Transitioning from a student to a working professional can be an exciting challenge for international students. However, finding a job as a new graduate is not a miracle that happens overnight. It takes time and effort to prepare for the process. An internship is a critical milestone in preparing for graduate jobs and easing your transition into the workforce.
Through internship experiences, you’ll become more familiar with recruitment processes, learn how to master job interviews and gain relevant real-world experience. You can also explore different industries and specialisations while expanding your network, all of which is great for boosting your resume. In short, an internship is a great way to set the foundation for your success.
Many international students apply for internships through employment websites such as SEEK, Indeed and GradConnection. While these sites have undeniable value, they are also very competitive. Plus, many positions advertised on these platforms require permanent residency or Australian citizenship.
As an international student, you must be adaptable and agile in your job search to improve your chances of success. Here are the four easiest ways to find internships as an international student that many people don’t consider!
University internship programs
A university internship program is a work placement that you complete through your education provider, which matches you with a company. Most of these placements are part-time and last for six to 12 months. This is one of the easiest ways for international students to secure an internship as it is far less competitive and stressful than sourcing one yourself. You’ll also benefit from the support of your institution as you go through your placement.
It’s important to remember that university internship programs sometimes have strict timelines and course requirements. Be sure to consult your faculty as early as possible to ensure that you meet the criteria.
It’s said that 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised; instead, they are filled through word-of-mouth and referrals. When you learn about a job opportunity through a professional contact, your chances of getting the internship can increase significantly due to reduced competition. With that in mind, building your network can be key to securing an internship.
There are several ways you can build your network. For instance, it’s an excellent idea to attend network events within your industry. You can find many of these events through your education provider or external organisations like Meetup.
Another great tip is joining a club or committee in your field. These clubs often organise talks and networking events. As a member, you’ll have more chances to get in touch with these speakers and industry leaders directly.
You can also volunteer at a not-for-profit organisation in your sector. Many not-for-profit organisations are run by influential industry professionals. By volunteering at these organisations, you will demonstrate your skills and interest in the field.
Leverage the power of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a great place to network and build a strong professional brand. On LinkedIn, you immediately gain access to professionals from all industries, occupations and companies.
One way of using LinkedIn to your full advantage is reaching out to people for informational interviews. With such a vast platform, you can easily connect with professionals who are working in your desired occupation at your dream company. By asking about their day-to-day activities, you can assess if that is your true passion and identify any knowledge gaps. You can also get a glimpse of the company culture. If you have a great conversation with someone, try to maintain the connection to build a long-term trusted relationship. That way, when an opportunity comes up in the future, you’ll be the first person in their mind.
You can also build a strong professional brand on LinkedIn by posting about yourself, your interests and your career goals. By doing so, you are giving your connections a better understanding of who you are and what you have achieved. If you are unsure about what to post, start by mentioning a course you’ve just completed, a new professional contact or an event you’ve attended. With these posts, you’re creating a unique brand image, which will help you stand out from the crowd.
University job boards
University job boards are also great tools for landing internships. There are many job opportunities posted on university job boards, which are only accessible to students at your institution. As a result, job-hunting through these platforms is much less competitive than applying through job sites.