Go Global: How An International Internship Can Take Your Career to New Heights
Written by Katherine Pendrill
As anyone in advertising — or any Millennial for that matter — will tell you, an internship can take you from pre-’Call Me Maybe’ Carly Rae Jepsen, to contemporary queen of pop. In other words, an internship can be the big break you’ve been waiting for. But with so many students and new grads hustling for their own career-making internships, how do you stand out from the crowd? Two words: international internship.
While the word ‘international’ might makes you head spin, fear not. Though it might mean forgoing a couple nights of Netflix and a boozy brunch of two, the extra planning that it takes to secure that global gig is definitely worth the time. Below are four reasons (though there are many more) why international agency experience is worth the extra time and effort.
Sure you can beef up your resume by doing an internship in your hometown, but you probably won’t come away with quite the same skill set when surrounded by the same people you went to college with. On the other hand, going global forces you to adapt to a completely different cultural and professional environment, complete with people you would never have otherwise encountered. Though there will likely (okay, definitely) be a learning curve, working at an international agency can turn you into a workplace chameleon ready to hit the ground running as soon as you’re back home.
As cliché as it may sound, networking is integral to a successful career in advertising. When you expand your professional network and expose yourself to a group of people with entirely different backgrounds, you open yourself up to new friends, mentors, and potential references. You might even meet your creative soulmate! Put simply, you never know where you might end up and having career connects abroad could help you when you least expect it.
MAS Students (two from Toronto!) on the roof of DDB Berlin.
Let’s face it, there are a lot of talented creatives and a lot of competition when it comes to scoring the most coveted agency roles. If you’re looking for a way to standout from the crowd and flex your skills, an international internship is a damn good way to do it. Not only can will you gain a fresh perspective and some unique portfolio pieces, but an international stint on your CV demonstrates your ability to push beyond your comfort zone. Of course, it also never hurts to have a fun story from a abroad to charm your interviewer with.
As valuable as an international internship is to your professional career, let’s be real, it’s also just plain fun. Who doesn’t want to spend their nights exploring a new city or their weekends jetting off to other countries. Sure it’s not all pub drinks and beach days, but when a new city becomes your temporary homebase, you have the incredible benefits of seeing more of the world on your days off than you would on a week-long vacation from your local 9 to 5.
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