Career advice

How to find international internship or summer job abroad

by Lucija Tomsic - April 26th, 2015

Always pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and care about quality. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it will go a long way.

Allianz-Sign showing directions and distance to different cities

The best way to start is…

Are you looking to find an internship or summer job? If you are now nodding your head, you have made the right choice. Alright, we know you would rather spend your summer at the beach with your friends. But trust us: Well-chosen internships or summer jobs can do wonders for your future. Our tips will not only help you find great internship opportunities, but they will also help you make the most of your experience.

  • Start early

There is no one-fits-all answer to the question of when to apply for a summer job or internship. The length of the application process can vary depending on the company and their recruiting procedures, number of applicants, and the location. What’s more, some vacancies might be posted up to a year in advance; some might be posted on short notice. Planning ahead is especially important when you are looking for international internships: Consider possible visa restrictions and travel arrangements.

  • Be a smart researcher

The first step before you start diving into your search should always be this: Get strategic about your goals. Define what you want to achieve in an internship and then think about which company will allow you to achieve exactly these goals. Ask questions like these when you’re researching possible companies: Who are the major players in my desired industry? What are they known for? What are some of the latest news relating to them? Which educational background, qualifications, and personalities would supplement their existing staff?

Allianz-People working on an architectural plan

  • Do your homework

Now that you have a list of interesting companies, gather as much information as possible on their business. Don’t just browse through their website. Rather go beyond the obvious sources and try to get to know the products or services they provide.

  • Avoid the hay stack

With your dream employers in mind, you can do a more focused search. The best websites that provide internship opportunities often are the company’s websites themselves. Company-wide job search tools are updated frequently and provide the possibility to search for local and international internships as well as summer jobs. Check out the Allianz job search to see what positions we currently have to offer. And don’t forget to use social media: On pages such as the Allianz Careers Facebook page, companies offer an insight on the company culture and help you stay in the know about latest job postings.

Internship search

Alright, so much on how to find international internships. Now, let’s talk about what to keep in mind when you have started the job. Done right, an internship or summer job can influence your chances to land a great entry job later on.

Find the right job for you here

Allianz-Photo of a pencil case

  • Align your goals with the company’s goals

Most students fail to illustrate why they fit for a certain role. So, if you’ve found the internship program that makes your heart pound, it is crucial to understand how your specific skills will be useful for the company and which professional characteristics make you stand out. Also, it’s important to have predefined objectives for your internship. Make sure those objectives are achievable within the scope of the chosen internship program. Have you come to the conclusion that you are the man (or woman) for the job and that it will allow you to do a great leap forward in your career? Then go for it! If you want to know how to make a great impression in your application, see our tips on how to write the perfect resume.

  • Present yourself in the right way

Always pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and care about quality. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it will go a long way. Just be aware that even in the best internships, you will sometimes be expected to fulfill boring tasks. Swallow this sour feeling of pride and do a great job even then – this will earn you the respect and appreciation of your colleagues.

  • Embrace the office culture

Use your first days to watch what is happening around you. How do colleagues treat each other? Where do they go for lunch? If you understand the office culture early on and adapt, you will be a part of the team in no time.

Allianz-People discussing company's culture
  • Ask for feedback

You are new in the office and it is no shame to ask questions and actively seek feedback. This is what really creates the right foundation for your future career and helps you make great learning progress. It can help to jot down your learnings in a notebook and reflect on your progress daily.

  • Shadow the pros

Do you want to take your learning experience to the next level? Simply job shadow your colleagues. When job shadowing, you follow somebody around to learn the tricks of the trade. Just make sure they are okay with it. Use this opportunity to learn from professionals in different positions and gather new insights, opinions, and skills along the way.

Allianz-A tourist at the Grand Canyoun, USA
  • Cast your net

Use internships to make meaningful connections with your colleagues. To broaden your professional network, you can also use social media: Contact interesting people from your internship company that you have met or would like to meet. But be careful: Networking must be done with a plan in mind. Don’t just randomly add people, but focus on those who work in your area of expertise and whom you want to genuinely get to know. If you choose careful and polite phrasing and don’t expect them to find you a job later on, you are on your way to a solid network.

If these tips have gotten you hungry for success, check out some more great tips on how to make your internships or summer jobs worth your time.

                                                                                                            Written by Steffi D.

Lucija Tomsic

Executive Assistant

Back at the beginning of 2013 I was almost done with my Bachelor’s studies in international business administration and decided that after studying in Germany, the USA and Argentina, it’s about time for a six months internship in a really big company to gain valuable experience and fancy up my resume, before starting my Masters studies.

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