How To Find A Summer Job Or Internship Back Home

So, you’re abroad, having the time of your life, when suddenly, it hits you: at some point, you’re going home. And when you get home (if you’re abroad during the spring semester), it’ll be time for summer break, a time when college students usually find a job (or two), or score an internship. But it can be more difficult to apply, interview, and be offered these opportunities while abroad for a variety of reasons. Maybe you don’t have the same support system you do back home. Maybe the time zone is making it difficult for your schedule to line up with the interviewers. Maybe you don’t know exactly when you’re coming home, the list goes on. While there are many unknowns in this equation, it shouldn’t be a hindrance.  Finding a job or internship may take a little more individual effort on your part to find, apply and interview for, to then be offered an amazing summer opportunity, but that shouldn’t deter you. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind during the whole process of applying to jobs for the summer while abroad.

Finding the right job/internship:

The internet is an incredible resource for finding summer jobs and internships back home while you’re abroad. It’s best to start with a broad search for something that you’re interested in (i.e. waiting tables or interning in a specific area of interest). From there, you can narrow your search down to opportunities in a specific location, and then to specific internships or job openings. Make sure that you adhere to deadlines and make sure to take into account any time zone differences that may affect when applications are due. Also make sure you know when you’ll be home from your semester abroad and check that it doesn’t interfere with the start date of your future job or internship.

You’ve got resources (use ‘em!):

Even though you aren’t at your home institution, all of the same resources are still available to you. Don’t be afraid to email your career services center or other people on campus with any questions you may have about your summer plans. Just remember that it may take them a longer time to get back to you because of any time differences, so it may be best to plan ahead and not leave or send any time-sensitive emails at the last minute. You may not get a response that way! There also may be different resources available to you at your host institution, too, so don’t forget to look into them as well. You never know what opportunities may be hiding in your host city for the summer.

The dreaded interview:

For many jobs and internships, there may be an interview component to the application. While some places expect an in-person interview, most will be very accommodating to your situation and set up a Skype interview.

While this may sound stressful, just remember to treat it like any other interview. Dress appropriately (at least on top, you can probably get away with wearing sweatpants since they won’t show if it makes you feel more comfortable). Make sure whatever is in the background of your computer camera is neat and appropriate; you don’t want a bunch of dirty clothes screaming “I’m a disorganized person” during your whole interview. Also, even though it may feel a bit awkward, make sure you are looking at your camera during the interview and not at the screen, so as to simulate eye-contact and communication with your interviewer. Lastly, just like any in person interview, make sure you’ve done some research about the position you’re applying for and write out a list of any questions you have for them during the end of your interview.

How To Leverage Your Study Abroad Experience In Job Interviews

Remember, interviews are kind of awkward no matter what, and the added element of technology may create new kinds of awkward (i.e., the video or sound may quit halfway through for example), but don’t worry! Keep a level head throughout it all and don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to repeat questions if you couldn’t hear them. You’ll get through it!

Now get out there and find your dream summer job/internship! And don’t forget to leave some time to unwind at the beach, before heading back home, too. Happy hunting!

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Hannah is a senior at Wheaton college in Massachusetts. She just returned from spending a semester studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland (which she loved every minute of!). At school she is studying biology and is also a member of the field hockey team. Out side of school Hannah loves photography, baking, telling horrible jokes, and petting other people's dogs.

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