Advice from GE Alum: How my Internship got me into Grad School

Dan Elias Bliss


When it comes to getting into graduate school, two things are important – a high GPA and experience outside the classroom. With an international internship, you gain the skills and real-world experience that graduate admissions committees are looking for.

For these five alumni, their internship influenced and helped them follow their dreams of getting a master’s degree. Keep reading for our alums’ stories and their advice on using an internship abroad to get into grad school.

Ian W. - Paris

Ian’s decision to intern abroad was sparked by school and passion for one specific city. It was an 8th-grade class trip that caused Ian to fall in love with Paris.

Years later while attending Salisbury University, Ian was required to have an internship. He knew there was no better place to intern than in Paris – the city he dreamed of returning to. “Paris has a unique culture that no American city can offer.”

Ian had an incredible internship at a national sports institute working in the department of communications and international relations. Putting it in his own words, “[it was] one of the best internships out of my entire class at Salisbury.”

Paris intern playing soccer in Bolivia

He had a “tremendous amount of responsibility” and even helped organize two major coaching conferences. Every day Ian got to eat healthily, work out, play soccer at lunch, and was surrounded by Olympic athletes. Ian’s favorite memory was when the Ireland Man’s National Field Hockey team sang him happy birthday.

“[An international internship is a] CV builder no doubt about it. I've now lived on three continents, been to 20 countries and 46 US States. I would say that my internship confirmed some of my passions about culture and my drive in becoming an international traveler and learner. All of this led to me applying to grad school last summer in the UK.”

After he graduated, Ian decided to attend graduate school at Swansea University in the UK. Ian found that going to grad school abroad opened up a whole world of possibilities. “Swansea University has allowed me to continue to be a semi-pro athlete, it has allowed me to further my education abroad, and it has allowed me to go from a business undergrad to an engineering masters.”

Interning abroad set Ian on a career path towards his dream of project management.

Britt P. - Stockholm

In back-to-back years, Britt completed two summer internships with Global Experiences! First in London, and the next year in Sweden as part of our first ever Stockholm group. “Choosing to do a second GE program was an easy decision. I had such an amazing time the first go around and knew a second internship would be just as good!”

In Stockholm, Britt had a journalism internship with the ultimate online guide for things to do in Sweden’s capital. Britt was able to write about fashion, travel, and everything Stockholm; her articles were even featured in the company magazine.

“I would definitely say that my two abroad internships stood out on my resume! When applying to graduate programs I had multiple faculty members comment on these internships, they were impressed to say the least.”

Following her internship, Britt graduated from Monmouth College. After graduation, Britt decided to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Central Missouri. There, Britt is currently studying Speech Communication and eventually wants to become a professor.

Caitlyn F. - Paris

Ever since middle school, Caitlyn had studied and been enthralled with France. Later in college when she discovered she could intern in Paris, she jumped at the chance to “compare textbook to reality.” Caitlyn got to spend a summer in the city of lights interning with an international business company.

At her internship, Caitlyn utilized her French skills to help develop exciting marketing strategies. Caitlyn’s internship through Global Experiences was what inspired her to pursue a master’s at the American University of Paris.

“Global Experiences allowed me the opportunity to live and work abroad, an experience which ultimately sparked my interest and love for French culture. It was in part due to this experience that I tend to work for the next trip!”

Caitlyn found that she felt “more in my comfort zone being abroad,” and, after obtaining her master’s degree, she ended up working around the world. From Paris, to India, to Kenya and back, Caitlyn worked and traveled in several countries.

“I am a firm believer in working hard and saving up to be able to travel, and I’m incredibly grateful that my graduate school provided amazing international opportunities to learn and challenge ourselves."

Sam G. - London

Sam wanted to be in a city where she could enjoy her time and explore the world. For Sam, this made London the perfect choice.

London intern visiting StonehedgeThe capital of the United Kingdom was where Sam saw herself living, loving her work, and exploring on the weekends. “Interning abroad isn’t only about putting something on your résumé, it’s also about exploring the world, broadening your mind, and building confidence in your independence!”

Sam was placed in a dynamic non-profit internship in the heart of London. By working to stop domestic violence, Sam’s host company was making women and children safer across the city.

Before interning abroad Sam didn’t have “specific plans for my post-graduate life.” However, it was her internship that allowed Sam to “explore what a real career in my field could look like.” Learning more about her career field inspired Sam to pursue a master’s in forensic mental health counseling.

“My international internship helped me get into grad school first and foremost by inspiring me to apply. My application essay focused on my internship experience and how it contributed significantly to my unique academic journey. I was able to supply letters of recommendation from my internship and program advisors who had worked with me, and knew me and my professional goals personally. These recommendations were invaluable to my application.”

It was the “maturity, curiosity, and ambition” Sam gained during her internship that allowed her application to stand out amongst her peers. Sam is currently pursuing a master’s degree in forensic mental health counseling at John Jay College of Criminal College. 

Claire H. - Dublin

Dublin intern Claire at her internship

Before even signing up for her internship abroad, Claire H. knew grad school was her ultimate goal. Claire understood that interning in Dublin was a unique way to learn outside of the classroom and one of the top cities for a psychology internship. While in Dublin, Claire interned at a child counseling center where she worked with clients and conducted play therapy.

As an undergrad, the internship was an excellent experience for Claire because “typically in the U.S. you wouldn't be able to have clients of your own in a clinical setting until after getting your master's degree.” It was her experience abroad that ultimately helped Claire get into her dream master’s program.

Dublin Intern Claire Howard exploring Ireland 2“An international internship helped me get into grad school because it was incredibly easy to talk about my unique experience and everything I learned in my interview for school. Being able to share all the new information I learned, experience I gained, and new culture. The specific program I was accepted into places a high emphasis on cultural competency, so sharing my time working and living in another culture proved my ability to have an open mind and learn about other cultures.”

When asked what advice she would give to a student thinking about pursuing a masters, Claire said the first step is all about research. Find the right program by asking the right questions, getting close with undergrad professors, and of course, keeping a high GPA.

Claire’s last piece of advice was, “engage and participate in a variety of different activities or jobs to show you are open to gaining experience in the field. For example, an international internship with GE!”

We couldn’t be prouder of our alumni for pursuing their education further. An international internship is the way to gain the experience and skills you need to pursue your dream master’s degree.

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