For most students, getting an internship opportunity is a significant milestone. Firstly, it’s a great learning experience that can often serve as a preview to your future career. Navigating through professional waters can be tricky at first – you’ll probably need these tips to prepare for your first job – but it’s easier to adjust when you have an idea of what to expect. An international internship can give you this and a global perspective!
Another perk of undertaking an international internship? Getting a bit more preparation for being an independent adult. As you’ve probably heard from 20-something millennials on social media, adulting can be hard. There are some challenges everyone has to go through to become better individuals. An internship abroad will equip you with the confidence and independence to deal with these challenges head on. So don’t shy from interesting opportunities just because they don’t seem like a direct route to where you want to go!
For Laura Moyneur, an international student at Saint Louis University – Madrid (SLU-Madrid), an internship abroad was the unexpected push she needed towards her dream career.
Undecided, but determined
Let’s get one thing clear: it’s okay to be a little lost with what you want to do in life, even when you’re years into your college degree.
Laura was already entering her senior year with a double major in Economics and Spanish at SLU-Madrid when she decided to do an internship at the Four Seasons Hotel in Texas. She still didn’t have a clear idea of what profession she wanted to pursue after graduating, so she hoped that the internship would spark interest in her.
“Before this internship, I had no idea what career path I wanted to pursue after I finished school. This summer, I have the opportunity to explore various fields, which hopefully will let me see what I like and what I don’t like.”
Getting into the thick of things at the Four Seasons
Laura had a very involved internship at the Four Seasons. Despite the program only lasting for the summer, Laura was able to work in various roles within different departments. Most of her tasks placed her in roles directly involved with customer service at the hotel’s restaurant, bar, and pool. This allowed her to improve soft skills such as communication, empathy, and the ability to listen.
Laura also took on some administrative roles. She did some tasks for HR alongside the event planning, which she enjoyed the most. Overall, the internship program let Laura familiarize herself deeply with the internal processes of the hotel. After experiencing work at the Four Seasons, a career in the hospitality industry began to appeal to her.
Unexpected career paths from an international internship
Since Laura’s background is in Economics and Spanish, an internship in the hospitality industry might have been a bit unexpected. Would it be possible to explore career paths that aren’t too close to your field of study?
Luckily, Economics is a pretty versatile major! At the same time, Laura also has a deep interest in travel which can be fulfilled by a career in the hospitality industry. She originally hails from Minnesota but wanderlust led her to study in Italy and, eventually, took her to Madrid.
“I loved being in Europe and learning a new language, and that’s why I decided to apply to SLU-Madrid. I felt that earning an American degree while experiencing a different culture was an amazing opportunity.”
As she continues learning through her internship, Laura is most intrigued by the manager training program at the Four Seasons. The program allows former interns to join the Four Seasons global hotel staff and work in locations all over the world.
Do you want to be part of an international internship?