Intern Abroad!

Living and studying abroad is an experience that many students pursue at least once during their time at Elon. But are you aware you can also intern while you are abroad?

In some cases, like the Elon in London program, students are automatically given the opportunity to register for internship credit and placed with a career-related organization for the semester.

In other cases, students have found ways to get a meaningful internship abroad by working with our office. Internships abroad offer a number of advantages to students. Adding international experience to your resume adds a unique element and potential employers will be impressed by your adaptability to a workplace in a different culture. In a society that is increasingly global, international experience will make you a more attractive applicant. By working closely with our office to gain an internship, you will be well on your way.

There are a few key factors to keep in mind as you begin the process to apply abroad. Simply working at any organization is not going to be as helpful as finding a reputable location, where you will gain valuable knowledge pertaining to your career goals and discipline of study. Also, we have a number of alumni who work for international organizations or live abroad who can become a great connection and resource.

Keep in mind that depending on when or how you are travelling, you will need to balance time with your internship course, other classes, travel and simply experiencing the country where you are living. Getting an internship is great, but we want to ensure it enhances your experience abroad.

Finally, contact the Isabella Cannon International Centre, even if you’re going to your native country to complete the study abroad application.There may also be different visa applications and safety concerns so your destination must first be approved.  Then, be prepared to work closely with the School of Communications Internship Office about meeting our internship requirements. Together, we will help you to create a unique study-abroad internship experience.

To get started visit the Isabella Cannon International Centre’s Intern Abroad Resources website and make an appointment with the internship office.

Can I complete an internship during the academic school year?

Many students come into our office asking this exact question, and the answer is YES!  Many communications students complete an internship during the academic school year, but once again the key is planning.  Before completing an internship during the academic school year, be sure to meet with your adviser and determine when you would have time in your schedule to complete an internship along with your other courses.

Some students choose to take a few classes at Elon and complete an internship for credit locally in Burlington, Greensboro or Raleigh.  Others choose to live at home or in another city while completing an internship during the summer or winter terms.  And occasionally, a student will plan to live in another city and complete an internship while taking the semester off.  In this case, they have planned this well in advance and will still graduate on time.  They also hope the internship will transition into a job.

Another consideration is tuition.  If you enroll for a summer term, then like other academic courses, you must pay for the internship course.  You will only pay additional tuition during other terms if you exceed the allowable credit hours.

To get more information about completing an internship during the academic school year, be sure to talk with your advisor and make an appointment with Mrs. Tonkins to begin your internship search today!

Make an appointment here: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/communications/internships/

The importance of starting your internship search early

Although the idea of starting your search for an internship might be daunting, it is important to begin your search early and continue to search often. Frequently, first and second year students feel that they do not need to enter the internship office until they are a junior or senior; however, this is not the case!

It is important to visit the internship office early in your academic career to research internship opportunities and application requirements.  This way, you can find your dream internship at ELLE magazine or NBC News, for example; and over the next year or so, you can be build your resume and portfolio with experiences and work that will help you land your dream internship.  Strategy is key.

Some big internship opportunities may even request previous internships or campus media experience before applying.  By coming into the internship office early and often to research what opportunities are out there, you can be sure to be thoroughly prepared to land your dream internship once the application deadline arrives!

Make an appointment to come into the internship office and explore your options:  http://www.elon.edu/e-web/academics/communications/internships/

What type of environment is best for you?

One student told me he bought and packed shirts and ties for his internship in Los Angeles, only to find out everyone was wearing jeans and t-shirts every day.  And, another student found that her company prohibited pants for women and expected everyone to dress professionally every day.  The students were both fine with their work environments, but you don’t want to get caught off guard.  As you can see, one company can be very conservative and formal while another, very casual and laid back.

Will you be working with a team, or will you be working alone in a cubicle all day?  Some students enjoy the quiet, but others want a more sociable setting and more activity.

Is this a well structured internship with daily tasks, or will you have to ask and find work for yourself each day?  Will you enter data into excel spreadsheets, or log video all day; or will you have multiple responsibilities?   It takes a very proactive person to work in an unstructured environment and to stay busy.

Will you be supervised by one person, or supervised by three or four people?  Some students find they accomplish more tasks if they just have to answer to one person; however, you may welcome the multiple perspectives and feedback on your work.

All of these are good questions to ask yourself and your supervisor.  So, before you accept that internship, learn all you can about the culture of that organization.

Most interviews end with the question, “Do you have any questions for me?”  This is the perfect opportunity to find out about your duties as an intern (if you don’t already know) and to ask about your potential environment.

How can you combine your interests with your skills?

How do you figure out what type of internship is best for you?  Where do you begin to search?

First, make a list of all of the tasks and skills you enjoy.  Think about which class assignments challenged and interested you.  Also, think about your hobbies, activities and talents. Enjoy using your social media skills? Not a problem, most companies are looking for them, too.

Now, brainstorm on how can you combine your interests with your major to find internships that excite you?  For example, if you have always enjoyed the ballet and you’re a strategic communications major, why not seek a public relations or marketing internship at a major ballet company.  Or, how about combining your passion for traveling with your video skills by searching for internships where you can write and produce videos for travel related websites?

Next, conduct key word searches on your favorite search engine such as ‘video internships and travel websites’.  From my search, I found an amazing internship experience at http://www.worldtravelerintern.com/about/ where you will travel through South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe capturing the essence of life as a world traveler by videotaping and blogging about your experiences.

Search engines are one of the easiest ways to start your search, and at least give you more ideas of what is out there.  However, the list of industry related websites never ends, so be sure to check those out as well.

There’s an internship out there for you!  So, just start searching for it!

Where can you go to get help???

Finding an internship is just like finding a job, but thank goodness there are school resources to help you.  If you’re like most students, you are not sure where to begin.

Sometimes we hear: “I don’t have any contacts, I don’t even know what I want to do, and I don’t know anyone in the industry.”

Luckily, we do!  Make the Communications Internship Office your first step in finding an internship.  We have the resources to help you find your dream internship.  Our office has contacts to numerous companies just waiting for YOU.

Our office includes: a database which includes the internship site information from previous Elon Interns, alumni contacts, Hotlists – weekly source of internships, student internship ambassadors who can share their knowledge and experiences with you;  and magazines, pamphlets, flyers, and other materials about current internships.   And most importantly, EXPERIENCE.  We are here to help everyone with the process.

Now keep in mind, we aren’t here to find your internship for you. This experience is going to help in the future when it comes to job searches.  However, we are here to give you names and contacts, answer any and all of your questions, guide you along your path, and work with you to find the perfect internship.

Finding an internship may be  a stressful process, but fortunately you don’t have to do it on your own.

Sign up for an appointment today!
https://www.elon.edu/webservices_1/events/eventtype.aspx?id=4