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A working holiday

Recently I came across an article in the Independent discussing the need for international exposure at an early stage in the students' careers. According to the article, "61% of recruiters have problems recruiting candidates for graduate positions, as they do not possess the soft skills, work experience and business acumen required by international organisations". Apparently, very few UK students are participating in programmes that help them gain valuable experience in the international marketplace, or look for opportunities as part of their studies via international exchange programmes like Erasmus runs, for example.

For many of us, graduation is just around the corner and we need to give some thought to our future careers. Many universities are encouraging their students to apply for international internships in order to develop these crucial soft skills like cross-cultural communications and adapting to foreign working cultures. However, it is challenging trying to arrange these international internships but if you can, they are a great addition to your CV, and make navigating an international career easier.

Working in a foreign country, means you have to prove to yourself, and others, you have the ability to work in a different culture and therefore under different pressures, and perhaps out of your comfort zone.

If you are interested in working for a multinational corporation once you graduate then working as an international intern you can get a deeper understanding of how those organisations operate.

Given the fact that globalisation is here to stay, it is essential to be able to adapt to an ever-changing market place. The employees of a multinational organisation have to be able to understand the business culture across multiple locations and be able to establish working relationships with colleagues across worldwide.

A truly sustainable global business model takes time and effort to develop, but once developed, it has to be preserved and utilised. For that reason, those corporations are looking for what they call "global graduates" - someone who is able to add value across the company's network.

Over the past few years, I have come across quite a few global graduates who had participated in the Erasmus Student Exchange Program. Some of them studied and worked in countries such as Holland, Greece and Belgium and are now working for large multinational corporations, based across Europe. They believe these types of exchange programmes have helped them mature as individuals while exposing them to new educational systems, enabling them to meet a variety of individuals and employers and to think about various cross-border opportunities.

Thinking about the variety of countries these individuals came from and what they achieved made me realise that distance and location are only geographical terms, and the bigger the scale, the shorter the distance on the world map.
With this in mind, my internship this summer will be with a multinational corporation based in Europe. I am confident this international experience will be very rewarding and I am looking forward to this challenge and will keep you posted on my activities.

I leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein: "The only source of knowledge is experience".

Ellie's previous blog post
Future workforce

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