Aug 2, 2010

My Next Adventure

Tomorrow I get on an airplane bound for Brazil. I'll be embarking on the next stage of my AIESEC experience – Exchange! And it's not just any AIESEC exchange. I, along with 19 other Canadian recent graduates, will be working for Vale Inco, one of AIESEC's Global Exchange Partners for one year. The internship involves 8 months work experience in the company's Brazil offices followed by 4 months work experience in the Canadian offices. And pending favourable performance reviews, permanent employment in Canada. It's a sourcing strategy for the company to add to their leadership pipeline and bring back the Brazilian headquarter's culture to Canada.

We arrive in Rio de Janeiro for the first week and learn all about Vale. After that it's a trip to the state of Minas, where we'll learn more about the company and the mining industry. And then we go back to Rio for training in Management and Leadership. After that training period of 2 months, our group will separate into three cities (Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Vitoria) for 6 months of work related to our future positions in Canada. At the end of those 6 months we're rounded up together again for an Experience Workshop to reflect on our internships. And then it's back home to Canada.

In Canada I'll be a Recruitment and Selection Analyst based out of Toronto. I know a lot about what my position in Canada entails, but I don't know much yet about what I'll be doing in Brazil. I don't even know which city I'll be in after we finish training. I will find out soon after I arrive in Brazil though, so I'm not worried.

I can't believe I have a career in recruitment ahead of me. Back in my time in AIESEC, I loved planning and executing our recruitments—almost a little too much! It was such an intense experience trying to spread the word about AIESEC all over campus, finding the right people and having all of our information sessions, interviews and induction days all lined up. And after having two co-op work terms in recruitment, I just know that I'm going to have a great time.

I've been told by many people that I'm going to have a great time in Brazil too. Brazil is a popular destination for Canadians going on AIESEC exchanges. And last I heard, AIESEC Canada receives more interns from Brazil than from any other country. Even our National Committee President is from Brazil.

The person in Brazil in charge of coordinating our internship program is a Canadian AIESECer too. In fact, she was the first National Committee member I met when I first joined AIESEC.

Going to Brazil will be quite a different experience for me –unlike anything I've ever done. I've travelled to a dozen different countries but I have never stayed in any one city for more than three weeks. Rio de Janeiro is nothing like Victoria, but I feel ready for this. After a few borrowed Portuguese language tapes from the library, some lessons and advice from friends, several questions and answers from our Vale Global Coordinator and a 37-page welcome booklet from AIESEC Rio de Janeiro, I am set to survive my first few days in a new place. Of course, AIESEC will be helping us to get adjusted along the way. After hosting many interns in Victoria, I am looking forward to becoming an intern myself!

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