The Art of the Customized Internship


An international internship has the potential to be brilliant – a mutually beneficial experience that allows both interns and organizations to grow. Interns are afforded priceless, hands-on work experience in a new culture while a company can gain an enthusiastic and talented employee who contributes valuable work for a summer, spring or fall. Of course, if an intern and company are a poor fit it can be rubbish! The experience becomes frustrating and outcomes are not worth the investment – for an intern or the employer. So, for the past 14 years, Global Experiences has been fine-tuning a customized placement process to maximize the international internship experience for everybody involved

Personalized from Call 1

A prospective Global Experiences interns’ first contact is with their Program Consultant and the customization process starts here. On a 1st call Consultants ask candidates probing questions to illicit their true passions, expertise and aspirations – both for the short and long-term. The goal is not just to provide a valuable travel and work experience, but to empower interns with a stepping stone for their future! All of an intern’s responses are logged and organized by our Consultants to form the foundation of the internship placement search. Past internships and possible opportunities are often provided to help interns visualize potential roles. Examples on the website are also useful but remember they are just that, examples – Global Experiences has opportunities that extend to virtually all industries!

Brit Tip: Be open-minded, entertain possibilities. And start out with realistic expectations. We all want to change your life – and can – but we aren’t magicians. You’ll be a Director at a Fortune 500 in the future – not just yet!  

A Chance to Spell it Out

spell it out

To be sure that that we understand our intern’s needs, Global Experiences then gives candidates the opportunity to elaborate in a written application. It is essential for us to have a clear picture of a candidate’s expectations to be sure we can deliver. We would rather let students down at this point, before they pay their tuition. Interns apply for a career field of interest rather than a specific internship. This is because companies are often unsure of their specific needs months in advance and, as with any real job, they have to actually want you, the intern, too! As Global Experiences does not pay companies to hire interns, they have no obligation. Of course, the application doubles as an opportunity to assess an intern’s qualifications. Places are limited – international internships are not for everyone!

Brit Tip: It’s rolling admissions. Placements are made in the order that people sign up. So, if this sounds like a good fit, apply quickly! The depth and breadth of opportunities is vast, but not endless. Top internships go earlier. If you need a paid internship, international internships most likely aren’t for you. They’re rare. Don’t apply!

Guaranteeing a Customized Internship

guaranteed customized internships

Global Experiences strives to meet every intern’s needs. So, a Placement Director for their desired location (who in many cases resides in, and works directly with, our employers in the host city) assesses each individual application. If, based on a candidate’s qualifications and expectations, they are 100% confident of guaranteeing an internship in the desired career field we offer conditional acceptance into the program. All that is required to officially secure a place is a deposit. This $1000 payment is the show of commitment required to prompt our Placement Directors to start lining up potential host companies. Teasing a company with an intern and not delivering would be as cruel as teasing an intern with an internship and not delivering – we do not do it! Building trust has allowed Global Experiences to develop links with start-ups, multi-national corporations, and every type of organization in-between.

Brit Tip: Companies know we prepare interns well. For that reason they often prefer that we keep their names and vacancies to ourselves to avoid less-qualified candidates approaching them directly. Also, consider the kind of environment you want to intern in. A big company? Small fish in a big pond? Are you sure?

Putting in the Hard Work – Tailoring the Internship

Tailoring the Internship

Once an intern enrolls in Global Experiences’ program they are assigned a dedicated Program Adviser who helps them to, amongst other things, develop their cover letter and resume to maximize their chances of landing the best possible internship. At the same time, our Placement Director can be found scouring a location for an ideal match. When an intern’s documents are ready and a great fit is found interviews proceed, one at a time. 90% of the time one interview is all it takes due to all the preparation we do! That said, we are all human. If an intern has an off-day or we are off-base, no sweat – acceptance into the program is a guaranteed internship in your selected career field. We do some interview preparation, look harder and go again. Interns are typically placed 4–8 weeks before they leave, but not in Italy or France. Employers there prefer to meet interns first – it is their cultural norm!

Brit Tip: In theory, it would be dead cool to tell an employer ‘Thanks! I enjoyed the interview – just popping off for some other ones!’ In reality, BAD idea. If it sounds like a good fit, leap at the opportunity. It’s the real world. Otherwise, someone else will step in and take your spot – if not a local, another Global Experiences intern!

Maximizing the Placement

maximizing the placement

Each of Global Experiences’ employers is thoroughly vetted – so interns and parents can rest assured that a hands-on internship experience with genuine responsibility is guaranteed. Of course, the level of responsibility will depend on an intern’s qualifications, but they will absolutely not travel the world to carry coffee. To be sure, Global Experiences has a staff member in each of our locations on the ground. Should something not quite click with a supervisor or an issue arise (it happens in all jobs, all over the world – it is, after all, work) interns have a contact present to consult. Then, after a couple of weeks, our Location Coordinator stops by for a site-visit to ensure that things are shaping up to be the customized experience that each of our interns signs up for, and deserve!

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