the world”, because it would take a lot of time to explain the nationality of every individual.

Libby in Egypt

How has your internship experience helped you in your experience as national team in AIESEC Estonia?
Definitely, the internship experience helped me a lot. In Taiwan, sometimes it’s hard to understand myself as a person, because I’m in my comfort zone. Due to this experience, I was able to explore my strengths and weaknesses and find my personal values through living in a foreign environment and working with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Now that you live in Estonia, what do you love the most about this country?
I would say the clean and safe living environment, the hospitality of the Estonians and convenient digital services, that facilitate credibility and trust online. Estonians work hard and play well. They know how to relax and enjoy their life. Estonia is a true digital society, Wi-Fi is literally everywhere and the convenient service makes life easier.

Would you recommend an international experience? How has it developed you into a better leader?
Yes, I would recommend it! These two international experiences have helped me to realize my identity as a Taiwanese. Also, with a strong understanding of different cultures and backgrounds, I have grown more emphatic towards universal problems. I am able to bridge cultural differences, to deliver desired results and be more solution-orientated. These experiences also enabled me to become more independent, self-reliant, adaptable, open-minded, patient and tolerant.

Libby with the national team of AIESEC Estonia

Volunteering experience in Bulgaria

Keily  – Bulgaria

Duration of project: 6 weeks

Type of exchange: camp counsellor in a summer camp oriented for international high-school students

I had always known I wanted to be involved in a long-term voluntary work someday in my life. Little did I know that the opportunity would present itself so suddenly and would have such a huge impact on my life. My decision to apply for the projects came pretty much on the last minute because I had lots of hesitations, whether it is worth stepping out of my comfort zone and will I actually go through with this. Thinking back now, I can’t even imagine standing between the two options and second-guessing – my volunteering experience was literally the best time of my life.


My voluntary project took place in Bulgaria, in a little city called Blagoevgrad and specifically in The American University of Bulgaria.


My job there was to be the camp counsellor in a summer camp oriented for international high-school students, a bit more than 150 of them. My project lasted for 6 weeks but since I arrived a bit earlier and left a week later, then I spent around two months abroad. There was a total number of around 20 camp counsellors and teachers volunteering for the project from various places around the world – Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Spain, Macedonia, Canada, America, Kosovo, Albania, Hong Kong etc. 7 of us came through AIESEC. I was the first ever Estonian to have stepped my foot into the camp.


We, AIESEC volunteers flew in a week earlier to prepare for the camp. The camp itself lasted for three weeks. Among many various duties, my job as a camp counsellor was to be in charge of different afternoon and evening activities, staying up late during the nights to do rounds around the campus with other volunteers and provide a safe environment for the campers. The camp time was a really busy, runaround kind of crazy experience since there was not enough sleep but tons of positive emotions and happy moments triggered by both the campers and the volunteers.


During the last week of the project we helped out with the international mathematics competition which had more than 300 participants.


What I loved about the entire project was that I had the possibility to be engaged in various activities and responsibilities. I was able to develop my communication and leadership skills and I definitely learned to be more independent. What I cherish and love above all, is definitely my irreplaceable family of volunteers! I cannot begin to describe the way they opened my eyes about other cultures, countries and even my own home country.


I will never forget the adventures, the laughs, the tears (both the ones through laughter and the ones through sadness), the frustrations and even the daily potatoes and chicken we shared! I love those people to death and I can’t wait to see them again one day. I am glad and lucky beyond measure to have a bunch of beautiful people around the world to call my family!


I will never forget the two incredible months of my life and I recommend everyone to try volunteering through AIESEC. You have nothing to lose, only bunch to gain.


PS! Some of the photos used for this blog post were taken by the talented Alvaro, one of the volunteers.

Volunteering experience in Egypt

Chengcheng Feng – Egypt

Duration of project: 6 weeks

Type of exchange: voluntary work about women rights in Egypt


Hi! My name is Chengcheng Feng, from Shanghai University of China and studying in University of Tartu as an exchange student now. I went on a volunteering to Egypt for one and half month, which is really my first experience for working as a volunteer abroad. I have a strong desire to be connected to something interesting and special about outside world, which means a significant aspect for me to learn about myself and the world deeply. Egypt is a dream place that I desired to go when I touched the history there since secondary school, especially in my undergraduate University that made me have a new sight to Africa due to an ethnography called The Nuer. That is mostly the reason why I choose the project to do a research for promoting women rights in Cairo, Egypt. Such an amazing internship gave me an unprecedented experience which meant a giant challenge for me as well at the early time in Cairo. I wanted to do my best to experience the new world and do something good for the people in need. Once arriving, I was arranged to live in a hostel with another two Chinese girls and two Brazilian girls in downtown of Cairo which was 5 kilometers far from my workplace Giza.


There were two groups in this project . The one was about doing research which was included connecting materials about local community and the situation of Muslim women especially via fieldwork and talking with local people in some certain spots, and there were another two partners working with me in Egyptian Business Women Association of Giza. Also, I need connect much more databases from internet and write some papers for the NGO-EBWA. Above were the main tasks of mine from 11a.m. to 17p.m. on workdays (Sun-Thu).


Another group was the part of organizing conferences in the city 6th of October where had 20 participants there. They were in charge of discussing some co-ordination topics and building web site and so on. If it was necessary, we need also go to the city 6th of October to attend some significant conferences and events.


When I was beginning to do fieldwork here, I was made to face a first big challenge which was about the local language Arabic. In order to get them ideas and thoughts, I started learning some simple words and dialogs from my project manager and the manager of hostel and asked help from one of my work partner who was from Libya and could speak Arabic.


Later, I did face to another problem that was about hostility and lack of understanding from my communication objects. I didn’t have any good idea to solve it, only I could do was to be more patient and participated in their events and treated them by heart. I knew it need much more time to be familiar to them, so did them.


Besides the work, there were another  interesting and unforgettable things to share here, which were about the holiday arrangement by local aiesecers. Although there were only two days-off in each week, they still companied us to famous Pyramid, luxor, B&W desert, Alexandria harbor, Sinai and Red sea ever, which made us get more awareness of the Egyptian geographic culture and the folklore customs. It was one of the parts which left a deep impression on me. For me, it was also a good chance to find friends from throughout of the world. We lived together, worked together and enjoyed the food and scenery here, which brought us much more understanding and respect for each other and the different cultures.  





Volunteering experience in Brazil

Richard Riispere – Brazil
Duration of project: 8 weeks

Type of exchange: voluntary work in project Gaia

Hi! I’m Richard from Estonia and I went volunteering to Brazil for 2 months. This was my second volunteering project so the reason I decided to do this again was because I felt like a learned so much and had an amazing experience on my first time that I wanted a bigger challenge for myself. I wanted to go further from home and do something I really care about and do something nice for the local community.


So I ended up going to Brazil, São Carlos to do project Gaia, which was about discussing environmental problems in public schools and teaching them about my culture. I chose this project because I really care about the environment and I wanted to teach kids how to be more sustainable and I also wanted to gain some teaching experience. My main tasks were to give classes of 50 minutes or 1h 40 minutes at two public schools and prepare new topics to talk about every week.


My travel to Brazil was long, about 30 hours total and at first I was thinking what ifI hate it here? What if I want to go back home it will be 11,000 km away. But I got used to the town really fast and I started to feel like its my home. It was a student town with lots of students and student events so it was rarely boring.


When I started classes I was totally worried that the students would be bored and too noisy and I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I was teaching students from ages 12 to 17 and I had a translator. But ever since my very first lesson this fear was gone and I started to feel confident because the students are really interested in other cultures! Later I also learned tricks to keep them from sleeping because the scientific things when talking about the environment are not that exciting for them.


The first week I just talked about Estonia, showed them some cool pictures and videos about things like sauna, the Estonian sport kiiking, and told them about what Estonia is like. The second week I talked about the environmental problems in my country, the third and fourth week I gave them tips how to be environmentally friendly and showed before and after pictures of how the environment has changed due to the problems that we have. The fifth week was the most fun at school because we organised a dynamic quiz about what we learned so far for the students with another trainee from Hong Kong who I was doing a lot of classes together with! For the sixth week we organised a workshop which was divided into two parts. The first part was where students had to make bracelets out of old clothes and flower pots out of plastic bottles. The second part was where they had the chance to write Chinese calligraphy.


The local life in São Carlos was that there was always something to do because there were other trainees from Mexico, Hong Kong, Colombia, Ecuador, Netherlands etc. who wanted to hang out, go to parties or to lots of local events with music and dancing! There was also a cool observatory and a zoo where I would go multiple times.


I lived with 6 students in a house that they rented and I really liked it because of the student atmosphere and it was never boring. On the weekends I would go travelling to different cities or to amazing natural places or to visit another Aiesecer’s family in the state up north. Sometimes I would stay in the town rest or in one case help my hosts with the party they were organising.    


Finding friends wasn’t hard at all because everybody is just so friendly in Brazil and people are interested in you because you have come from a different culture. The biggest challenge was the language because not a lot of people speak English in Brazil. But I enjoyed this challenge! Because I wanted a challenge and this way I was learning a lot of the Portuguese language. I really enjoyed this experience and this challenge. I am really proud that I did this project and I feel like I impacted a lot of kids in a positive way and taught them something new and useful that they can use later in their lives to make the world a better place.


In Brazil I tried so many different foods I have never tasted before, seen animals I didn’t know existed, everything is totally different and cool but the people here are the best but my favourite thing would be the people because they are really friendly and nice! I would suggest this program to anyone really, going abroad with AIESEC is an experience of a lifetime and the bigger the challenge the better because even though you will be teaching others, you are also growing and learning at the same time about everything around you!


AIESEC Tartus juhatus 16/17 – Katharina

Katharina, 22
Tartu Ülikool, rahvusvahelised suhted
AIESEC Tartus, sotsiaalprojektid


  1. Mis filmi pealkiri sobiks kirjeldama sinu elu?
    “The Pursuit of Happiness” või “It’s Complicated”. Tegelikult vist pole veel sellise pealkirjaga filmi olemas. Äkki ma ise teen kunagi dokfilmi.
  2. Kelleks sa tahtsid väiksena saada? 
    Alguses ma tahtsin saada printsessiks, siis arstiks, kokaks, juuksuriks ja lõpuks vist lihtsalt “rikkaks ärinaiseks”. Iga nädal puhusid uued tuuled.
  3. Mida sa soovitaksid inimestele, kes on esimest korda juhipositsioonil? 
    Ma soovitan kõik olulised otsused enda jaoks läbi kaaluda, panna kirja plussid ja miinused, mis ühe või teise otsusega kaasnevad. Kui tahad olla hea ja edukas juht, pead läbi saama ka oma tiimi liikmetega, sest need väärtuslikud inimesed aitavad jõuda püstitatud eesmärgini. Juhina on täiesti okei ka vigu teha, seda juhtub kõigil. Oluline on aga nendest õppida.
  4. Mis on sinu parim isikuomadus? Aga halvim? 
    Mu parim isikuomadus on järjekindlus, sest kui ma midagi väga tahan, siis ei anna ma alla enne, kui olen selle saavutanud. Väga halb olen ma endiselt aja planeerimises ja jään palju hiljaks. See vajab veel tööd.
  5. Kui sa saaksid valitseda maailma, siis mida sa muudaksid esimesel päeval? 
    On selline ütlus: “Me näeme asju nii, nagu meie oleme, mitte nii, nagu need on”. Ma alustaksin maailma muutmist sellest, et ajaksin kõik oma mugavusmullist välja ja paneksin inimesed nägema asju just sellisena, nagu need tegelikult on. Ma arvan, et see lahendaks nii mõnedki arusaamatused, mis viivad konfliktideni.

    Scan 1

  6. Milline on sinu unistuste töökoht? 
    Minu unistuste töökohas on mõnus õhkkond, avatud ja rõõmsameelsed töökaaslased, see oleks innovatiivse, kuid säästliku mõtteviisiga. Ma tahaksin, et saaksin teha väga mitmekülgset tööd, mis mulle meeldiks, kuid oleks samas ka väljakutsuv.
  7. Kui sa saaksid valida endale ühe supervõime, siis mis see oleks? 
    Ma ei teagi, see oleks päris raske otsus. Võibolla ma tahaks osata teleporteeruda ühest kohast teise, sest nii saaks jube palju aega kokku hoida, eriti Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu liinil. Aga samas mõtete lugemine tundub ka päris kasulik. See aitaks rohkem mõista inimeste motiive, millel põhinevad nende (vahel veidrad) otsused.
  8. Mis on esimene asi, mida sa vaatad/märkad vastassoo juures? 
    Ma pole kindel, aga ma arvan, et vaatan esimesena silmi ja siis naeratust.
  9. Mis värvi on sinu hambahari? 
    Mul on tegelikult neid päris mitu. Üks on roosa-valgega, siis on roosa-mustaga ja veel üks roosa. Roosa on alati mu lemmikvärv olnud.
  10. Kuidas sa veenaksid kedagi tegema midagi sellist, mida ta teha ei taha? 
    Üldiselt mulle ei meeldi inimestele midagi peale suruda, sest kõik otsustavad ise, mis on nende jaoks parim. Aga kui ma üritaksin kedagi veenda, siis rõhuksin ilmselt mugavustsoonist välja astumisele ja sellele, et elame ainult korra.


Katharina, 22
University of Tartu, international relations
AIESEC in Tartu, social projects

  1. Which movie’s headline suits the best to describe your life?
    “The Pursuit of Happiness” or “It’s Complicated”. Actually I feel that there isn’t any movie that would describe my life. Maybe I will make my own documentary one day.
  2. Who did you want to become when you were little?
    At first I wanted to become a princess, then a doctor, a chef, a hairdresser and finally I just wanted to be a “rich businesswoman”. I changed my mind quite often.
  3. What would you recommend to a person who is a leader for the first time?
    To be a good leader I advise to scale all pros and cons before making decisions. If you want to be a good and successful leader, you have to get along with your team members because these valuable people will help you to receive your goals. As a leader, it is totally okay to make mistakes, we all make them. What is important is to learn from them.
  4. What is your best characteristic? What is the worst?
    My best characteristic is persistence because if I really want something, I won’t give up before I get it. I’m still pretty bad at time planning and I’m late to meetings a lot. Still working on that!
  5. If you could rule the world, what would be the first thing you want to change?
    There is a saying that “We see things as we are not as they are”. I would start changing the world by making people come out of their little comfort bubbles and make them see things as they really are. I think this could solve many misunderstandings that lead to conflicts.
  6. What is your dream job?
    In my dream job, there is a comfortable atmosphere, open-minded and happy co-workers. It would be innovative but at the same time sustainable. I would like to do a work that I love but what also challenges..
  7. If you could choose a superpower what would you choose?
    I’m not sure, it would be a tough choice. Maybe I would like to be able to teleport myself from one place to another because this helps to save a lot of time, especially on Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu route. But at the same time, mind reading is also useful. That might help to understand peoples’ motives behind (those sometimes) weird decisions.
  8. What is the first thing you notice about the person from the opposite sex?
     I’m not sure but I think I see the eyes first and then comes the smile.
  9. What color is your toothbrush?
     I actually have quite many toothbrushes. One is with pink and white, another one is with pink and black and then there is another pink one. Pink has always been my favorite color.
  10. How would you convince someone to do something one doesn’t want to do?
    Generally I don’t like to push people to make things they don’t want to do because everyone has a right to decide what’s best for them. But if I would try to convince someone then I would weigh on coming out of the comfort zone and the idea of living only once.