Thursday, 15 March 2012

Working Abroad from a Student’s Perspective


Following up on my blog about obtaining an internship in California, I wanted to write a blog that was a lot more...informative. I know there are students out there that would love to travel, and I am one of them. Even though I live at home, I've always wanted to work in another country, namely America. This is why this internship means a LOT to me, and I would love if this blog here gave you some insight into what it is like to apply for international opportunities, and give my story about why I want to go California, and how you can do the same if you choose to come to the University of Greenwich.

I’m not going to lie- applying for work in the UK is HARD!!!!!  The amount of rejection emails I have received could fill up my entire bedroom. I’ve been applying for summer internships because I want to have some sort of advantage when I begin to apply for graduate vacancies next year. I will drop names...Microsoft, Sainsburys, BT and a whole host of other British based companies have rejected my applications. Whilst this did lower my confidence, I figured that I would start to expand beyond London. This is when I decided to apply for national internships, but I still had no response. My manager at the o2 Arena then suggested that I applied for international internships. He said he would forward my CV to various AEG branches across the world, and it resulted in the branch in Los Angeles contacting me. I found it bizarre that the first international application I made resulted in an internship offer!

One thing that inspired me to say yes to this offer was a lesson I had earlier this year in Value Chain Management. My lecturer, Mike, arranged for a guest lecturer about applying for work in America from an expert in the field, Dr Al Infande. He is based in Florida, and he talked about how British graduates are a high commodity in America, and how it would be wise for us to go over and work over there. Did you know that an undergraduate student in America earns (on average) $50,000?! If you choose to carry on your education to a postgraduate degree, your average earnings shoot up to $75000!! Even though I’m not using that lecture in my assignment, it is the one lesson this year that really taught me something I won’t forget.
So...how do you go about it? One thing that is IMPERATIVE is you go to a CV Clinic. In the University of Greenwich, you are able to book a CV clinic, which is when a member of staff will go through your CV and help you adapt it to make it a graduate CV. I did one with the Business Placements School Office, and Sarah helped me out with it. If you are at/going to come to the university, that would be the best thing for you, especially if you don’t have work experience.

Another thing I chose to do was speak to my programme leader. As I mentioned in my last blog, my internship will be worth university credits, and I will be piloting the Business Management Internship module. I’m one of the lucky ones that actually managed to get an internship (albeit in another country), and I’m glad that this module I am going to be doing is not exam based!

If you don’t want to travel so far like I am (11 hours away!!), I would suggest asking your student centre about the ERASMUS Scheme. Do you know how in movies such as Sixteen Candles they have the foreign students coming over to study? You can do the same through the ERASMUS scheme, but you can do it while you are at university and for one term only!

I hope you found this blog somewhat insightful into what it is like for me to apply for jobs and my thoughts about working abroad. I will keep you up to date on my progress of getting my visa and flight. My accommodation is now officially sorted! Check out the place below...


You have no idea how happy I am to be here while the Olympics are on. HA!

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