Thousands of young and enthusiastic students apply for international internships each year and yet only few succeed. How do they make it happen? What tips and tricks do the use in order to land such life changing opportunities?
Undertaking an Internship abroad can be valuable to your professional and personal life in many ways. Not only do you get to learn new languages and experience a completely new culture, you also gain valuable experience in your field of study, international work experience and useful skills that help you relate to new people both at a professional and personal level.
Getting one might not be as easy as you think. However, the immense benefits you will receive do outweigh the minor struggles and troubles you may experience.
In this article, I present you with the ultimate cheat sheet that will help you get started on your journey towards searching for an internship abroad and making the most out of it. Keep reading….
Before you Begin
The secret to setting your Internship search in motion is to overcome any pre-conceived mental or physical notions that hinder most students from taking the first baby step to begin an Internship search. You must be willing to get out of your comfort zone and constantly reassure yourself with the words “ I Can!”
Successful companies are always on the look out for new talent from all over the world, this could be your lucky opportunity. All you have to do is have a will to try and hope for the best.
Taking the First Steps
One of the fundamental steps in any undertaking is to clearly define your goals and objectives for seeking an international internship. An automotive engineering student may want to visit German Car Factories while a Business student may wish to travel to China to learn more about market trends and best business practices.
Consider the following important points in your checklist:
· What are you areas of Interest?
· Are you biased to some specific countries, regions or companies? Name them
· How risk averse are you? Can you consider far away countries with foreign language, different cultures etc.
· Include any other preference you may have
Being specific about what you wish to gain from the internship will go a long way to help you choose an ideal location. You should now be able to have one or two locations in mind after answering the questions in the above checklist.
Once you are done with sorting out your objectives and preferences, you will now be ready to start the actual process of searching for an international internship through one of many available channels. These include:
1. Contact Your School’s International Career Office to explore existing international internship opportunities, rules and limitations.
The international student service officers will advise you and offer guidance during the application process (visa, passport and all procedures)
2. Identify opportunities using various Career Library and various web resources that allow you create profiles, upload your resume and apply for internships by contacting employers directly.
3. Reach out to your schools Alumni working or living in your Preferred location of internship. They will be willing to place you, talk to someone who can place you or simply provide you with advice and contacts
4. Check out arranged internships which can help you get your foot in the door to your industgry, through their pre arranged networks. Global Nomadic offer many such opportunities.
Using any of the above three methods or any additional one you may have, will go a long way in increasing your chances of getting your application considered and ultimately approved. Try, Try and Try, Persistence is Key!
Success. Now What?
With the right contacts, skills, passion and resume; Success is always around the corner.
Once you have been lucky and successful in having your application approved, the last important task is to make the whole experience count through having fun, being productive, learning new cultures and gaining experience.
For a worthwhile internship experience, keep the following considerations in mind.
· Know your Purpose: During the commencement of internship, your goal is to get the job description, your own development plan from your supervisor and employee / school expectations as regards to you.
· Learn as Much As Possible: As an intern, your goal is to acquire as much information as possible through asking questions and having good rapport with existing workers who will go the extra mile to ensure that you are on the right track.
· Have Fun: During your off days and weekends, purpose to visit new places, meet and interact with locals, learn new languages and attend community functions such as church, weddings etc.
· Keep In Touch: Sending thank you notes to people at the company you interned goes a long way to foster your personal relationships. This may turn out to be beneficial in future.
International Internships are a great way to expand your professional and personal networks while at the same time having the opportunity of a lifetime to travel to new destinations, learn new cultures and have fun.
With all the tips and tricks you have learnt from this article, getting one for your self should not be a daunting task anymore.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started; get applying, and get picked.