08 Aug Your Career Abroad
Beginning your career abroad may be one of the best decisions you make along your professional path. I would like to give others the same advice that I was given before accepting my position in Spain with Absolute Internship. So let me set the scene: After a long night of classes, homework, and officer work in one of my extracurricular clubs, I mentioned to one of the other officers that I had just applied for a position abroad, however, I was hesitant because I would have to pay to go there! In other words, I felt that I was paying to work for someone. A few of the older officers heard me, and they quickly asked where I would be interning. I replied, Madrid. They exclaimed that they had interned in the same city in the same situation without pay. More importantly, they told me to take the position if it was offered to me – that it would be worth the expense and make for one amazing experience. They couldn’t have been more right. So here is my advice: intern abroad. Your career will thank you, your future employers will thank you, and you will thank you. The experience is priceless.
Working in the “real world” as opposed to attending classes in the security of your university is a wonderful experience, especially when you’re working in a new country. As I learned to navigate my way through the labyrinth that is the metro system, to eat the endless amounts of ham, cheese, and potatoes, to budget my money, to speak in a new language, to “adult” as I like to say, I learned to truly live in the “real world,” however, this world of mine was so different than back home that I felt as if I was returning to the States with a whole new band of knowledge under my belt. In fact, upon my return I feel as if I’ve worked in two “real worlds” each full of their own lessons, amusements, and successes.
Aside from working abroad, living like a native in a new country is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. One of my favorite non-professional activities in Madrid was simply getting lost. That’s right, I most enjoyed my time spent alone wandering down the endless streets and stumbling into quaint stores and discovering monuments hidden away in the city. Those few hours spent alone led me to San Miguel Market where I tried new food followed by an unexpected siting of the palace before I made it back to Sol, the center of Madrid, where I bought myself a refreshing fruit cup topped with some of the best coconut gelato I’ve ever tasted.
So if you take anything away from this, let it be to intern abroad and get lost in the culture that becomes your home away from home.