Look for unadvertised internships.

Not all organizations have internship programs and it is possible to create your own specialized internship program with a company that does not have them.

  • Prepare a specific proposal including a summary, your areas of interest, motivation and terms to the company you are targeting and send with cover letter and resume.
  • Tie in your academic courses to match the organization you would like to work for.
  • If possible, take a year off to go on an internship hunting trip. It is essential to be professional when visiting or speaking to any company, even though your visit might not lead to anything.
  • Remember the importance of personal contact even though it might entail making a long distance or even an international phone call.

Salary and Benefits Negotiation
The investment of time and money for travel and living require that the internship pay off in one form or another. While salaries are usually not negotiable, benefits can often be utilized to a greater extent.

Accommodation is usually provided by most organizations and some will even pay for the airfare. Some intern salaries cover basic living cost while others provide for subsidized accommodation.

Surviving your first professional job

The most important aspect of a professional job is good communications skills and the internship period will be the basis for all future jobs, making it essential to excel on this front. Two aspects of business communication are planning and organizational skills and people skills.

  • Maintain organized to-do lists and place special emphasis on prioritizing items.
  • Always write an agenda for meetings ahead of time and share them with colleagues.
  • Write clear, concise and grammatically correct letters and reports.
  • Create systems to organize and manage your work.
  • Use project planning and management techniques.
  • Use and manage the phone professionally.
  • Focus on improving your people skills.

Searching for a job during your Internship
Building experience is one of the mail reasons for the internship that can help improve long term career prospects on the international arena.

  • Remain positive and act quickly on all opportunities as they arise.
  • Increase your network and attend all conferences and meetings outside your department.
  • Internship are often testing periods for finding permanent employees, so work hard and offer your expertise for services like editing, copy work, translation etc.
  • Volunteer for local events to gain extra points on your resume.
  • Extend your stay abroad with a consultancy contract after completing your internship.
  • Extend your stay by teaching at a university in a developing country or doing refugee or relief work.

Internships abroad can be used as a perfect launching pad for a career internationally, so it is important to be serious about them while still maintaining your sense of humor and acceptance that no internship is perfect.