International Internships: The Alumni Spotlight
by Absolute Internship
We constantly ask ourselves how is life after university and what’s the safest route to take after graduation. Thousands of students every year consider different ways of kick-starting their professional career, even so during their studies. Some of the biggest concerns include questions such as:
“How can I stand out from the crowd?”
“How can I make my resume look attractive in order to boost my employability?”
We come to realize that pursuing an international career in a globalized world makes complete sense. An internship experience is already a must-have if you want to catch any employer’s attention. On the other hand, an international internship also tends to be a recommendation by many students who have been able to experience one.
In this article, we interview two Absolute Internship alumni who give insight into their international experiences (in-person and remotely) and provide advice for students who are considering similar opportunities.
Elise McLean is a Business graduate from La Trobe University with a focus on event management, tourism & hospitality. She completed an internship at Victoria Tourism Industry Council in Melbourne in 2018, during her final year of university. She soon realized her next step would be to gain hands-on work experience globally, and that’s when she found out about the Absolute Internship programs that were on offer.
AI: Why did you decide to do an international internship?
Elise: I participated in the 2019 Summer Program and chose London as my internship location as it was always a city I wanted to explore deeper. I graduated in 2018 and was not quite ready to go into full time work. A part of me still wanted to travel and another part of me wanted to get some more experience under my belt before I started applying for my dream job and so naturally I combined these two experiences together.
I interned at WeTrack, a small event delivery software company. A highlight of my internship was the Royal Ascot, a globally recognised horse racing event in which the Queen attends… she was 5 metres away from me in her carriage - unforgettable!
AI: What happened after you finished your Absolute Internship?
Elise: I may have arrived home with no money but I now have a camera roll filled with special memories and a newly updated resume which motivated me to get that dream job I had always wanted. I landed and started my first full time position within 2 months after returning from the UK as a Tourism & Events Officer at Murrindindi Shire Council, a local government in regional Victoria, Australia.
AI: How did your internship help you achieve your goals?
Elise: My main three goals were to
1. Become more confident in a work environment
2. Get some more real life event planning experience and
3. Make friends and work connections.
I think working in a small team of 5, having one on one discussions and interactions with the founder and CEO allowed me to feel like my opinion mattered as it was heard by the man in charge.
The internship gave me a taste of what 9-5 looked like and adding an international internship to my resume at 22 made me stand out, supporting me in my efforts to land the job I have today. The internship itself allowed me to form close relationships with industry professionals that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet and I definitely made lifelong friends with all the other Absolute interns who also came to London.
AI: What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing an international internship?
Elise: Do it! It’s that plain and simple. Why do a local internship when you can do it in another country? You can experience a different culture, visit new sites and attractions and make new friends while you work to build up your resume and establish new skills and confidence in your chosen industry. The experience is only what you make of it, so dive in deep and immerse yourself in a once in a lifetime adventure that you will remember forever.
Tegan Plant, a final year Pharmaceutical Science student at Monash University in Melbourne, recently completed an internship remotely with Absolute Internship. She intended on travelling and working within Barcelona itself, however, with this no longer possible in 2020 she began researching other ways to experience the work life balance in an entirely different city.
AI: Are online internships as valuable as in-person experiences?
Tegan: Coming from a niche science background, I never considered the work to be able to be done remotely, let alone with a company 8 hours behind my time zone. Thankfully, I was placed with a company that really matched my field of interest where I was able to apply my university knowledge to the workforce for the very first time. As more and more of us are not only able but are required to work from home, the international barrier is quickly diminishing. There is no longer that requirement to reside and work within the same sea walls.
AI: What are your biggest takeaways from your international internship?
Tegan: Being a flexible young student with the capability of saying yes and giving things a go is truly crucial. I assigned a colour to each of the general themes and responsibilities for the week which included university, internship, work, study and exercise. As a result, I was able to visualise my tasks which gave me the opportunity to extend or even reschedule my other commitments. This flexibility allowed for an enjoyable intern experience even when other aspects of life picked up.
As a remote intern I was provided access to the Absolute Academy. This platform provided access to language courses, workshops and training on various aspects of career development such as resume development courses. Out of these courses, my favourite workshop involved learning about emotional intelligence in the workplace.
Reflecting on my time, I have learnt to always say yes, manage my time effectively and learn how to be positive even when the situation may not be. Due to my intern experience I am now confident to enter the workforce as I am backed by Absolute Internship and those key transferable skills."
Employers value independence and by undertaking an international experience or by working abroad, a student can effectively demonstrate this key skill. Adaptability and organization are more soft skills which companies across the globe value highly. Absolute Internship has curated a very successful and customizable remote internship program, where students are placed in companies based in more than 10 cities across Europe and Asia within 30 different career fields. Through this program, interns are able to network, access live events held by TED speakers and industry experts, complete language courses and much more in 4 - 16 weeks.
Hundreds of employers expect to welcome interns remotely throughout 2021. Currently we’re observing the future of work and students should be prepared for it.
To find out more about the programs that Absolute Internship has on offer, check out: