The Beginning of My International Internship Journey

my picture at the airport
This is me before I flew to United States

One year ago, I started looking for an opportunity for an International Internship Program. I remembered my last semester before graduation, I was struggling with our capstone as Project Manager. I almost failed but thankfully I got the passing score of 3.0, the way I handled the project was a hot mess. It was a challenging role and I could’ve handled it better. I was unsatisfied with my overall performance.

Even though I was underperforming in my role as Project Manager, I never gave up and always reminded myself, “I can do better than this, there should be a way out there to help me.”

Six months ago, I got accepted and began to work as a Technical Project Manager here in America. My host company opened a healthy environment for me to experience growth. And currently, I am executing client-related task. 

Hard work, belief, passion, and positivity brought me here.

Mapping Out The Process

idea map of the process
I created a simple map to make it digestible. Here’s an illustration of what I did. 

Determine what career path you want to pursue.

To answer this requires an understanding and reflection of self-awareness – how well do you know yourself? This is a challenging question especially if you are still starting to explore and discover your potential. Some of us are fortunate to get the education we want, and some of us are caught in the decision of pursuing a degree our family wanted us to take. But there’s always “a light at the end of the tunnel”, it’s up to you on how you perceive things, you can either complain all the time or choose to use it on your advantage.

How can you narrow down and know yourself better with your choices?

1. Assess your weaknesses and strengths.

List down the things you’re good at and the things that need improvement. Now if it’s difficult for you to identify it, the next suggestions might help.

2. Ask feedback from people you work with.

In school, you are probably working on projects or been part of an organization, whenever you accomplish a task, be open to ask and receive feedback from a reliable colleague about your performance.

3. Ask advice from professionals.

If you’re already eyeing for a certain career, you can approach your teacher/professor, they have a lot of good advice and stories to share. This is also an opportunity to connect and network to professionals in the industry you want.

Make an achievable action plan.

Sometimes, I have a lot of things floating in my mind, daydreaming of what I wanted to become. There is nothing wrong with it because it makes you feel good every time you do it. However, you need to acknowledge those aspirations will not happen unless you start taking actions to get there.

Focus on your list of weaknesses and strengths. Determine the items on the list that is vital to your future career and address it. Break your task to smaller subtask and dedicate a timeline. Find time to learn and work for improvement.

a. Online Courses

You can either opt for free or paid online courses. I prepared myself by setting a monthly goal to complete at least two online courses related to my field of interest. This is a helpful initiative to give you the fundamental know-how. 

b. Connect with the Community

If you’re not a fan of online courses, searching and joining a community builds an opportunity for you to meet people to give you tips on how you can start learning things efficiently.

In my case, looking for a Project Manager position, the companies usually require specific years of client related projects. It’s tough to get an immediate hands-on experience especially if you’re a fresh graduate. Online courses helped me get an overview.

Research the Process

This is where all of it began. I have a sister and some friends doing the internship/training program in United States in the hospitality industry, but I had challenges looking for information in my field. When I got interested, I researched the process online to look for references, but I couldn’t find much information either.

You must be mindful that you understand the process.

For my next article, I will talk about the process of the international internship program and the things that you need to know. These steps that I’m going to share with you is what I exactly did. This is to give a full overview of what preparation you might want to consider. This is to give you an insight, but you can always do better research for additional information. 

  • International Internship Program
  • Agency
  • Host Company
  • Program Sponsor
  • Visa Process

Gather Your Resources

You need to be financially ready for the estimated cost to do the process. I will further elaborate this in the next article of what you will expect. I will provide tips from beginning to end.

To Wrap It Up

No matter how small or overwhelming your task is, execute your best. Even if you are not in your dream degree or job, still, make it a habit to do your best.

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