How to find an internship 3,000 miles away
Students are all over the world. Because of the number of international opportunities available, it’s not uncommon for a student to apply for an internship 3,000 miles away from where they live during the school year. I applied for my second internship in Boston from my living room in Edinburgh, Scotland. While applying for an internship abroad presents its own unique set of challenges, you should not feel overwhelmed – it is possible to find one you love while studying abroad as long as you are well-prepared.
Find a quiet place with reliable wi-fi. Generally speaking, study abroad housing is not known for its reliable wi-fi. Find another place on campus that is quiet and has excellent wi-fi. Sometimes the library has small rooms available to reserve, or you can ask a professor to use his or her office. While interviewers are understanding of external circumstances, a Skype call inhibited by a slow internet connection is not the best way to make a good impression.
Be on call. You’re studying abroad, so evenings and weekends will probably be spent on grand adventures around your host country. However, because you are so far away, you need to be vigilant about checking your email every time you have wi-fi, especially during interview crunch time. If you’re on the road, stop somewhere with reliable wi-fi at least once a day. Pro tip: Starbucks always has good wi-fi. Always. Make sure you are available during working hours stateside and make a good first impression by responding to emails quickly.
Be proactive. When a potential employer offers you an interview, make sure they have all of the materials they need to assess you as a candidate. Because you won’t be in the same room with them, geared up with extra copies of your resume and references, be sure to have them virtually on-hand; either keep important application documents on your desktop or send them to your interviewers beforehand.
Remember, at the end of the day, that you are qualified. Employers are interested in you as a candidate — what you are doing and where you are going. One interviewer gave me suggestions for restaurants in Edinburgh. Some employers are wary about hiring a student they have not met in-person, but attentiveness and preparedness can ease their mind and earn you one amazing internship.