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Today’s employers are seeking real-world skills. They want team players with an ability to communicate and solve problems. An internship with World Endeavors will teach you these critical skills on-the-job. Best of all it will help you discover what you are really interested in.

I never knew the value of an internship when I was young. They didn’t really exist and at the time, it didn’t seem to matter much. I was born a Gen X child in South Africa. Not quite a Baby Boomer, but well before ‘millennials’ arrived on the scene. Ever since I was 7 years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. No question. With a chalkboard in my bedroom in front of my imaginary class, I was all set to show the world a thing or two.

But times have changed beyond imagination in the last 50 years, and with such a dizzying array of new careers on offer, the decision might not be as clear cut today, as it was for me, back when ABBA ruled the airwaves.

Even if you do know what career you want, you might not be sure how to get there. You’re not alone. Thousands of Gen Z’s just like you are searching for that missing ingredient, that X-factor that puts you one step ahead of the pack. Answer? Get an internship abroad!

Why Are Internships Valuable?

So what is the value of an internship and why should you do one?

Internships are all about exposing yourself to career opportunities in a safe environment. A place where you can test the water and hone your skills while learning exactly what today’s employer is looking for.

1. Test Your Industry Knowledge

While classroom learning is important to your future career prospects, nothing replaces on-the-job training. The value of an internship is that it allows you to apply what you have learned at college in a practical setting.

As a communications intern in London, use what you’ve learned about email etiquette in Business Writing 101 to write concise email memos. As a vinologist, export your classroom theory to the Italian vineyards, where seasoned winemakers will show you how chemistry helps them produce super batches every year.

2. Connect with Industry Professionals

Networking. The very word can either make you tremble with fear or come alive with possibility. If you are open to the idea of meeting at least one new person every day, the value of an internship is the opportunity to network. This connection with peers and experts can elevate your intern experience from barely wildly average to truly awesome.

Talk shop with new and experienced professionals within your industry. Find a mentor or lean on your peers. And although you might feel like the new kid on the block, don’t be afraid of introducing yourself to upper management.

3. Find Out What You Are Really Interested in

Some degrees are so broad that it might be hard to identify the specific career you want. You’re just not sure. Another benefit of internships is that they allow you to try on your career clothes before you suit up for the journey. See what fits and learn more about your interests that will guide you to better decisions about your future.

I always wanted to be a teacher. So that’s what I did. I taught secondary school students for 5 years, but soon realized it wasn’t my thing. If I’d had the opportunity to be an intern, I may have realized sooner that what I enjoy most is teaching adults, not teenagers. 30 years later, I do corporate training as a side hustle.

4. Enhance Your Cultural Competence

Internships aren’t limited to your home country – you can intern abroad in nearly any destination across the world and add intercultural competency to the repertoire of skills you take into your career. One of the unique advantages of an internship abroad is immersion in a different culture and working with colleagues from diverse cultural backgrounds, all of which enhance your cultural competence.

5. Embrace Work-life Balance

There’s a common saying that goes “you can either live-to-work or work-to-live”. But does it have to be one or the other? The secret lies in the ever-elusive work-life balance.

One of the benefits of an internship in a traditional 9-to-5 setting is that you will gradually get the hang of what it’s like to work for the majority of the day, before clocking off. It’ll be a big shift from the study-life balance of college, but that’s the whole point. Develop your time management skills and understand the importance of establishing boundaries at work for a more balanced life. Learn how to work and live at the same time. Your future-self will love you for it!

Competencies You Can Gain From an Internship

Today’s employers are not looking for academic excellence alone. Today’s bosses are seeking strong communicators, team players that work well in groups and critical thinkers capable of solving problems.

But how do you build these skills if you aren’t working yet? The advantage of an internship is that it will help you build the X-factor skills employers want, in a practical way.

1. Communication Skills

Communication in the real world is one of the key benefits of an internship. This skill sits squarely at the top of most employer lists.
But being a good communicator is not just about being eloquent. In fact, if you only like the sound of your own voice, then you are not going to impress many.
As a good communicator, you must be able to convey your thoughts in a polite, clear and informative way. But don’t forget, it’s a two-way street. You also need to listen actively, asking appropriate questions at the right time, to clarify understanding.
As a tourism and hospitality intern, can you hear your clients’ concerns and solve their problems? If you are a student journalist interning for a newspaper, do you have strong verbal and written communications skills, helping you navigate the newsroom?

2. Become a Team Player

Here’s a tip. Don’t tell your employer you are a good team player. Show them instead.

Are you participating in group projects at college? Have you had a part-time job working with other people? Do you play a team sport or volunteer for a community group? All great ways to show you are not the lone ranger.
An internship will help build these skills further. Become the creative thinker who helps solve the problem. Be the organized leader who keeps the team on track. Or be the enthusiastic team player who actively plays your part. It takes all kinds to make a winning team.

3. Problem-solving Skills

Can you identify an issue? Are you good at finding ways to solve a problem? Do you enjoy implementing the solution? What went well? What could have gone better? An internship can help you think critically and analytically about issues that might occur in the workplace.

X-factor skills gained from an internship will set you apart in the highly competitive Gen Z crowd. Use them wisely.

Valuable Internships with World Endeavors

So, we’ve learned the true value of an internship. And we’ve shown you why internships are important. Time now to look at the different areas you can work in and what makes World Endeavors internships the best in the biz.

1. Environment & Sustainability

A World Endeavors environment and sustainability internship is a perfect fit for those that like to get their hands dirty. Do field research. Collect data. Get involved in community outreach programs.

With hands-on experience in diverse environmental projects and sustainable conservation efforts abroad, this is your chance to make a difference.

Choose from a sustainability internship in the Costa Rican rainforest, help protect the largest flying bird in the world with a Condor Rescue internship in Argentina or explore vet science opportunities in Australia.

2. Business & Management

If business and management are your thing, World Endeavors has your back. Work as an intern abroad in marketing, finance and strategic planning. Interns often Collaborate with seasoned professionals, gaining exposure to different management styles and strategies that enhance your problem-solving and decision-making skills. Exactly what employers want.

Learn a foreign language as a finance intern in Europe. Try accounting in the UK or international business in South America.

3. Engineering & Technology

By working on real-world complexities in different climates, cultures and economies across the globe, World Endeavors engineering and technology interns enhance their technical skills and problem-solving abilities. Gain a broader perspective on how this important field shapes society on a global scale.

Renewable energy buffs can learn more about solar power in Argentina. Budding engineers can choose from Morocco, Thailand or South Africa. IT experts are spoiled with choices of internships in Ireland, Spain and the Czech Republic.

It’s the Perfect Moment to Get Valuable Experience through an Internship Abroad!

It’s a no brainer, right? An internship abroad teaches you the skills that today’s employers are looking for. The added benefit of internships is that you get to experience a different culture, while you are preparing yourself for working life.

Now’s the perfect time.

The team at World Endeavors is ready to help you on your way. As fellow travelers, they know what it’s like to step out of your comfort zone. They will help you find the internship that’s just right for you. And set you up on the career path you’ve always dreamed of.

I only wish that World Endeavors was around when I was a young student trying to find my way. My next life perhaps?

This blog was written by Cathy Park Kelly

If you would like to know more about the contents of this blog post or would like to receive information about similar experiences, then please connect with one of our advisors through the contact form.

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