International Internships


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International Internships

  1. 1. International Internships International internships are a great way to distinguish you from other grads entering the job market; they add depth to your resume and provide opportunities for work and cultural experiences you could never get in the United States. Here are some guidelines to help you choose an internship experience that’s right for you: 1. Define your internship goals a) Paid vs. Unpaid: Not surprisingly, the majority of paid internships are found in the world of big business. Consulting, investment banking, commercial banking, accounting, information technology, venture capital, entertainment, and marketing offer some of the highest paying internships. For those of you who are completely turned off at the thought of working for nothing, there are some alternatives. Increasingly, organizations are realizing that although some students are motivated by paychecks, many just want enough income to cover basic necessities. In response, many unpaid internships now come with one-time stipends to help students defray their costs of living. Even if you are not paid for these internships, you'll get connections, training, and an understanding of the field that makes the lack of pay less significant. b) Credit vs. Not-for-Credit: Some colleges, hoping to steer students toward the real- world experience an internship provides, grant college credit for approved internships. Other cooperative education colleges and universities require students to do internships as part of their curriculum. Find out if you can receive credit for your internship and/or if an internship is required for your field of study. c) Term-Time vs. Summertime: Many internships are only available in the summertime. Organizations want to ensure that they have enough work to keep students busy and don't want students to compromise the quality of their academics while interning. However, if you're interested in learning outside the classroom during the academic year and are confident your schoolwork won't suffer, an internship for a semester or year will provide you with more work experience and longer cultural immersion than a short-term summer internship. d) Part-Time vs. Full-Time: Do you want to take classes while working, or do you want to devote yourself to your internship full time? If you’re interning for a semester or year, can you afford to work full-time and not take courses? Working full-time in your internship will provide you with more work experience for your resume and enable you to learn more on the job, but it also requires a greater time commitment.
  2. 2. 2. Decide what type of internship you want: First, ask yourself this question: is it more important for you to spend a summer abroad and experience the adventure of working and living in another country? Or is your primary objective to land a pre-professional internship that will further your career goals? Here’s a quick guide to the most common types of internships. • Cooperative Education (co-op): a three-way partnership between a student, an employer, and a college or university. It allows students to integrate work experience into their academic studies for credit. Many colleges endorse cooperative education by partnering with a variety of employers to provide career-related opportunities. • Field Experience: provides an opportunity to develop skills by observing, recording, mapping, and interpreting data. Research may be limited to one subject or may encompass a number of different, limited topics. The best fieldwork experiences combine supervision and education (lectures, note-taking, and directed observation) with independent research practica (designing a research methodology, collecting and recording data, and drawing conclusions that result in the acceptance or rejection of an original hypothesis). • Service Learning: allows you to work in organized service within a community. You might work in an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher learning, or community service program. Service learning is usually structured as a three step process in which students outline their proposed service term and objectives, perform the service work, and then present conclusions based on an analysis of their experiences. 3. Do a little digging to find out the quality of an internship. Explore books, reviews and websites prior to any application. Once you have an interview, continue to research the program to ensure that the internship and your needs are a good fit. Here are some questions that will help you to ascertain whether or not the internship is right for you:  Who will supervise me? What will supervision be like? How often will we meet?  What skills do I need for this internship?  What skills will I gain from this internship? What can I expect to learn?  What types of projects will I be working on?  How will most of my time be spent? What percentage of my time will be spent on clerical work such as photocopying, preparing mailings, data entry, etc.?  Have you ever had an intern before?  What are your expectations of me? ( 5/23/06) ( 5/23/06)