Experiencing the cross-cultural dimensions are hundreds of people who set out their journey from France only to rediscover themselves and understand what their calling is. AIESEC’s Global Talent that allows graduates to go on internships abroad in order to learn, grow and lead was an opportunity Laetitia could not deny.
This week, I want you to meet 23-year-old Laetitia, who went on an exchange to The Netherlands and feels that it’s one of the best things that has happened to her. In my conversation with Laetitia, I understood the essence of how a professional internship helps. I asked her what exactly prompted her to go for a GT exchange and she delightedly replied-
“After my first year of my Masters in Management, I knew that I wanted to continue my studies in marketing but at that moment I felt that I was missing professional experience. I was not sure if I really like marketing. That’s why I decided to go on an exchange to live a professional experience abroad throughout my University Diploma in Management. I dedicated myself to some personal development, and in other words it was a kind of a “gap year”. So I joined an e-commerce company as a digital marketing trainee for 6 months through AIESEC in France.”
The things an exchange can offer apart from experience is loads of personal development and I’m glad Laetitia took her chances. But what was the most that she benefited out of this experience?
”I discovered a completely new universe. I did not have a clue about digital marketing. What does SEO, SEA, Adwords etc. mean, I learnt everything on spot. I got a real experience in digital marketing. In fact, the best thing about living in a country you don’t know is that you get to meet new people, create your own circle of friends, discover a different way of life plus you also get to travel across the country.”
When I heard that, it totally made me just want to go on an exchange right now, don’t you too? I asked her about her experience in The Netherlands then and she told me what a different country altogether means.
“The Netherlands is a European country so I would not say that it was totally different from France but there were still some differences so I had to adapt myself to the country. This experience built in me crazy curiosity and broke my routine life that I was used to in France. I met so many people and I’m still in contact with some of them, they became good friends. Almost every weekend, I was travelling with my friends to discover other cities of The Netherlands and its countries.”
Who doesn’t want a break like that? I know I do. But coming to the more serious part, I really wanted to know how this cross cultural experience influenced and developed Laetitia’s idea of learning in the new atmosphere and she told me all about it.
“Well, my company was composed of a multicultural team so every day at lunch we were talking about different and interesting topics which helped me learn a lot. Then, I was working for the French department and my manager and I, we were sometimes in disagreement with the Dutch department so it was interesting to see differences from one culture to another one, from one market to another one and trying to adapt ourselves or to convince the other team whenever possible definitely gave me quite a learning.”
Now that takes learning to another level. A hands on approach towards understanding how things work in companies, very impressive. Laetitia also mentioned to me that she would definitely recommend everyone to go on an exchange as well and here’s why.
“I would suggest everyone to go on an exchange as well because this experience had been a life changing experience for me. I grew a lot from this experience. I had the possibility to work in a different environment and I developed my professional skills in digital marketing. In my case, this experience helped me to define my professional project and in other words I decided to do my second year of Master in Digital Marketing.
Also, as an intern, I had the opportunity to participate in a National conference in The Netherlands organized by AIESEC. I could develop my network by meeting AIESECers from the entire country and other interns who also came to do their internship in this lovely and tiny country.
I also assisted to another conference in Germany. It was all about Leadership and Personal Development and I think it was a perfect way to end my experience.
I had the opportunity to focus on myself, my strengths and weaknesses and I became more indulgent with others.”
A focus that makes you self-aware beyond limits. Don’t we all want that? Laetitia’s experience was truly inspiring to me and I wish her the best for her future endeavours. For the rest of you still thinking, stop. Go ahead and just find an opportunity under http://bit.ly/internabroadaiesec and experience the thrill of a cross cultural exchange yourself!