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Best tips for finding a summer internship while studying abroad

As a foreign student on an American campus, you surely want to enjoy your long summer vacation, but you also might want to take full advantage of this time to prepare yourself for the next step after graduation. Summer is the best time to explore the country, but also to learn and develop professional skills. With a student visa (F-1 or J-1), students are eligible to work (in some cases paid and in some cases unpaid) in study-related positions to help develop skills and to start a professional network abroad.
Continue reading if you want to know about the best strategy to land a great summer internship.


Summer job or Summer internship? Gaining a summer job or internship depends on the type of visa that you have. If you have an F-1 visa you can apply for a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) position and get paid for it or for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) position. Still, some conditions must be met and your internship must be approved by the school’s International Student Office and the Immigration Office. For students with a J-1 visa you can access OPT positions like students on an F-1 visa and your internship must be related to your field of study.

Where to search and how to apply?
The internet can help you find the perfect summer internship or job. The following websites are great to search for a summer internship : USA internships, Internships.com, or AngelList if you are looking for internships at start up companies.  
Also, do not hesitate to check in on your student careers office on campus. You can find some internships or job opportunities for the summer and can sometimes connect with previous students who can also share their experiences with you. Do not hesitate to use your network on campus to help you think about and find internships.

Adapting your profile to the market is also key, especially your resume
American recruiters spend no more than 2 minutes on a resume (and in many cases less than 10 seconds), so think about what to write! It should be no longer than one page and without any pictures or personal details. Have it reread by a native American or a career counselor on campus. Once you are ready, send your resume with a personalized e-mail to the recruiters or directly answer to the job opportunity.



What to look for?
Summer internships can be a great opportunity to gain work experience in your field of study. Ask some of your professors which jobs would help in building your career and would look great on your resume for after your graduation. Most of the time students are very particular about the companies they want to intern for and are willing to consider only top multinational companies, but this might not be the best place to learn a lot and have interesting tasks. Law students can apply to work with law firms as summer interns or at the in-house legal department of a foreign company. The American Bar Association itself also has some internships.  As to business or finance students, a great experience is working in a bank during the summer and you can find offers for these positions on Indeed. You will help clients, deal with checks and simple bank operations which will help you develop practical skills. If you want to work extra hard and get serious experience, big banks such as Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan Chase offer a lot of interesting positions. Even though the experience may be limited, you will experience the reality of work and stand out on your resume as motivated to work and learn, with some real world experience to show for your efforts.

But above all, do not forget that a summer internship experience is what you decide to make of it! Be proactive and see what you can learn during this time. Take this opportunity to create relationships and make connections to learn about your future, which will help you make the right career decisions towards graduation.

Need more help with planning your studies, internships and the steps following graduation?







2 comments:

  1. Internships give students an opportunity to appreciate the work environment and also presents them with vast learning points to guide them in their career choices

    ReplyDelete