AIESEC gets first intern in 5 years

Story by Carolyn Tiry

Last year at this time, UW-Eau Claire’s local chapter of AIESEC didn’t actually exist. This year, after waiting five years to get an international intern, they’re just a few steps away from regaining their status as a full member organization.

Sophomore Joy Larson, local committee president of AIESEC-Eau Claire, said they haven’t been able to bring in an intern since 2006, so this is a big step forward for them.

“That’s been our motivating source, is actually being able to gain the full potential that this organization has to offer because we haven’t raised an intern in so long,” she said.

“We’ve tried to use that motivation to drive us to be more results-orientated.”

AIESEC — originally an acronym for Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales — is the largest student-run organization in the world. Its mission, according to their website, is to provide a platform for youth leadership development by setting up cultural and professional international internships and other
leadership opportunities.

The intern will be working at M-B Companies, Inc., in Chilton, Wis. M-B Co. is an engineering company that specializes in snow removal and pavement-making equipment and attachments.

Robert Klinker, sales manager at M-B, said that the intern will work primarily in sales and marketing. They wanted an intern from China because the company already has a base market in China, and they would like to have more control over their distribution there.

“We’re looking for just a fresh perspective on how we can capture a little bit more marketing savvy in the China markets,” he said. “This program just seemed to be a good match.”
Klinker also said he and the company hope the intern and the experience will provide them with future benefits as well.

“I’d just as soon not do a one-time thing,” he said, “but we really feel that this could be a long-term endeavor that will help us grow globally.”

They are still in the process of reviewing more than 50 applications, Larson said, but they will have the decision finalized within the next two weeks. The intern will start work at M-B by June 1.

The organization was disbanded last year because they were not meeting their incoming exchange requirements. They reapplied to be recognized by the national organization and became what is called an “official expansion.”

In order to be able to return to full member status, Larson said, they need to have two outgoing exchanges and two incoming exchanges within a one-year time frame.

So far, they have met the outgoing quota and only need to raise one more incoming intern to meet all the requirements.

“Everyone has been really excited because we’re so close to meeting those requirements,” she said.

Larson said they have been in contact and are in the process of drawing up a contract with 3M, the manufacturer of Scotch tape, in Minneapolis.

Because they have such a short timeline to meet the requirements, Larson said, they have focused more on working with companies with whom they already have a relationship.
However, one of their long-term goals is to get more internships set up with businesses local to Eau Claire.

Either way, Larson said, everyone in AIESEC is excited to meet and share intercultural experiences with the new intern and any possible future interns.

“I’ve heard the first intern you get,” she said, “it makes you feel so great that you helped make this happen, you helped provide this experience for them.”