Taking steps out of your comfort zone are crucial during your college years. Whether those steps are taking on a job where you’re nervous, or completely submerging yourself into a different culture, it can be difficult for anybody. However, in my humble opinion, if you’re going to be outside of your comfort zone, why not make it as worthwhile as possible? So, this is what I did when deciding on where to intern during Summer 2018. I saw the opportunity to intern abroad, as well as scholarship opportunities, I did the uncomfortable process of applying, then I took my first plane ride and a huge leap out of my comfort zone.
Working in London all summer was the best decision I have ever made. I have created a list of essential thoughts to take into consideration. While these tips are completely subjective, I believe they are worth pondering.
Don’t be afraid to find perfect (or close to it), it exists
Be patient while in the search of your internship. Everything works out as long as you put the correct amount of work in. I stressed for weeks because the internship abroad program still hadn’t set up an interview for me and it seemed as if I was one of the last applicants to be informed about my internship. Eventually, when given my first offer, I denied it even though it was exceptionally difficult. I was not willing to settle for anything because I knew I would be unhappy in the position. Sure enough, one of the most interesting internships later opened up to me, and I spent the summer as a marketing intern at a modeling agency is London. Don’t panic and settle.
Absorb as much as you can
Of course, being in a foreign country is mesmerizing at every corner you turn, but remember your employer expects you to work there as well. Interning abroad is the perfect opportunity to gain experience in a diversified office culture. Different cultures approach work ethic at different angles and so you can retain a lot of information that you can use back home in the states. Listen to everything and go the extra step for your employer, it will earn you a letter of recommendation and a resume that states you went above and beyond in foreign office.
Remember to have fun
While my last point seemed a bit harsh, it’s important to remember that a summer internship abroad can also count as a vacation! In my nine weeks, I made it a point to not lay in bed a single night. I went and explored around the city every night and have travelled to different locations almost every weekend. Find the little corners of your new home and translate social aspects you’ve learned at work directly into your new culture. I promise it’ll be a fulfilling experience you will never forget.