For many rising juniors and seniors, finding ways to stand out in a sea of potential job candidates can be a challenge. An internship is an invaluable resource when it comes to showing employers your experiences and potential, but in today’s world having an internship can sometimes not be enough to set students apart.
Traveling abroad and interning are two invaluable opportunities that allow students to gain the well-rounded experience employers are looking for in potential employees. Although studying abroad is a fantastic way to gain new experiences, many students are choosing to combine the two by interning abroad.
“Interning abroad gives you an even more in-depth experience in the culture and international community because you are living, learning, and working on projects with the locals,” said Korbin Dimmick, study abroad coordinator for Auburn Abroad. “You may commute to your internship alongside business professionals of that particular country, and you may feel as if you are having a regular workday routine. Any sort of travel abroad is a learning experience, but I love the idea of travel with a purpose.”
Elizabeth Glaser is a recent Auburn University alumna who interned abroad in Dublin, Ireland this past summer. After hearing about the internship program from a close friend, Glaser applied to the program and choose to intern in Dublin.
Prior to her trip, Glaser had only known of one other Auburn student, but the program allowed her to meet other students from universities around the U.S. Glaser’s co-workers also allowed her to meet Irish locals and get a better idea of Irish culture.
Although she had little experience in the workplace at home, Glaser understood that the work environment in Ireland would be different from what she had experienced in the U.S.
“During my first week, I only took a half hour lunch, and my boss told me I needed to stay longer and take more breaks,” said Glaser. “I can’t imagine an American boss saying that to a new employee, but that’s just part of the Irish workplace. She made sure the tasks I performed were meaningful and applicable to my future career. I really felt like a valuable member of the team, not just free labor. “
Benefits Of Working Abroad
Although a majority of students choose conventional study abroad programs, interning abroad has many benefits that are ideal for some students. By working abroad, students are able to experience the workplace from a different perspective. They are also able to expand their social skills, network with international companies, and improve their resume.
“Having work experience on your resume and international connections is huge, and future employers value that highly. Also, the intercultural communication component to interning abroad develops skills that are needed in today’s international working environment,” said Dimmick.
Another benefit of working abroad is that companies both nationally and internationally value student’s ability to adapt to various work environments. Many employers see this experience as one that sets students apart from other potential employees.
“Several of our students who have interned abroad since 2013 have received a job offer upon completion of the internship either from the abroad company or from national companies who were impressed by the similar work and outstanding project/performance while overseas,” said Dr. Summerfield, a professor of Italian and French and Associate Dean for Educational Affairs in Auburn’s College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Summerfield serves
as faculty director for the overseas CLA CCE Internship programs.
How Auburn Students Can Apply
Students that are interested in working abroad can go online to the Auburn Abroad website and find an internship program that best suits them. Most programs require students to fill out an online application and send in any necessary documents such as a resume, cover letter, background check, and references.
For those students that may be nervous about working internationally, Auburn offers programs that allow students to work and study while abroad.
“Most internship programs abroad allow students to take courses as well, so you don’t have to dedicate your entire time abroad to an internship and you could earn up to a full semester’s worth of course credits,” said Dimmick.
If you would like more information about the different abroad programs, go online to www.auburn.edu/studyabroad.
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