GUEST AUTHOR: Roma Sondhi, Spotahome Student Ambassador
Starting an internship abroad soon? Firstly, congratulations! Working as an intern is such a great opportunity to experience the world of work. However, it can be difficult to start to prepare for this experience and to know what to expect. Don’t panic...this article will point you in the right direction, giving you some advice and tips that I found useful and that hopefully, you will too!
My name is Roma and I am a Modern Languages and European Studies student, currently on my year abroad. For the first part of my year abroad, I worked as an Administrative and Marketing Intern at a telecommunications company – Onedirect. Here, I gained knowledge and skills in two different fields, of which I previously had no experience in. I thoroughly enjoyed my internship and with any difficulties that I had, the team around me really supported, helped and encouraged me to achieve my best in any task I was given.
Below are some tips that you might find helpful whilst you are preparing for your upcoming internship experience.
Your initial appearance usually gives the company and its colleagues a lasting impression of you and therefore, deciding what to wear can be especially difficult. My advice is to make sure that you email your supervisor prior to starting your internship to ask about the dress code and any other requirements. This usually ranges from casual to smart-casual to professional. Being prepared shows your employers that you are professional, interested in the field and willing to learn! Also, as another piece of advice, it is better to be slightly over-dressed than more casual if you are still unsure.
The first day can seem daunting and stressful but try to relax as much as you can. Here are a few things that can help:
On you first day, it is important to remember to bring any documents that are needed to begin working at the receiving company. Therefore, it is better to pack them the night before so that you are not stressed in the morning. Here is a list of possible documents or photocopies that you might be asked to bring with you:
- Citizenship Card
- Social security number
- Insurance details
- Bank account details
- Work contract
The documents required on your first day vary from country to country so be sure to check what is required.
Prepare what you will wear for your first day the night before as well. This will save a lot of time and stress in the morning!
Arrive with plenty of time to spare. You could even go to a local café before you start work, if you have enough time. This will help to relax your nerves and help you to get prepared for the day ahead.
4. Greet everyone
When you arrive, make sure you introduce yourself to everyone. Smile and be confident – this will be sure to make a positive impression! Get to know your new colleagues and get familiar with how the company works.
While you are an intern at the company, there will be endless opportunities to integrate and to get to know more about your colleagues. There may be possibilities to go to a restaurant or bar at the end of the week, weekend trips away and even staff parties – particularly at Christmas!
These are opportunities to really get to know your colleagues on a more personal level, away from the office. It provides the perfect environment to form links and contacts for the future too!
Make a positive impression by really focusing on all the tasks given to you and listening to any feedback that you receive from your employers and fellow colleagues. This is your chance to learn, grow and develop not only professionally, but personally too.
If there is something you really want to learn, ask your supervisor as this could open the door to possible opportunities available to you. If you need help, ask. Help is always available, and your employers will be happy to support you whenever you need it. Ask questions and try to learn, apply and improve as much as you can. You really do get out whatever you put in!
An internship is such an amazing opportunity to experience the world of work. It can even be an experience that will decide your future career path. Here, you will be able to develop a variety of different skills and learn about a field of work that you may or may not have had previous knowledge of.
An internship abroad provides you with the opportunity to meet new people from all around the world too and therefore, it can be the beginning of new, lasting friendships.
I hope this article has given you some ideas of what to expect from an internship! Good luck and I hope that you have an amazing experience like I did!
Still looking for accommodation? Visit Spotahome to find your perfect home!
If you are thinking of going abroad for an internship but have not yet found one, this blog post can help you: The Magic CV Formula to Find an Internship Abroad (with template)