How AIESEC helped me become a World Citizen

Meet Jona

He is a third year at the University of Georgia studying International Business Administration & Management. We asked him about what it’s like being a part of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth leadership development organization. Here’s what he had to say!

Q. What has been your favorite AIESEC moment?

A. In November 2014 I went to an international conference in Naples, Italy. It was the first time, that I saw people from 40 different countries in one room. We had very eye-opening and diverse conversations about how we see the the problems of the world today.

‍‍AIESEC believes that in order to be an effective leader, you must encompass the four qualities of the Leadership Development Model. Do these describe your leadership style? Do you feel particularly connected to any of these?

Q. AIESEC believes, in order to be an effective leader, you must encompass the four qualities of the Leadership Development Model (pictured above). In which Leadership Development Model quality have you grown the most? How has AIESEC helped you in this area?

A. World Citizen! Before I came to AIESEC I was already interested in different cultures and international relations. After I came to AIESEC I got the chance to actually have conversations with people from all over the planet, that want to make the world a better place. With all these insights that I get from the members of AIESEC all over the world I’m able to understand it and if I’m able to understand it, I can start to change it.

Q. What do you want to do in the future?

A. I want to work in undeveloped countries and help them grow their economy from within.

Q. Why did you chose AIESEC as part of your journey there? 

A. AIESEC gave me the opportunity to meet people that have similar interests then me. It also provided me with challenging environments that let me discover what I really want in life.

Q. Have you been abroad?

A. Yes, I have been to 15 countries on 3 different continents so far. I am currently in the US as an exchange student and originally from Germany.

Q. Could you provide a short story describing its effect (developmental or awareness wise). 

A. The one international experience that changed my life was when I visited a friend India for four weeks. Before that I have only traveled Europe, which is also nice, but hasn’t been very much of a culture shock for me. After experiencing India, my view on many things changed for ever. It was very eye-opening to see a totally different part of the world, were people are very poor and live in the most primitive realities. This showed me how privileged we are in Europe and the US.

Currently I’m living in the US, which is considered to be similar to Europe, but I can tell you it is definitely way different than expected. Living here has shown me how different cultures can be even though they might be considered very similar.

Q. Anything else you would like people to know about AIESEC?

A. I can only very strongly recommend applying to be a part of AIESEC. It has not only changed my life, but also provided me with a great amount of friends that are striving for the same goals as I do.

Jona Sanders

Jona is a third year currently studying International Business and Management. Originally from Germany, Jona is studying abroad at the University of Georgia. He is involved on the Finance team at AIESEC UGA and a big Green Bay Packers fan!