International Internship Reflections

Like with any new adventure or experience, I had a ton of expectations for what my study abroad program was going to be like, but I had no clue what to expect from my internship. I’ve mentioned this before, but this was my first ever internship based in finance (my future career) which is intimidating in itself, not to mention being in a foreign country! As my internship progressed, I have learned so much, and am extremely thankful for the experiences I have had in my workplace and the people I have met.

On the first day, I commuted to work feeling both anxious and excited for the weeks that lay ahead. Everyone was super friendly and willing to help me learn, and I easily was acquainted to the workplace and the people and procedures that made up this office. I left feeling less anxious, and more driven.

The internship program here is 20 hours a week for 12 consecutive weeks, and I continued on a set schedule as the weeks went on. However, some of my friends didn’t partake in the internship program, or completed their hours in a more flexible way, changing up the days and times as their schedule allowed. While my internship was flexible, I became jealous of the students who seemed to have much more free time. However, I came to realize that this is how my future jobs are going to be in my Finance career, and I’ll always have friends whose schedules and rigor of work differ. I grew more comfortable with my weekly schedule, and gained both discipline and time management skills.

I think the most important part of this international internship is how it better prepares you for your future career, and how it will make you stand out in future interviews/jobs. Employers don’t just want to see study abroad experiences on a resume, they want to see a study abroad experience resulting in a better candidate, who is more valuable for their firm. Through my internship, I’ve gained cross cultural communication and time management skills that translate across all fields, workplaces, countries, and experience levels. This is in addition to all of the technical and professional skills that I gained in 3 brief months.

As the end of internship draws near, I’m sad to leave the workplace acquaintances that have grown to be my friends. I’ve learned here that it’s important to form relationships with your coworkers, to be able to go to them for any assistance or advice you may need, and simply to make the work environment even more pleasant. The people here have taught me an incredible amount about both the work, and how to be the best employee, and I will take all that I have learned here into every future experience that I have.