As the first Prague On-Site Ambassador, I will share with you my tips for success on landing your perfect internship abroad. In my case, it was having the ability to work at the place I previously studied abroad!
1. Do your research
What is the company passionate about? What goal do they want to achieve? What is most important to them? Do they want to spread awareness on ways to help the environment? Do they want to influence how people connect with each other on social media? Is your interviewer an avid traveler or have they studied abroad?
The more you know about the company, the better you are able to relate your experiences to their interests. It is important to do research on the company you really want to work with not only because it will prepare you for your interview, but it will help you realize if that company is right for you and your goals.
2. Adjust your resume
All the research you have done in the previous step boils down to this. Pull up the job description and tailor your resume to the specific skills or responsibilities they are seeking in an intern. You should never take your resume and submit it blindly to any company. That is the quickest way a recruiter will recognize you did not go the extra mile to tailor it to their needs.
It’s also important to ask yourself, What can I contribute to the company?
You may not have the perfect skill set but you have some experience in an area they are looking for. Companies who look for interns know that you are there to learn, but they need someone who will actually contribute to their company’s goals.
3. Have a career objective
Throughout all the internships and interviews I've done, it is important to be able to answer the question: What is your goal? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? What do you want to get out of this internship?
|Summer '16 Prague student interns on the first day of meeting their supervisor! What a great first impression!|
It’s important to know exactly why you want to work with a company and how it will benefit your long term goals. You may not have the skills to be in marketing or in the education fields, but what matters most is that you have an end goal in sight. It will make employers understand your career goals and how they can assist you to achieve them. It helps to have an objective so that you will get exactly what you want out of your internship.
4. First impressions mean EVERYTHING
Remember, your interviewers and potential colleagues are all humans. Maybe you’re caught up in the company elevator and you stub your toe on your way there with a potential colleague and they hear you curse or complain about the incident. You may think it’s not a big deal but be aware of your surroundings and how you handle certain situations. They may relay this information back to the recruiter, your potential supervisor, etc. and they might think differently about you.
First impressions mean everything and if you leave a bad impression, it could be a deal breaker despite a stellar interview. Remember to dress professionally, always be on your best behavior, be polite and respectful, and bring your best attitude no matter what.
5. Most importantly, BE YOU!
During your interview, you might get nervous and lose confidence in your abilities. There are times in interviews that I was nervous and answered each question robotically, which lacked my true character. Remember, employers are humans too. You are unique and what you bring to the table is different than every other candidate, but personality will help recruiters remember you when making their decision.
So how exactly did I land my perfect gig at the CEA Prague On-Site Ambassador? Well, being a CEA Alumni Ambassador helped me network with people within CEA and this helped me research more into the company. My position as an Alumni Ambassador helped me understand CEA's values and I was able to tailor my resume to incorporate their values of global perspective and cross cultural communication! I also researched specific areas in CEA Prague's operations that I could help contribute and add to. During my time in Prague in Summer 2015, I interacted with the staff and asked for more opportunities during my internship, which left the Prague team a good impression of me. Most importantly, I believe I was selected as the On-Site Ambassador because I presented my objective: to help create more globally aware students during their study abroad program with CEA.
Julianne C. is a CEA alumna from the Summer 2015 semester in Prague. She is a recent graduate of the University of Arizona where she studied Marketing. She is currently a CEA On-Site Ambassador in Prague, Czech Republic.
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