Not sure how you’d like to begin your career in business administration or management? One of the best ways to jumpstart your career is by completing an internship, but deciding to do your internship abroad will take your experience to a whole new level. Undertaking a business administration internship abroad may seem like a daunting proposition, but the skills you will gain along the way will no doubt payoff tenfold, both personally and professionally. If you are worried you won’t find an international internship to suit your specialized interests in the field, don’t be! There are business internships abroad that can fit any skillset or area of interest.
Why Intern Abroad
If you want to have a successful career in business administration, then early professional experience is an important thing to consider, as it will likely determine what kind of future opportunities you will have available to you. Completing your business internship abroad is a great way to impress potential employers, as well as business schools, by showing them that you have the flexibility and ambition required to make it in the field.
Additionally, as if this needs mentioning, interning abroad is an incredible adventure and an opportunity that won’t be possible later in your career! The only thing left to ask yourself is: where in the world will your business administration internship take you?
There is a business component to pretty much every professional field on the planet, so the best location to pursue a business internship abroad depends largely on your career interests and ambitions.
For example, if you are interested in working for a major Fortune 500 company, then try looking for business internships in leading global cities, such as London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, or Tokyo. On the other hand, If your aspirations lay in the nonprofit sector, try looking for international internship opportunities in developing regions of the world, such as Central America, Africa, or Southeast Asia.
Language barriers are another obvious thing to keep in mind when choosing a destination for your business administration internship abroad, as language barriers may potentially limit your options. While English is becoming the standard language of international business across the world, most countries still use their native tongue within local business environments. If you are learning a second language, interning abroad in a country where they speak the language can help you increase your skills dramatically. Not to mention, bilingual skills are highly sought after in the realm of business management all over the world!
Business Internships Abroad
Most internship in business administration and management involve shadowing the everyday activities of a senior employee who is already fulfilling your ideal role. You will likely be responsible for a variety of tasks around the office, ranging from general work as an assistant to more specific tasks related to accounting, human resources, or strategic business planning. It is unlikely that you will be placed in a management role as an intern, so it is important to learn the basics and observe management strategies during your international internship. Also keep in mind, a business internship abroad is your chance to learn the ropes, so your specific duties will depend heavily on the field in which your employing business is focused.
Business administration internships abroad may be part time or full time, and many also include the chance to earn course credit, for those pursuing academic degrees. Whether pursuing an MBA or a business degree at the undergraduate level, business internships abroad can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone (aka. work experience and academic credit), while experiencing a completely new part of the business world.
Depending on where you decide to intern abroad, the specifics of your role, salary, and expectations will vary greatly. Some countries treat interns as entry level employees and therefore supply them with the standard minimum wage, while others prohibit interns from being paid altogether. Many other countries do not have any specific regulations regarding payment for interns, so be sure to find out where your destination of choice falls before accepting a specific internship placement. It is not uncommon for employers to compensate intern via means other than a salary or stipend, such as through airfare reimbursement, housing arrangements, or by supplying daily meals.
Challenge Yourself. Learning the complexities of business administration and management on the job can be difficult on its own, so taking that challenge to a different country and cultural context will really push the boundaries of what you are capable of.
Professional Networking. The amount of networking you will be exposed to while interning abroad can be hugely beneficial for your career down the line, especially if you are interested in working abroad in the business sphere.
Personal Connections. Beyond the professional aspect of networking, you will be amazed at how easy it is to meet people and make friends while traveling. Locals are generally very interested in international visitors and fellow expatriates tend to band together as well. These connections could even lead to professional opportunities in the future too!