Behind the Acronym

The AIESEC Oregon chapter is a small student organization at Portland State that has a large global impact.

The AIESEC Oregon chapter is a small student organization at Portland State that has a large global impact.

The organization gives its members an opportunity to travel abroad by interning at various international companies and non-profits, according Schuyler Asman, advisor for Student Activities and Leadership Programs.

The organization, which began in 1948 as an exchange program, initially stood for “Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciale,” but is now referred to by its acronym, said AIESEC Local Committee President Brian Ball.

“It’s pronounced ‘eye-sek,'” he said.

“AIESEC is a group focused on professional networking and professional skills development,” Asman said. “The local chapter works with its members to help connect them to various external organizations in the area.”

In addition, the local chapter also hosts interns from other countries and helps connect them to local businesses, according to Asman.
“AIESEC hopes to provide Portland State students the opportunity to develop a global network and connect with both local and international businesses,” he said.

With over 45,000 members, AIESEC has chapters in over 107 countries and territories, and is “the world’s largest student-run organization,” according to its website.

As of the end of winter term, the Oregon chapter had eight active members, Ball said.

“We don’t have room for inactive members, which is why we keep it small,” he said. “[Active members] work together on a variety of projects.”

Duties the AIESEC Oregon chapter members perform include planning events, designing new shirts to sell and working with students and local companies to find internships.

There is a $75 application fee to “get into the system” and find a possible internship abroad, in addition to administration fees that are determined by the kind of position the member is looking for, Ball said.

“Some [positions] are paid, and some aren’t…Some even cover the flight,” he said.

Internships may include management training, technical training, or education and developmental positions.

Ball initially learned about AIESEC through an advertisement.

“I saw a flyer that said ‘Eat Chinese takeout or eat in Beijing’ and I said ‘Hmm…'” he said.

Ball attended an information session, and then began regularly attending meetings. However, his real involvement and interest occurred while at an AIESEC conference in Dayton, Ohio.

“It was a weeklong conference during winter break,” Ball said. “Then I was like, I get why this organization exists.”

Since then, Ball has been to at least 15 states with the Oregon chapter, as well as four countries: the Philippines, Japan, Korea and Canada¬.

He said he has built a huge invaluable network of friends and business professional relationships during his time with AIESEC.

“I have probably worked with at least 20 different companies,” Ball said.

The Oregon chapter continues to work with local alumni, including co-founder of Portland Roasting Company, Todd Plummer.

In addition, the chapter is working with Wall St. Training to offer an intense two-day seminar in

“Financial Modeling and Corporate Valuation” for PSU, which will take place on May 15–16, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost of attendance for PSU students is $150 for the entire weekend.

“[WST] usually charges $600–1,000 per day for the exact same content,” Ball said.

More information about the seminar can be found at

The AIESEC Oregon chapter holds meetings every Monday at 4:30 p.m. in varying locations. For more information, visit or contact [email protected].