Attracting Goal-Oriented Individuals, or Creating Them?

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IAESTE Malta is a branch of the International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience and was founded in 1984. Although IAESTE Malta just celebrated its 30 years since it became an associate member in 1984, a committee was already exchanging internships back in 1967. However, this committee had to terminate the membership due to changes in the educational system in 1977. It was then in 1984 that the University Engineering Student-Workers Association – UESWA (nowadays known as UESA) brought this internship exchange system back to Malta and in 1989 IAESTE Malta became a full member of IAESTE. Since then, IAESTE Malta has been an entirely student run organisation providing invaluable work experience to students and highly skilled hardworking interns to companies.

Hard work and dedication.

Those are the two components that led to the success story that is IAESTE Malta, which celebrated its 30th Anniversary last December. And to commemorate this milestone, IAESTE Malta gathered alumni from 30 years. Something I realised when tracking down our alumni is that IAESTE Malta is not just the story of a successful organization; but the moulding of what would become highly accomplished professionals and their own success stories.

When saying that the great majority of IAESTE Malta alumni are currently at the top of their field, I am being very conservative. In fact, during my search through IAESTE Malta’s history, I have met CEOs and founder of companies and group of companies, professors and well–respected academics at University, managers in high-calibre companies as well as representatives in national institutions and bodies. In a few words, IAESTE Malta alumni are in-charge and very much involved in the decisions that shape our country and lead to its development.

Moreover, a good number of alumni have also ventured their career internationally, in some cases as a continuation of their IAESTE experience, which is not surprising at all as this fits perfectly with the IAESTE spirit. And proof that IAESTE creates strong connections between people, there are those IAESTE love stories – which I guess are good enough reasons to leave our beautiful islands.

Is it a mere coincidence that students who have worked hard for IAESTE Malta have skyrocketed the course of their career? As a scientist, I cannot jump to conclusions. However a strong correlation between the two cannot be denied. And it makes perfect sense! The students who are motivated to engage themselves in extracurricular work, to travel in order to gain relevant work experience abroad and to meet other young professionals are more likely to have a stronger drive to succeed! Juggling university deadlines while professionally and smoothly running an internship exchange system undeniably gives you a set of skills that will be very useful when diving into the working world, while helping you take ownership of your career path at an even earlier stage.

If it is hard work and dedication that led to the evolvement of IAESTE Malta, it is this same hard work and dedication that led to the personal accomplishments of the people involved with IAESTE Malta. Whether IAESTE attracts people who are driven to succeed, or IAESTE shapes its members to become such persons, is irrelevant to me. What is clear to me though, is that IAESTE, with which thousands of students get involved every year, can undoubtedly be associated with go-getters and goal-oriented individuals.

As a final note, on behalf of IAESTE Malta I would like to give the most heartfelt thanks to all Alumni who managed to keep IAESTE Malta alive and also companies and fellow IAESTE branches who have supported us throughout the years.

Published as part of the IAESTE a.s.b.l. Annual Review 2015.