How to Get an Internship While Abroad

Photo Courtesy of @maristabroad Twitter.

Students can face many challenges throughout the internship search process with employers looking for interns with abundant experience and a pool of possibly thousands of other people applying for the same position. Now, imagine attempting to acquire an internship while abroad in a different country with obstacles such as time differences and interviews with technical difficulties to overcome.

Three students shared tips for successfully obtaining an internship while abroad.  

Diana Cosgrove ‘19 went abroad in the spring semester of 2018 to Florence, Italy. She found that most interviewers were not fond of not-in-person interviews, and that it was difficult to find a common time to interview since there was a six-hour time difference to consider. This led her to start exercising the connections she had acquired from previous jobs and internships, which is how she obtained her internship for the following summer. Cosgrove stressed “to not think you’re annoying them” because they want to see that you are interested in interning for their company. Her last piece of advice was to remember to bring business tops or a blazer with you in case you do have a Skype interview.

Jenna Vanadia ‘19 also went abroad the spring semester of 2018 to Florence, Italy. She came across similar issues as Cosgrove did, such as time differences and interviewers not liking not-in-person interviews, but she mostly found it difficult not having easy access to Marist College’s Career Services. Vanadia advised “to not be shy asking for help from people on Marist College’s campus, such as advisors.” She also emphasized that “it’s vital to be proactive, and it does help to start the internship process before you go abroad because someone might be able to interview you while you are still home.” These tips will help make the process less stressful. Lastly, remember to keep up with your emails, which is something that can be easily forgotten when exploring your home for the next four months or when traveling to a new country.

Lauren Vecchio ’19 also went abroad to Florence, Italy during her spring semester of 2018. She had worked extremely hard to have an internship finalized in the beginning of her semester abroad only to have it fall through. This brought her back to step one of the internship process. She spent hours reaching out to connections and other employers who might help, creating project presentations for companies interested in her, and communicating back and forth with the company. She wasn’t able to secure an internship for the summer until the last week of May, which was also her last week abroad. Vecchio shared, “that even though it was stressful, it taught me to compartmentalize things as well as to put things aside when traveling.”

All three students had a different, but still stressful, experience while looking for an internship abroad; however, each emphasized the importance of remembering that abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This internship process shouldn’t overcome your life and get in the way of you discovering your new home for the next four months or other countries you have always dreamed of visiting. This is the time to take advantage of being so close to other fascinating countries, so don’t focus that energy only on getting that internship. Take this chance to discover the world as well as yourself.

Mary SimmondsComment