There’s been a 241% increase in people taking internships abroad, especially as technology growth allows applicants to apply from anywhere in the world. For people looking to become entrepreneurs, the idea of pursuing an internship can seem like it wouldn’t have any benefits, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. By finding an internship that aligns with your personal and professional goals of entrepreneurship, you can develop skills and make connections that will help the transition into your career.
What Skills You Can Learn
Accepting an international internship can teach you time management and business development skills, especially if you are placed in a sales or marketing role. Internships may not always pay well, but the tradeoff of being in an educational work place can be key to success. Expect to work hard, showing you the value of a dollar, and living off a smaller stipend or paycheck will teach you how to manage your finances, key to the success of any budding entrepreneur.
Additionally, you can master communication and work on sending business emails and memos effectively. You’ll have to take responsibility for your mistakes and problem solve to prevent them from happening again in the future. Consider your internship a crash course in running a business, and try to learn from everyone. Becoming an entrepreneur means being a jack-of-all-trades, needing a basic knowledge of marketing and social media techniques, sales, accounting, and product development. Your internship will serve as a valuable tool in gaining experience and exposure in all of these fields and more.
All professional experience is valuable, and even interning in another country is worth considering, as it will provide you with cross-cultural communication skills that can help you handle stressful meetings and relationships with other countries down the road in your career. Being able to think on the spot and create solutions or talk down a stressed-out coworker, client or vendor will help you become an effective entrepreneur.
The Value of Networking
Arguably, the most important skill you can learn from taking an internship is networking. Working in an environment filled with professionals will help you make professional connections that can prove invaluable when you become an entrepreneur looking for support, funding, and employees of your own.
Learning how to create connections with coworkers is a skill necessary for success, as being unable to work effectively can cause mistakes that entrepreneurs cannot afford to make. You can learn adaptability, and how to appropriately respond and adapt with your team when plans change last-minute or a crisis arises.
Transferring Your New Skills
If you accept an internship and complete it, it’s important to keep practicing your skills. Stay in touch with your internship coordinator and any employees you connected with or would like to work with in the future.
Very few people are able to become entrepreneurs and launch successful businesses without real-world experience in the workforce. By interning, you’ll be able to master skills and learn how a business is operated with hands-on experience.