Ask The Intern: 5 tips for networking abroad
Dear Danielle, I’ve just been accepted to intern abroad in Australia! As a travel lover, I’m so excited to see a new part of the world while building my resume. I’m currently a junior in college and will be going abroad the summer into my senior year of university, so my main purpose for doing an internship now is to make connections. Do you have any tips to about how to stay connected with people I meet abroad?- Jennifer
Dear Jennifer, congrats on your internship in Australia! That’s a great question. Networking is key to helping you pave a good path for your future career endeavors, and luckily for you, this internship will connect you with people from all over the world. Here are my top 5 tips on how to network abroad, based on things I’ve done myself.
1. Say yes to after-work invitations
It’s one thing to connect with your coworkers in the office, and another to connect with them on a personal level. Your future opportunities will be impacted by who you know, so it’s crucial to invest in your relationships with fellow colleagues and supervisors. When you bond with your coworkers, you’ll find that they’ll generally keep your best interests in mind. This will help you in the future with job specs, letters of recommendation, and also networking with people they know, on your behalf.
2. Join Facebook groups for expats
Thanks to social media, it’s so easy to connect with people from all over the world. Each big city abroad likely has expat community Facebook pages, and by joining these groups, you’re only going to expand your networks more. I’ve joined Facebook groups for expats in every international city I’ve lived in, and it’s come in handy in many ways. From finding the coolest new free event in the city, to finding the chance to join a language exchange or sports team, these groups are an amazingly easy way to expand your network while abroad.
3. Go to networking events
Whether it’s an event organized by The Intern Group, an expat Facebook page, or even meetup.com, going to events and putting yourself out there in person is the best way to network abroad. Connect with people. Take their business card and give them yours. Exchange contact info and tell them your future goals. Listen to their career path stories. You’ll be surprised how far a simple networking happy hour will take you.
4. Connect with people on Linkedin
After filling your pockets with business cards, your next step is to add each person you met in person, on Linkedin. Known as the official networking social media platform, Linkedin is a good way to stay connected with people who have similar professional interests as you. I personally use Linkedin as a great way to stay connected with old colleagues and supervisors, especially when they have common connections with someone who works at a company I’m interested in.
5. Use your alumni networks to your advantage
Figuring out how to stay connected with people after your internship abroad ends is equally as important as the efforts you put into networking while you’re abroad. From fellow interns, to colleagues from your internship, make sure to stay connected in whatever way you can. This also goes for sports teams, clubs, or any other professional group you have ever been a part of. You never know how someone you’ve met in the past can help you in the future.
Now that you know how to stay connected with your networks from abroad, apply now to boost your career with an international internship.
1. Photo from The Intern Group London Instagram
2. Photo from The Intern Group Australia Instagram
3. Photo from The Intern Group Australia Instagram