Everything You Need To Know About Work Abroad Programs
Corporate experience abroad will generally come in the form of work experience or internships; they are an opportunity to see how an organization or company functions from the inside without being an ‘official’ employee of that company.
These positions are usually unpaid but some will provide basic expenses. There are also a few work abroad programs who charge to help find work placements and will help with the logistics of staying in another country for an extended period of time. It is important to thoroughly investigate any work abroad programs or organisation before making any concrete decisions.
It is also worth bearing in mind that most of these positions are likely to require completion of junior level tasks. There might be some on the job training or project based learning in a work placement. Many of the tasks required might not seem incredibly important, but the experience you can gain from working directly in a field you are interested in is extremely valuable – in fact, it’s priceless.
How to succeed in a work abroad program
As with anything in life, it is worth noting that you get what you give. If you come into a placement with an open mind and are prepared with tools relevant to the company, you will have a more successful experience. Companies respect initiative and self-starters, therefore, the more value you bring to the table the more likely you are to get the full benefit out of your experience.
There are an infinite number of reasons why participating in a work abroad program can make an incredible difference in your career and in your life. Let’s take a look at some of the most important:
Large corporate headquarters can be found in major international cities like Beijing, London, Hong Kong, Zurich and Mumbai. This is one of the reasons many students choose to take placements overseas. Depending on where you live in the United States, you won’t be able to find positions like this unless you live in a fast-moving international city like New York or Chicago.
In these large multinational cities you will be able to find a variety of companies that are extremely willing to take on the right applicants; these companies have the name, money and know how to expose you to skills that can propel your future to that next level.
Languages are an essential part of the global marketplace. Taking a corporate placement abroad can open you up to speaking a language that could further your goals. You might think that everyone speaks English in the global market place but that is not true. Speaking a language other than English can help you to create work opportunities that would otherwise never be available to you and increase your desirability when being looked at for job positions. Even in English speaking countries, you may find that living in a large city will provide opportunities for learning other languages.
Whilst traveling, you are able to obtain valuable insight into the way other cultures function and to the way you react to them. We often have a specific view of the world based on where we come from. Working in another country and another environment will help you to understand more about how these cultural differences affect businesses and how you as an individual can adapt yourself to these differences, making yourself more desirable to potential employers and opening your horizons.
4. Insight and experience
Just as with a work placement in the US, you will be gaining valuable insight into how business environments function. You will be able to see the inner workings of a company from the inside and learn about the day to day tasks that make these companies tick. One of the differences is that you will be sharing that experience with people from a wide range of backgrounds different to yours who will have ideas you might not have considered before.
5. Networking opportunities
You will be able to obtain valuable contacts that can forever change the course of your working life. These people you meet might end up offering you a job or contributing so much to your experience that you will be able to easily find work elsewhere. The old adage is very true: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
6. Hands-on experience
Many companies look at candidates not only based on their education but on their experience in a given field. Having this experience will make you more comfortable and knowledgeable about what employers want and need. In turn, this will put you at an advantage over candidates who only have their education to talk about. By going abroad, you have demonstrated that you have dedicated time and effort into giving your career the best start possible.
7. More resources
Access to equipment, facilities and technology is more readily available within companies that need it rather than in a classroom. This means that specifically in engineering, or technologically oriented fields, there is a likelihood that some of the equipment you might need in your future employment will not be available for your use within a university or school environment. By working in these environments, you will see how things actually function which is far more valuable than just reading about it in a textbook.
Corporate experience and internship placements are an essential part of many different professions. It is important to stand out from the crowd and corporate experience might just be the best way to get in the door. The most valuable resource you can develop is your experience. Traveling and meeting new people expand your thoughts; teach you a great deal about yourself and a great deal about the world around you. The knowledge that comes from a working abroad can be the difference between getting hired and being lost in a sea of other people’s resumes. All students should consider working abroad.