Semester Midpoint

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     I have just reached the halfway mark of my first semester at VIA, and so far this experience has given me several opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. I am now looking forward to my first set of exams and my extracurricular activities for the remainder of the semester.

With my first set of exams starting shortly I am unsure of what to expect from them as the educational system is different from what I am use to. The exam is given in a case study format that will require the student to use relevant course material from all five classes in the case. I believe this test format will be more challenging as I will not have a specific section to study for the exam but will need a broader knowledge of all courses before taking it. This type of examination will also test my ability to correlate multiple subjects with each other to solve the case. Overall, this type of test will be a positive experience as I will need a greater understanding of the course material and not just good short-term memory.

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Outside of classes, I spend a significant amount of time volunteering for AIESEC. AIESEC is an international NGO that focuses on bringing people with different backgrounds together through finding and facilitating internships, volunteer, and entrepreneurial opportunities abroad. I am a member of the incoming exchange team at VIA which has jurisdiction of Horsens, Billund, Vejle, Tørring, and Skanderborg. Our responsibility is to find and partner with suitable companies in central Jutland that are open to having international talent either intern or volunteer in their organizations. After this partnership is formed, it is our responsibility to facilitate the process required for a person to intern or volunteer in Denmark. This can include finding accommodations, helping with the Visa/residence permit, and provide an overall a smooth transition for the person who is interning/volunteering in Denmark.

At this time my job within AIESEC has largely involved doing market research on potential companies within my area. After finding suitable companies, I will contact them usually through cold calling to try and set up an in-person meeting to discuss the organization in greater detail. I have not yet presented to a company, but I am looking forward to my first meeting which is in two weeks time. This experience in AIESEC will allow me to significantly improve my sales and presenting skills through having constant practice with company meetings hopefully being booked for each week moving forward. Overall, this experience will teach me how to present myself professionally as I am contacting these companies as a potential partner and not as a university student.

 
Dagan Steinke