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Ulrike from Germany The day I was offered a traineeship by AIESEC Sri Lanka, I had to make a quick decision. On the same day, I was offered a job at a big company in my home country Germany and another AIESEC traineeship in India. Sometimes, it just happens all at once. My gut feeling and what I had heard and read about Sri Lanka so far, lead me to accept the offer from Sri Lanka and looking back, it was one of the best decisions I made in my life. I spent five months working as a trainee in the land like no other, a slogan by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board that proved to be true, in many different ways. I had five exciting months, filled with laughter and joy, many insights and time to reflect on all the The most significant and naturally most time-consuming experience was my traineeship at an independent, fully sri-lankan owned and staffed Public Relations and Advertising agency in Colombo. I was not considered only a trainee there but I was given great responsibilities, important accounts and the chance to contribute to the companys new alignment and strategy. The management team gave me all the support I needed and placed a lot of confidence in me but also expected a great deal, which was quite challenging. I appreciate all the chances and opportunities I got but I can also recall times, especially at the beginning of my traineeship, when the workload seemed just too much to handle. In addition, cultural differences in work habits and ethics, time management and communications also made the traineeship very challenging. But after some time, clients and co-workers gave positive feed-backs and the hard work paid off. Once I knew that my work was appreciated, I enjoyed it more and more and long working hours did not matter so much anymore. I learned a great deal and had a challenging but also good time at my company, especially because of my great coworkers and bosses. I believe that the learning experience was mutual and I hope that I could contribute to the companys success by sharing my ideas and ways of working. What made my stay in Sri Lanka so special were the people of AIESEC: both local AIESECers and other trainees, the Global Sri Lankans. I enjoyed getting to know not only Sri Lankan culture, but also the ones of the trainees that I shared a house with or met at the many AIESEC or trainee activities. Sometimes life in Sri Lanka was a bit challenging and naturally different from what I was used to, but every challenge was worth it as I had a very good time and made good and close friends. And after a while one becomes a bit sri-lankanized and can deal much better with things. For example, I got more laid-back and I caught myself many times a day shaking my head in the Sri Lankan way (meaning mostly yes, but I feel at times also no). To me, Sri Lanka was filled with so many different facets. It was interesting to observe some differences, e.g. between the very poor and very rich, between the various regions, between Colombo and small villages between different religions and cultural heritages. And on this comparatively small island with its large cultural diversity and historical heritage there is still a lot for me to discover when I come back to visit which I hope to be able to do very soon

Do you like to travel or is the world your playground? What is AIESEC ? AIESEC is an international platform for young people to discover and develop their potential to have a positive impact in society.

AIESEC in Numbers ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

Since 1948 89 countries and territories Over 800 universities 18,000 members 5,000 leadership positions 3,500 exchanges 350 conferences

What can I do in AIESEC?

? ? ? ? ? ?

Develop your leadership Gain practical skills Work abroad Attend conferences Build a personal network Explore yourself and your future

And much more‌

Learn more about AIESEC at www.aiesec.org


Ulrike-EP case study