I’m going to say the truth and not (try to) lie to you. We Brazilians despise our country and if we had the chance we leave it. I met many people with the same thoughts. At first I tried to go to the United States thought my family connections in Panama, but somehow I decided to stay longer in Panama. But my way of thinking changed totally when, at the end of my studies, I was presented with the most awesome student organization the planet Earth has ever seen: AIESEC.
AIESEC is an non-profit association that promotes internships experiences abroad and leadership, it has committees all over the world. My first impression was that they were a super crazy party-all-night sect. When I check the conference pictures of my friend I got shocked to see so many craziness and alcohol. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some animal sacrifice involved (but there wasn’t). But to have fun is part of the culture: Work hard and party harder. So I applied because I was interested in doing internships in countries abroad, but…. The first conference I attended kicked ass so freaking much that I decided that my destiny was to be president or something similar. From April 2009 until May 2014, I learned more within this association than in my years in school and university:
- I took many opportunities;
- I took many leadership roles;
- I helped organize big ass events;
- I was leader of a regional conference;
- I worked in the exchange department;
- I worked in the marketing department;
- I found partnerships for our conferences;
- I helped redesign our webpages and wikis;
- I gave a lot of nice lectures on some seminars;
- I virtually worked for cool countries like Greece;
- I won awards for best member of my committees;
- I transmitted my knowledge to the new generation;
- I attended some amazing international conferences;
- AIESEC dramatically increased my network of friends;
- I danced for the first time in my life without being drunk;
- I influenced my company to get more interns from AIESEC;
- I influenced member to take leadership roles and internships;
- I drank too much alcohol and made myself a fool countless times;
- I created a lot of conflicts, drama and gave headache to my leaders;
- I applied for vice-president and president of my committee and lost;
- I dreamed of a structured Information Management area but I failed;
- I dreamed of being a member of the regional board, but I failed again;
- I had the crazy dream to bring AIESEC to new countries, but I lost the will;
- I proposed innovative ideas to our committees, but I was labeled as a lunatic;
- I encouraged some of my friends to use AIESEC to boost their professional careers;
- I laughed, smiled, danced, cried, screamed, tumble, felt down, stood up, got drunk, got sober, got drunk again, raise above and did some epic stuff;
The main goal for an internship was to get our asses out of our country (or comfort zone) and live an experience abroad. Your main goal is to be an ambassador of your culture to other and to learn from them, bringing that knowledge back home. But some of the candidates really want to have fun abroad, make money or party like there is no tomorrow, get a lot of money and fill their CVs with this experience.
It was time for my internship abroad. I applied for many countries but I decided for Lithuania because the offer of the company was very interesting since they had an expansion project in mind, my return to Brazil and the unique opportunity to open the company in Latin America. It was my chance to give birth to a role model model company in Brazil with an European-AIESEC mindset. I was not longer willing to leave Brazil forever.
Lithuania opened my mind in so many things. I felt in love so much with the culture and people. As you can read in my previews posts regarding the work environment.
Please watch my two minutes video about my five years in AIESEC