Why are internships abroad beneficial at all?
My name is Adrian, I am specialized in international internships. This article is dedicated to the benefits of student experiences - and particularly internships abroad.
Understand the career game
You should consider your life as a game, composed of smaller mini-games. Having a successful career is one of those mini-games.
As in many video games, the goal of your career is to do missions and earn awards/credit for successfully completing them. At first, you leave school at 23 and you are level 1. Your goal is to be given the best missions possible (your dream job, working in a serious company, working abroad), to grow to the next level as fast as possible. You have little experience to show, so the reward (salary) given to you is accordingly small. But you have skills and a specialization: maybe you speak three languages. Maybe you majored in marketing with good marks. Whatever. You are specialized in something already.
Still, competition at level 1 is harsh. You struggle to find a job. You struggle to get hired and to be granted your first mission, first stepping stone to specialize further and go to level 2. Why is it so hard?
Then, you realize that getting out of school may be level 1 for you - but people your age are already at level 2, level 5, level 7. Those are individuals who didn’t start playing the career game when they graduated - they started as soon as they realized this game existed at all. Some have started at 18. Some at 15, some at 10. What did they do then? Let's take the example of Sally, a student in your class.
How to play the game right?
- Sally started learning Mandarin Chinese at 12. Every day, she took 30 minutes to review her vocabulary. Now she’s 16 and proficient. She increased her value from level 1 to level 2 by doing so.
- Sally know she wants to specialize in the tourism industry in Asia, so she studies hospitality. To grow her network, Sally starts a small association of Asian lovers at her University, meeting new people from all over the world every week, while adding a line on her CV. She’s 18 and level 3.
- Sally meets Kazu, a Japanese student, at the association. They become good friends. Turns out Kazu’s family runs a travel agency in Japan. Just like that, Sally lands a 6 months internship in Kyoto. She’s 19 and level 4.
- Although not as good as her Mandarin level, Sally can now speak Japanese at level JLPT N3. Level 5.
- Back to the US, Sally starts a small company besides her studies to help people find the best travel programs all throughout Asia. She gathers opportunities on her website, and makes money by promoting a few programs. The business is not profitable yet, but it covers her food budget at least. Level 6. Sally’s 21.
- Now Sally is looking for another summer internship, this time in China. She struggles to find it because of the visa. After two months, she eventually gets an opportunity in a hotel in Chengdu. Because the internship is unpaid, she has to loan money. She still runs her business besides work. Level 7. Sally’s 22.
Normal student VS Successful student
This is now the last year of your hospitality studies! Sally just came back from Chengdu and you will both soon graduate. You are scared of graduating and you doubt. You’re not confident in your skills. Will you make it outside of the University? Level 1 is scary. Next to you, Sally will soon be graduating just as you are. She’s 23, speaks two asian languages, has a growing international network of friends and former colleagues and two internships abroad to show for. She’s highly specialized in the tourism industry. Future looks bright.
Internships - especially abroad - are rewarding missions you can do before even entering your career. One internship = one level. You gain confidence in your skills, grow your network, reassure your future employers, make money sometimes. As learning a language, as starting a business, doing an internship makes you grow into the career game.
In video games, people love to grow levels, to build things, to specialize, to learn, to expand, to conquer. In real life though, getting things done gets boring. It's easier to Netflix and chill.
Forget that. See having a successful career as a game. Don’t start it too late.
If you are unterested in doing an internship abroad, just send us your information.