In the seventh and final part of WEtech Alliance’s Youth Entrepreneurship Series, I had a Google Hangout with Maggie Xie, VP of Corporate Relations with AIESEC Windsor. AIESEC is the largest student run in the world with 60,000 students running clubs in 110 different countries. The organization’s mandate is to match companies around the world with interns. Maggie, 20, had a lot to say about the program.
It was a Friday afternoon in the month of August that I called Maggie Xie. Even though I’ve interacted with Maggie on multiple times in the past year at Odette, it was Irek that suggested I highlight the program that AIESEC administrating locally and around the world. We chatted in a Google Hangout about her student club and she had a ton to say about it in the 15 minutes we spoke.
Although they are not technically an entrepreneurial organization, AIESEC is the largest student-run group in the world and empowers students in multiple ways. Maggie justified the entrepreneurial nature of the club by stating that even though “…we didn’t start the business, we run the business. […] Every year has turnover, so we’re always in that same building phase.” The first ways students can participate is by working for an AIESEC organization like Maggie does and the second is by participating in their global internship program. Like SIFE Windsor highlighted in the second part of the series, this club is run primarily out of the Odette School of Business.
Maggie Xie, VP of Corporate Relations explained her role in the organization; “all of us have different portfolios. […] I deal with a lot of external networking: I cold-call companies, network with them, meet with them and sell our internship program to them and show them the benefits [of] taking an international intern for that temporary work.”
The club has made great strides in their placements in the last year: “…we have been pretty fortunate by expanding AIESEC and getting our word out to local businesses. Recently, we placed two of our interns into engineering based jobs,” explained Xie about the local program. Both interns are working at companies with branches in their countries of origin. The intention for those two interns is to train in Canada for an extended period and then return to their respective countries to work for the same company’s local operations. “We placed someone in Hungary and Mexico and one is there for a management type of internship […] [our] Mexican intern is interning for six months on a more developmental internship working with relief funds, AIDS research – stuff like that.”
In five years, AIESEC Windsor’s ambitious goal would be to work in collaboration with the University of Windsor’s co-op office to increase awareness of international internships.
Maggie finished by saying that you should to talk to a member of AIESEC if you don’t believe the hype: “I’ve met so many people from the other 28 local chapters across Canada. […] I’ve learned so much about myself and the things I’m good at. […] AIESEC provides opportunities, skillsets and methods of learning that [you] won’t get in the classroom.”
Since we conducted the interview in August, Maggie has started her international exchange program at the Rouen Business School in the municipality of Mont-Saint-Aignan. She will be gone for four months before coming back to the city.
For more information about AIESEC Windsor, check out http://aiesec.ca/windsor.
To see the interview in video form, check out this YouTube clip:
About WEtech Alliance’s Youth Entrepreneurship Series: For the next few weeks, WEtech Intern Jacob McCourt will be running a series of interviews with young Windsor-area entrepreneurs in anticipation of the Entrepreneurial Spark Tour event happening at St. Clair College on September 5th in partnership with Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza. This event will allow St. Clair College students to touch, see and interact with innovations happening right here in Windsor.