BA Politics and International Studies (2018)
Thinking of doing a year abroad?
Look no further: doing an internship will be the best decision of your life
The idea of doing a year abroad might already be in your mind: our PAIS department is fulfilled with great opportunities to study in Barcelona, Copenhagen, Hong-Kong or Melbourne … However, I believe that we, as students, are too often directed towards one single path: “on your year abroad, you must study in another university, and party with other European students!”, I always heard from returners. WRONG! You can also spend it working for a company. Here are three reasons why working during your year abroad will be the best decision of your life.
1- FINDING OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
If you are unsure of what you want to do later, the best thing to do is to try as many things as possible. I applied for an internship in a public affairs consultancy, as it combined the few fields I liked: business, politics, and the media. Turns out I fell in love with the job, with my colleagues, with Brussels as a city, and now I know that I want to work in the politics of health. Without this experience, I would have never discovered my vocation. It is even better if you have found yours: a lot of companies, all over Europe, are offering year-long internships before you take your final year.
2- MAKING YOUR CV STAND OUT
It is very rare, for people our age, to have work experience before graduating, and it is even more rare that students take their year abroad to do an internship. When employers will see that, early on, you are willing to work hard instead of doing like everybody else, you will immediately stand out from your friends’ CVs. Be different, be an entrepreneur of your own future; it is the best way to get noticed and be successful.
3- DEVELOPING UNIQUE SKILLS TO NAIL YOUR DEGREE
Finally, your internship, regardless of where you do it, will always change you as a student. By having responsibilities, dealing with pressure, networking, you will instantly learn new skills that will be helpful for your degree when you come back. For me, for instance, writing essays, doing research, or organizing my coursework has become much easier. I like to think there is a bit of professionalism in the way I study now, which will surely help me nail that third year.
Now that I have convinced you, get your CV ready, companies are looking for people like you!