Make a small research
The main idea is to find out what your potential company looks like and how well their internship program is established. Making sure that the company has a reliable background in working with interns and, in general, finding out how well they treat their employees can make your internship abroad a very positive experience. Since we live in the world of social media today, there’s no problem to search by keywords or hashtags to see what other students experienced with the company. Even more, you can probably contact them and ask some more specific questions. You must agree, you would do the same if someone asked for your opinion, wouldn’t you?
Most probably you already have some ideas in your head about what kind of things you might do during your internship and what destinations attract you. We advise you to do a bit deeper analysis and look at yourself from different angles.
Basically, we suggest you to do a SWOT analysis in a quite personalized way. Have you heard about such thing? Business students might say ‘yes’ now. The analysis is used as a tool to evaluate strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T). Since you will be analyzing yourself, it is really simple, don’t give up on it yet.
Why? There are things that you see clearly about your personality and your skills. Meanwhile, there are lots of new things that you haven’t discovered about yourself because you learn something new every day. So this analysis can help you to understand what you want but also to get the most from your future internship. What it means is that you should target not only to apply the skills and knowledge you already have — target to develop your weak sides, aim to learn more new things than you can in the university, discover what else the future career world has to offer apart from what you already do.
Get started now, while reading this post: draw a simple 4-cells table or just make a list.
S – strengths — Write down what you know to do best in relation to your study field. Think creatively, it’s not only about the subjects where you have better grades. Have you noticed that people enjoy you taking the leader position when working on group projects? Maybe you feel very excited about presenting in front of your class? Or writing a report instead? These are just some examples. Think about your latest achievements or ask your school mates what they have noticed.
W – weaknesses — Here consider all the skills that you would like to improve and that you would really be able to make use of in the future when you graduate and enter the job market. What kind of knowledge is missing in order to get a dream job in the future? This might be quite blurred, right? So another trick that you can do now is to search the web for job postings that look attractive to you as a professional with a degree in your hands. It doesn’t matter if the job position says ‘Senior Back End Developer’ or ‘Marketing Manager with 5 years of experience’. Just of to the skills requirements and take a note what can be expected from you once you will go for a job, not an internship. The ideal way is that you step-by-step seek such knowledge and acquire the needed skills throughout the time of your studies, which includes internships.
O – opportunities — Now think a bit out of the box. Check out not only your personality and skills but also what the world has to offer. Sometimes during the studies it feels like you know a bit of everything in your field but do not know where you want to specialize. Well, internship is exactly the time to discover things: it’s temporary, it’s experimental, and you will have a supervision. Therefore, even if you won’t work in the position where you did your internship, you still will realize what a valuable experience it was. It is about learning what you like and what you don’t.
T – threats — We won’t say lies – the world is a constantly changing place and not everything goes always as planned. The demand on the job market also fluctuates all the time. This is why consider what kind of challenges your future career can bring you and prepare for them in advance. Diverse background often has a positive effect in the eyes of your employer!