IAESTE changed my life



If you ask an intern coming back from the IAESTE internship: “how was it?”,  the most likely answer you’re going to get is: “It changed my life!”. Celebrating 70 years of changing lives made us investigating what does it mean for interns career. We have asked IAESTE alumni what impact the IAESTE experience made on their professional careers. The main findings of the study indicate that international experience has a strong developmental effect on career capital.


Involvement in today’s dynamic business environment has increased the complexity and geographical reach of business operations. Critical success factors for working effectively in an international environment have been categorized in many different ways. The international experience offered by IAESTE to students, but also gained by employees working with foreign students locally,  is commonly seen as an effective way to develop the needed intercultural competencies and as an effective way to acquire career capital. The resource-based view of career capital maintains that it consists of three ways of knowing and this framework has been applied in our research. The research has found that an international work experience provides opportunities to develop knowing why,  knowing how and knowing whom career competencies, what, however, many of us could find as an obvious outcome. The interesting finding is that the internships mostly impacted the “Knowing-WHY” aspect of the career competencies, meaning that IAESTE experience provides interns with the energy, sense of purpose, motivation, and identification with the world of work. Knowing HOW, includes career-relevant skills and work-related knowledge, and understanding what is needed for performance. Knowing-WHOM consists of a range of intrafirm, interfirm, professional, and social relations combined in a network and providing information and channels for self-promotion.

The results of this research have been also presented during the poster fair: Assessment and Evaluation in International Education, at NAFSA 2018 conference, Philadelphia, USA.

Follow up our LinkedIn page to learn more about our findings.

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