Ask the intern: Should I do an international internship after I graduate?
Hi Sugar, I’m a big fan of your blog! My name is Evie and I recently graduated from the University of Leicester in the UK with an undergraduate degree in History. I’m so happy to have finished my degree and I’m eager to get into the real world. However, now the initial excitement has worn off, I’m starting to realize that I’m not sure of my plans. I always imagined I’d go straight into a graduate level job. But now the time is here, I’m unsure. I don’t have an exact career field in mind like I thought I would by this stage. A full-time permanent position seems like a big commitment as I’m not sure what field I want to work in. All of my friends have graduate jobs lined up so I feel like that would be the wisest thing to do. However, having heard about The Intern Group program through a friend, I think an international internship could be the answer. Do you offer international international internships to recent graduates? Also how can I be sure that doing an internship after graduation is a good step? Thanks in advance for your help!
Hi Evie, thanks for getting in touch with such a great question! We believe it’s really important that everyone has the opportunity to intern abroad. All of our destinations welcome recent graduates so the world is your oyster! While traditionally, internships are viewed as something for university students, there are lots of reasons why they can be extremely beneficial for recent graduates, too. International work experience will always look great on your CV. Below I have compiled my 5 reasons why you should do an internship after graduation.
1. It’s the perfect way to test a career field
Although you thought you’d have a career plan by now, it is completely normal to not know what to do straight after graduating. In fact, any plan you do have is likely to keep changing for years to come. If you have little idea of where to start, thinking about career fields that align with your studies is a good idea. You can then look for international internship opportunities within this field, without the scary long-term commitment of a graduate level job.
2. Placement experts will help you find the right company and field for you
When you study a non-vocational course such as History, it can often feel like you have a million opportunities and none at all. Making decisions is so hard when there is no definitive path. Our placement experts and admissions team are experts at helping you find your way. They help you evaluate your skills and interests to find the ideal career field and host organization for you. Having an outsider’s perspective on your situation can make everything a lot clearer.
3. Receive personalized career advice
The Intern Group’s Alumni Success Program is another great reason to intern abroad as a graduate. As part of your experience, you benefit from a personalized session with one of our carefully-selected professional development experts. They specialize in a range of topics and allow you to really think about how to progress in your career. For someone like you, who is unsure of what to do next, this session will be extremely helpful. It allows you to reflect on your internship and decide what steps to take moving forward.
4. Travel without taking a year out
All millennials see the personal value in travel and many people choose to take a post-university gap year. Although it sounds corny, traveling helps you to see life from a different perspective and has endless benefits. However, recent graduates are often unfairly required to make the decision between advancing in their career and seeing the world. Many graduates who are unsure of their career paths choose a year out to travel in order to delay making a decisions.
However, by undertaking an international internship straight after university, you truly get the best of both worlds. You have incredible experience to boost your resume, as well as the opportunity to live in another country. By traveling before and after your internship, you can really make the most of your experience. You won’t have a gap on your resume but also won’t be jealous when you see your friend’s gap year Instagrams.
A lot of graduates are hesitant to apply for unpaid international internships as they feel like they should be in the position of having a full-time paid job. However, it is important to realize that international professional experience is invaluable. While working a full-time entry-level job may mean more money for you in the short term, an international internship will benefit your career a lot more in the long run. The skills you develop and contacts you make while interning abroad will make all the difference to your future career.
Considering doing an internship after graduation? Learn more about The Intern Group program.