The best time to seek work in an internship abroad and to prepare for an international career is while you are a student or soon after graduation. You may be considering an overseas work experience for many reasons: an adventure, a chance to gain in-depth knowledge of another culture and of yourself, an inexpensive way to improve foreign language proficiency, or as preparation for an international career. -- William Nolting
Who are Interns?
An intern is one who works in a temporary position with an emphasis on education rather than merely employment, making it similar in some respects to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students or other young adults. They can also be adults later in life seeking skills for a new career. Thus interns may averagely be around 20 - 22 years old.
Why Hire Interns?
Through internships, employers can find talented students to assist with necessary and important tasks. An internship is mutually beneficial. While employers provide the learning experience, students offer the necessary office, project, or department support. The cost to employers is minimal yet the rewards for the students are numerous. Interns provide employers with trained recruits already familiar with the corporate culture.
The reasons why employers are recruiting interns can be listed below:
1. Cost Reduction
Since interns are not permanent employees there is less cost and commitment involved in having them as a temporary part of your team. Most of them are paid on a hourly basis and some being unpaid! This is an inexpensive way to find motivated employees.
2. Evaluation Period
Working with a recent or soon-to-be graduate on a non-permanent basis is a great way to evaluate the performance of potential future recruits. Previewing ensures a better match. The employers are able to observe the interns as prospective employees. Sometimes internships also allows interns to have a hands-on experience on the job. After trying out for sometime, they can be sure whether they like the job a not. In fact, many companies consider internships to be a 10-week "interview".
3. Current and Up-To-Date knowledge
Interns bring up-to-date training and skills to their assigned projects as well as to your team as a whole.
4. Great Learners
Interns have great attitudes. Interns bring with them new perspectives and ideas. Student interns are wonderful additions to a team because of their desire to learn as much as possible and willingness to perform a variety of tasks. As they are young, they learn fast and have better memory too.
5. Special Projects
There are a lot of interns available. Sometimes company needs to carry out pilot project and need the use of majority of people. Interns are useful in such cases where they are hardworking and it is inexpensive. It gives the company a chance to get special projects done.
6. Good Reputation
Hiring interns would indirectly increase the company's reputation on campus and in the community.
Paid vs. Unpaid Interns: Employers may choose to offer interns a salary or stipend, or they may offer internships on an unpaid basis. An issue to consider in deciding about salary is supply and demand. In certain fields, students are often willing to volunteer their time to gain experience: entertainment, social service.
Paid internships are most common in the medical, science, engineering, business (especially accounting and finance), technology and advertising fields. Internship positions are available from businesses, government departments, nonprofit groups and organizations.
What Interns Gain from an Internship
Internships may be part-time or full-time; typically they are part-time during the University year and full-time in the summer, and they typically last 6-12 weeks, but can be shorter or longer. Interns can :
- Gain professional work experience.
- Gain more skills and abilities.
- Have broader professional network.
- Have a better chance of eventual full-time job search. They will learn how to network, write cover letters and a resume, and interview effectively.
- Decide if they are interested in or compatible with a certain major or career field.
Many employers and agencies work with student interns to fulfill social and civic responsibility. They find gratification in providing students with important opportunities for intellectual, moral, ethical, career, and leadership development. Employers realize the immeasurable value an internship can provide for students.
There are literally hundreds of opportunities for internships abroad. Intern Town is an UK based website that communicates between companies and interns. The website is fairly new but one can find interns all over the world and for companies worldwide to advert their internships.