InternView: What You Will Learn From Getting An Internship Abroad
Highlighting her experiences as an intern, Jordan Silverman offers some great advice on the best practices to implement during your internship. Jordan is a student at Tulane University and was a marketing intern in Jerusalem, Israel at Bettertrader, an Israel a trading systems start-up. Jordan shared her story in this interview conducted by Jane Horowitz, More Than A Resumé.
Did you have specific career plans when you started college?
I knew from the start that marketing would be a good fit for me because I like the creative side of business. Adding finance came later. I was enjoying the business classes I was taking and could see how having a background in finance would help me advance in a marketing career. Although I have my heart set on marketing, I don’t know yet if I’m interested in working at an advertising agency, a big company, or even in sports marketing. However, I will cast a wide net and be open to opportunities that might not be apparent to me right now.
What are some of the experiences that prepared you to start your internship?
As a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a nationwide business fraternity, I get to be with a group of very motivated students who are mostly in the business school. We’re not competitive. Instead, we encourage each other to achieve our individual goals. By attending events, such as hosting a business professional panel, I learned how companies view graduating students as potential new hires. This has been helpful when applying for internships.
Last year I did a semester at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria. Living there helped me transition to my internship in Israel and the unique culture while some of the other interns I worked with at Bettertrader had a tougher time adjusting. In addition, some of the courses I took helped me develop a better worldview of how to market brands, making it easier to do my job.
What steps did you take to make sure you developed and learned skills from your internship?
Bettertrader is a startup company. I knew going into the internship that I would do a number of different jobs within marketing some of which would be new to me. For example, I created an email marketing campaign to engage potential customers. I was comfortable writing the content to present to decision makers at Bettertrader, but I needed to teach myself to use the software that would track customer response to the email campaign. I also created and conducted market research surveys. I really pushed myself to develop analytical skills, which I now understand are essential to getting a job in marketing.
What are some of the other takeaways from your internship?
When I start to look for a job, I knew I want to begin my career in a bigger company where I will have exposure to the a diverse networks of ideologies and people I can both learn from and see as mentors. I would not have known that if I didn’t have this internship.
From this experience, I can show employers how easily I adapt to situations, my willingness to take on responsibilities and my effectiveness working in teams. Every day I learned not to judge so quickly because it’s never as black and white as it might appear, especially when you are working in another culture.
What advice do you have for college students who are interning this summer?
My father gave me this advice: Each week take time to write down what you did. It’s easy to forget your accomplishments if you don’t track them. When you go to write your resumé or LinkedIn profile or preparing for an interview, you will have the information readily available.
I also think it’s important to speak up and do so this without offending others. Going to school in Vienna and working in Israel, I learned how to be culturally sensitive. I recommend looking for an internship outside of the U.S. because it’s another skill to differentiate yourself from other job candidates.
Do you have internship advice to share with your peers? Please submit your request for an interview at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your college, major and graduation year.