While many recognize the value of studying or interning abroad as an undergraduate student, the opportunity is just as valuable for graduate students, if not more. I was fortunate to study abroad twice during undergrad and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to intern abroad now in grad school. MBA programs are notoriously fast-paced and jam-packed, leaving little room for much else but most require students to complete an internship. If any part of you is curious or interested about interning abroad, then take a look at the reasons why I chose to intern abroad as an MBA.
In an increasingly globalized world, business students must have the cultural competency and global awareness to work with people from around the world. An international experience within a professional environment such as an international internship is an ideal way to show current or future employers your ability to adapt and conduct business in another country. I have the pleasure of interning abroad in the innovative and international city of Barcelona, Spain where I work with colleagues from a variety of European countries. This experience will be invaluable in my career as an international marketer.
My top priority for coming to Barcelona, Spain for an international internship was the opportunity to practice Spanish in a working environment and expand my vocabulary. In only a few weeks’ time, I have already learned the lingo of my industry and am more confident in discussing the work that I do in another language. Spanish will be a particularly useful language for me when I return home to the United States and will be able to communicate to Spanish-speaking clients or customers. The best way to learn another language is to immerse yourself in it and an international internship is an excellent way to do just that.
MBA students are constantly being told about the importance of networking for their careers, but many limit themselves to those attending the same school. If you really want to realize the value of networking, then an international internship would expose you to industry professionals in another country. The connections that you make while interning abroad may be very beneficial if you want to work in that country in the future or even when you go back home. You may be surprised to find out how man professionals move from country to country to build their careers, so a connection in another country could end up being a connection in your home country down the road.
Professional and Personal Growth
Professional and personal growth are inevitable when interning abroad. You may gain hard skills at your internship like coding while gaining soft skills after work like cross-cultural communication. Employers are looking for well-balanced graduates with a range of both hard and soft skills in order to be successful in today’s business environment. An international internship will challenge you in ways that you simply can’t anticipate and with that comes growth.
What are your thoughts about interning abroad? Have you done it before or are you considering it now? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.