New City? No Problem.
This summer I am interning in Sydney, Australia. I learned about this internship opportunity from a Babson graduate who had completed her junior internship with the company in Hong Kong. The topic of internships had come up casually between us, however as she described her internship experience, I became interested in pursuing the opportunity further.
After receiving my acceptance for the internship program, I started to feel a mix of anxiety and excitement for the opportunity that lay ahead of me. Not only would I have the opportunity to consult for the company’s different departments, but I will be traveling to Australia for the first time to do so. As the day of the internship approached, I felt more and more nervous. Thoughts like, “What if I am alone for the entire summer?” “How will I impress the management team?” “What if I get lost in the city and can’t find my way back home?”, etc kept circling throughout my head.
For those of you who have moved to a new city, country or continent for an internship, I am sure you can relate to a lot of these worries. Here are my top tips for those who are either preparing to or are thinking about interning in a new location:
- Relax and don’t overthink it: It is easy to stress yourself over the million things that could potentially go wrong during your move to a new location. However, I quickly learned that there is really no point in stressing yourself because it does not improve the situation you are in. So keep calm and be optimistic about the journey you are about to embark on.
- Be flexible and adventurous: The fact that you even applied for an internship in a completely new location shows that you are willing to take risks. So remind yourself of why you wanted to do this internship, and embrace the uncertainty that comes with it. After all, no matter what happens, at the end of the internship, you will walk away having learned and experienced many new and exciting things.
- Network on LinkedIn after the first day: This applies to all interns, regardless of whether you are working abroad or not. Add your hiring manager and any company members you met on the first on LinkedIn. Why? First of all, if you are bad with names like I am, this will help you recall who you were introduced to. Secondly, if you are working in a company with multiple interns, this will help you stand out as sending that LinkedIn request might speed up the process of coworkers learning your name!
- Look for alumni, cool events or Babson students who may be studying abroad in the area: Before my flight to Sydney, I posted on Facebook that I will be here for the next two months traveling and am looking for recommendations or people to meet up within the area. You can use also LinkedIn or the alumni directory to find alumni in the area to network with! With Babson’s vast international network, chances are that you are probably not alone in your new city.