Publication Date

Winter 2014

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Sora Friedman

Abstract

This research explored the perceived need to connect reflective reentry adjustment with professional integration for global intern and volunteer experiences of AIESEC’s exchange participants. Martin & Harrell’s (2004) four training phases were utilized to construct a qualitative, sequential snapshot showing current reentry experiences of returnees and reentry practices of national staff across AIESEC’s 125 country network. Semi-structured interviews complimented in-depth questionnaires and were conducted globally with returnees, staff and alumni while emphasizing deliberate connection over the total adjustment process reaching from pre-departure to post-return (Pusch & Loewenthal, 1988). This research illustrated that AIESEC’s reentry programming practices and hence, exchange participant reentry experiences vary considerably, remain disjointed and that AIESEC must strive to create a globally supported, intentional, integrated, effort to conjoin reentry programming with career development. This study showed that exchange program specific reentry training including on-demand virtual trainings should be developed. Ensuring deeper post-program dialogue was suggested to help participants build confidence in the school-to-work transition and to effectively articulate the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed as a result of interning or volunteering abroad. Leveraging global university-based expertise and improving program assessment was recommended. Great potential for reentry assistance through alumni partnering exists. Alumni may best assist reentry and professional transition through job placement support, mentoring and helping participants audit their global experiences. It would prove remarkable to explore how a quarter of the world’s universities could provide reentry expertise and school-to-work transitional support to AIESEC’s institutionally-based local committees. AIESEC can benefit from researchers willing to study its global exchange programs.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Higher Education | Higher Education Administration | Human Resources Management | International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication | International Business | Leadership Studies | Marketing | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Tourism | Tourism and Travel | Training and Development | Work, Economy and Organizations

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