There are internships which are slog fests. There are those which are routine, asking you to surrender eight hours a day to polish a seat in an insular office – and then there are those which bring you to the edge of your comfort zone, push you beyond and leave you with unforgettable life lessons. And that’s what Shril Shah, from the Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management found it in his AIESEC Internship in Vienna.
“I chose AIESEC because it was something different”
The Global Volunteer Program – one of the many opportunities that a student can earn as an AIESEC internship. It offers students a chance for an international internship – an all-expenses-paid experience to make a global impact, while they are themselves priming towards a career.
Shah opted to become an exchange participant in Vienna, Austria in November 2016 and taught in schools in Lower Austria during it. His project was Global Education.
In an interview given to LetsIntern, he recounts his AIESEC internship experience and what would such an opportunity bring to any student keen on pursuing it in 2017:
Why did you opt for an AIESEC internship?
I chose AIESEC because it was something different, and not just any other internship or volunteering program. It was something which gave me an opportunity to make an impact internationally, get cross-cultural exposure, do something out of my comfort zone, and get a chance to develop myself into a better individual.
What was your daily routine as an AIESEC intern?
I loved my daily routine as an AIESEC intern. I used to start my day at around 7 in the morning and used to prepare my lessons for the 9 to 12 pm lectures at school. And sometimes when I had a day off at the school, I used to go and help the other exchange participants (EPs) in other schools. After our school used to get over, we all the EPs used to hang out together and explore the city.
Have you had any other internship? If yes, how would you contrast your previous intern experiences with this one?
Yes, I have had other volunteering experience in the past. I was in the community services department of Rotaract Club of my college where we used to go to orphanages and interact with the kids and help them in their daily life.
It was quite different from what I did in Vienna because over there the students were regular school children who had a good and healthy standard of living. My job was to make them aware of the situation all around the world, make them realize how lucky they are and that’s why they should contribute globally to help those who are not that lucky. Creating awareness about global realities and urging them to take up responsibilities as citizens of the world, was indeed a fulfilling experience.
Can you share some of your experiences on this internship?
There are so many amazing experiences over the course of 6 weeks. The one which really touched me was on the last day of my school when all the students wrote about how their experience with me had been. I felt so good after reading what they had written. I had never thought that teenagers would even like to interact with me but it was totally different from what I had expected. It truly felt like I had been successful in making an impact, even if it was on a classroom of students. I am confident that these bunch of teenagers while carry forward whatever learnings they got from me, and pass it to even more people.
What are your takeaways from the internship?
Confidence is the major takeaway from this program. I still don’t know whether I am good or bad at teaching, speaking in public or delivering presentations but now I have the confidence to do all of these and that’s all that matters. This experience had made me a better individual than I was before and I can use the learnings from this experience to keep improving myself in the future.
Has it helped you decide your future career plans?
Yes, it has to some extent helped me to decide what to do in future and given me greater clarity of thought about what I am good at and what I want from life.
I am really glad that I took up this program, it truly allowed me to discover my own self and look at the world around me from a different perspective.
Keen on a similar experience? Connect with AIESEC Mumbai (Connect with firstname.lastname@example.org) for their latest set of international internships. You can explore our existing set of internships on the LetsIntern portal.