AIESEC: Motivating Youth for Public Good
Kibur Kibret is a prominent member of AIESEC Ethiopia as director of business development. Here he reflects with Detail Ethiopia on the organization, on the benefit of membership, on its history in Ethiopia as well as its vision.
Tell me about AIESEC
AIESEC is an international youth-led organization that focuses on making young leaders through its cross-cultural exchange programs with the why of peace and fulfillment of human kinds potential. AIESEC is a platform for young people dedicated to supporting their transition from their education to their career path.
How long have you been a member and what benefits have you witnessed that us practical to new graduates?
I joined AIESEC four years ago when I was a second-year student at Addis Ababa University: School of Commerce. During my time in AIESEC, I was able to serve in different positions locally as well as internationally. This gave me exposure to different things I never knew had existed, I was able to practice and experience the work sector at a young age. Being exposed to such things has a significant impact on one's life. The traditional education we receive from universities is insufficient to prepare someone to begin working at a company or organization after graduating; different organizations such as AIESEC or even other extracurricular activities are required to prepare a graduate for the job they are hired for.
How long has AIESEC been operational in Ethiopia?
AIESEC in Ethiopia was founded in 2008 by cooperation Between AIESEC in Italy and KPMG Italy. With the support of the then-called GTZ and various AIESEC alumni from AIESEC International network in Ethiopia. AIESEC began official operations in Ethiopia in 2011 after being recognized and registered as an Ethiopian society under the Ministry of Justice, agency of charities, and society. We have worked with Addis Ababa University, Hawassa Univerisity, Debre Birhan University, St.Mary's University. AIESEC in Ethiopia is celebrating its 10th year anniversary this year.
What advice do you have to those considering joining AIESEC?
You do not have to be a member of AIESEC to participate in AIESEC activities. Our exchange programs are open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to work as Interns, Volunteers, or Teachers in different countries. For the youth who wish to join AIESEC, I would like to emphasize that joining AIESEC is not the same as joining other youth-led organizations and clubs. AIESEC is for someone who wants to grow quickly, face challenges, and gain leadership experience at a young age in order to grow personally and professionally at the end of their time in the organization.
How do you envision the role of AIESEC in Ethiopia and to its prospective members?
As I previously stated, AIESEC has had the same vision and objective since its beginnings over 72 years ago. AIESEC can be a platform for Ethiopian youth to enter the international market, as well as for companies and organizations to have a short-term international talent to diversify their team and get that needed international perspective, while our members grow and develop. It provides our country with a global perspective.