Pack your bags and get ready to jet set. Here is more incentive to take your job search abroad. A recent Wall Street Journal article sites that 7 in 10 companies seek international experience in C-suite level candidates. These companies aren’t just looking for individuals with an appreciation of European travel but instead they want talented managers who have worked multiple stints abroad and are able to oversee product launches in a variety of cultures and countries.
Be open to global experiences particularly when searching for an internship. Starting your MBA career in a new country can be challenging but reap definite rewards in terms of gained experience and resulting opportunities. Working in a foreign country in a business setting challenges young professionals to use their industry skills while adapting to a new environment with differing customs. People tend to be more malleable early on in their careers and this trait can serve young MBA’s quite well as they quickly learn and embrace the cultural nuances of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cultures. This type of adaptability is exactly what Fortune 500 companies are seeking.
Here are 3 great ways to take your internship search international:
*Your B-School’s Graduate Career Center: Companies increasingly are utilizing the MBA career center staff to promote opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. Typically 20-25% of MBA students enrolled are international. Companies know this and therefore look for these same students to intern at their international headquarters. Whether you are an international student or not, you can still take advantage of these postings and work with your career coach on how to best strategize and link your goals and experiences to this internship opportunity.
Social Media: Use LinkedIn, TwitJob Search, TweetmyJob, etc. to identify which companies have international internships available and where. I just did a simple Twitter search through TwitJobSearch and found international internships with Proctor & Gamble, Coco Cola, and numerous others.
Company Websites: Many corporations (small, medium, and large sized) have international internship programs specifically designed for MBA students. Do you research, check online at the company websites and find out what internships are available, what skills are required/desired, and how to apply. The best time to start researching is early fall (for an internship the following summer) as many of the larger corporations do their internship hiring in the winter.
Challenge yourself to be open to global opportunities. Yes, working as an intern internationally will be more work and present different obstacles (like language, transportation, food etc.) however it will also allow for invaluable opportunities that will expand your global network, give you a unique business perspective, and provide you a chance to truly immerse yourself in a new culture.