International Internships as a Pathway to Global Career Opportunities
The Chinese adage “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” sums it up nicely: internships or practical training avenues not only complement academic learning, but also help to develop essential workplace competencies. Internships enable participants to develop business knowledge as well as interpersonal skills. David Kolb’s experiential education model, where learners take their concrete experience to observe and reflect, then extrapolate abstract concepts which they can test again in new concrete situations, forms the basis of workplace competency development which is at the heart of internships. In other words, for an internship to be successful, interns must treat it as a learning opportunity and not only as a chance to get an experience letter. They need to engage in the core business of the company, make meaningful contributions through their internship project, build a professional network of peers and mentors, and develop their communication skills through presenting their internship project findings to their manager and team.
In a 21st century workplace where an average of 50% of expat assignments result in failure, it is necessary to develop a global mindset for young professionals starting their career. International internships pave the way for entry level employees to develop their own “global toolkit” which is a framework to carry along for future assignments abroad: this toolkit can include ways of developing cultural understanding, flexibility, and intercultural communication. For example, the nuanced understanding of the right answer to the question “How’s it going?” in the United States versus Germany can be gained through the experiential learning of an internship, as well as the importance of “water cooler conversations,” including topics such as weekend pastimes, sports, etc.
For the past 30 years, the Mountbatten Institute internships in New York or London have offered a life-changing experience for its 5000 alumni, including 400+ Indian alumni. Program benefits include 12 months of paid (USD 1083 per month stipend) internships at Analyst level in an MNC in either New York or London. The roster of sponsor companies includes Citi, Barclays, UBS Investment Bank, Merrill Lynch, Institutional Investor, Thomson Reuters, Knight Frank, AIG, etc., with placements offered in the areas of Business, Finance, Accounting, Law, Regulatory/ Compliance, HR, IT, and Marketing/ Communications.
The Institute is inviting applications for young professionals to develop their own global toolkit and be a Mountbatten intern- the March 2016 intake deadline is October 31 for completing the online application, which will be followed by two interview rounds.