Do you want to gain professional experience by interning or working abroad? Here are some places to begin exploring work and internship abroad options. If you have questions regarding the process of working or interning abroad, please visit with a BBA International Programs Coordinator and a BBA Career Services Advisor.
McCombs undergraduate students have a few options for pursuing an internship overseas. It is important to note that unless you have dual citizenship or work authorization in another country, your internship will likely be unpaid. Unless you have connections abroad, it will be difficult to recruit for overseas internships from Austin. Most students who intern abroad do so in conjunction with either a study or intern abroad program. Here is a list of programs that previous McCombs undergraduates have done and which have been successful both in terms of the experience and in satisfying their internship requirement.
BE Global Internship Program – Managed by the UT International Office, this program is open to undergraduate business and engineering majors and offers professional internships in Barcelona, Spain, and Shanghai and Shenzhen in China during the summer. UT works with a local company to find internships, provide an onsite orientation, housing, and support. Upon receipt of their internship placement, McCombs students then apply for internship credit using the existing process outlined on the BBA Career Services website
Australia: University of New South Wales - The UNSW Study Abroad Office organizes internships for international exchange students; however, participants must pay a separate charge of $1,800 Australian dollars. Exchange students can also use the Careers and Employment Office to find alternate internships once they are matriculated at UNSW. Learn more. Once admitted by UNSW, students may submit their internship application. Placements are finalized onsite once in Sydney. As soon as a student accepts the offer, they can petition through a BBA International Programs Coordinator to have this transfer back to UT as their internship class. Students must take at least 12 hours in Sydney, 3 of which will be the academic part of the internship, which requires weekly class meetings. The previous students who completed this internship satisfied their internship requirement. All of them have been finance internships.
Mexico: ITESM – Students participating in our BBA exchange program with ITESM in Queretaro, Mexico, may do a professional internship which includes an internship class that satisfies the McCombs internship requirement. The internship application requires a transcript, two passport-sized photos, a resume in English and Spanish, a short essay about the field in which you would like to work, a letter of recommendation from a professor (you can use the same recommendation that is submitted for your UT study abroad application), and US $100 admission fee. Learn more.
Spain: CIEE Seville Business and Society Program - A combined study abroad and internship program during fall or spring semester available through the affiliated study abroad provider, CIEE. Interested students should contact an advisor from the UT Study Abroad Office.
Students on the CIEE program: live with a host family in Seville; take an intensive Spanish for Business class; enroll in 12 credit hours among mostly MKT, FIN, MAN, ECO, IB, OM and SPN classes, receive assistance in preparing a resume and cover letter in Spanish; research participating companies and positions available; and attend an internship fair where company representatives interview students in Spanish. Internships are unpaid. The better the student’s Spanish skills, the more options they will have. Students also enroll in a 3-hour class related to the internship and, assuming the internship meets for at least 160 hours and at least 6 weeks, this class will transfer back to UT as the McCombs internship class. Learn more.
Here are two other options but please note that no previous McCombs students have done these internships while participating in the BBA exchange program at these schools.
Thailand: Thammasat University - This is an exclusive internship opportunity for McCombs students! The finance-only internship opportunity is quite flexible, and considered on a case-by-case basis. Junior or senior finance majors studying abroad through the BBA exchange at Thammasat University are eligible to apply. This three-credit-hour course requires 200 internship hours -- quite a huge commitment, but an amazing experience! It may work best for seniors who have fulfilled all coursework at school, yet plan to gain a real-life working experience before graduation. However, participants can definitely choose to take other BBA and non-BBA courses (i.e., Thai language, Thai culture, etc.), if their schedules allow. You need to submit a resume and a statement of purpose specifically addressing an area(s) of finance in which you are interested. All application materials are due 4 months in advance, so planning well ahead is required. Learn more.
Australia: Australian National University - Full time internships are available as a stand-alone program or after a student’s exchange semester, through the Australian National Internships Program. Learn more.
Many of our exchange partner schools allow our students to use their career services office as a resource for finding internships. Most students who are initially interested in this quickly realize that recruiting for internships while abroad takes up a lot of their free time which might be better spent actually experiencing the culture and making new friends and traveling.
Work Abroad Resources
These organization are NOT affiliated with McCombs BBA. Students are responsible for individually researching each organization to understand the operation and reputation. Also be aware of restrictions on things like studying and working simultaneously or work visa requirements for foreign nationals.
Alliance Abroad - Alliance Abroad offers customized internship, work, teach and training programs for students and graduates outside of the United States.
AIESEC - AIESEC provides employment opportunities abroad for students. Through their international traineeship exchanges, they offer practical learning experiences in more than 80 countries around the world. There is also an AIESEC chapter in Austin.
BUNAC - The British Universities North American Club will grant you a work visa that will allow you to search for work in a specific country, with or without a job offer. BUNAC has programs of varying lengths in countries like Australia, Britain, Ireland, and New Zealand.
CIEE - The CIEE program offers opportunities to teach in locations such as Chile, China, Spain, and Thailand, and Spain, France, and Germany.
CDS International - CDS administers programs ranging in duration from three to 18 months. These programs include an internship component, and some have academic or language training elements as well. The variety of program formats enables you to choose the one that best fits your skills and requirements. Primary country destinations are Germany, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland and Russia.
Cultural Embrace - Cultural Embrace offers work, volunteer, internship, and teach abroad opportunities in several countries.
Dickinson College’s International Career Page - This Web site is a good place to start in order to obtain general and specific information about working abroad.
EUSA - European Study Abroad - EUSA and the UT Center for Global Educational Opportunities provide summer internship possibilities in London in virtually all professional fields. Contact the UT Study Abroad Office for more information.
InterExchange - InterExchange is a work-placement program that places you in a position and assists you with acquiring the work visa. Positions are available in a number of countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Spain and the UK.
International Cooperative Education (ICE) - ICE places students in work/internship positions throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. Positions are available in retail sales, supermarkets, hotels/restaurants, agriculture, offices, hospitals, banks, computer science, engineering, marketing, recreation, and teaching.
International Career Employment Center - A comprehensive source of international careers for professionals, including international development jobs.
Intrax Internships Abroad - A professional development program that provides students with summer internships in Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Tokyo, and recently added Santiago and Beijing. Past participants in our program have interned in finance, marketing, and non-profits at top companies like Microsoft, Morningstar, Deutsche Telekom, and BBDO.
ProWorld - A mission-driven organization that offers internship programs in Belize, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Ghana, India, and Thailand. Named the “Best Adventure Travel Company” by National Geographic, ProWorld has projects including Community Development, the Environment, Education, Health, Microfinance, and NGO Management.
The Peace Corps - If the idea of working in a typical business environment while abroad doesn't interest you, perhaps volunteer work or social service is an option for your time abroad. The Peace Corps sends individuals to work in emerging and essential areas like teaching, information technology and business development in over 100 countries worldwide. To learn more, you can meet with the Peace Corps recruiter located at UT’s International Office.
SCI-IVS - Civil Service International puts together summer Workcamps overseas and in the U.S.
Uniworld Database - The Uniworld Database publishes contact directories for multinational businesses. The entire directory can be purchased or you can buy only the results of a specific search.
U.S. Department of State - The U.S. Department of State has various summer internship opportunities available, for all backgrounds and majors. An overseas posting is possible! The application is online; U.S. citizenship is required.
UT Austin, College of Liberal Arts Career Services - The LAS Career Services Office provides a lot of valuable information and has extremely helpful advice for an international job search.
UT Austin, Career Exploration Center - The Career Exploration Center assists undergraduate and graduate students in the exploration and clarification of their majors and careers. We are committed to providing student-centered counseling, assessments, education programs, on-site and on-line resources that empower students in the pursuit of their career goals.
- Careers in International Business, E. Halloran, 2003
- Culture Shock! Successful Living Abroad: Living and Working Abroad, M. Rabe, 1997
- Europe from a Backpack, Mark Pearson, 2004
- Expert Expatriate: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad, M. Brayer Hess, 2002
- GenXpat: The Young Professionals Guide to Making a Successful Life Abroad, M. Malewski, 2005
- The Global Citizen: A Guide to Creating an International Life and Career, E. Kruempelmann, 2002
- How to Get a Job in Europe, C. Matherly & R. Sanborn, 2003
- How to Live Your Dream of Volunteering Overseas, J. Collins, S. Dezerega, Z. Heckscher, 2002
- International Exchange Locator: A Resource Directory for Educational and Cultural Exchange, Alliance on International Educational & Cultural Exchange, Inc., 2000
- International Jobs: Where They Are and How to Get Them,, N. Segal & E. Koucher, 2003
- International Job Finder: Where the Jobs Are Worldwide,, D. Lauber & K. Rice, 2002
- New American Expat: Thriving and Surviving Overseas in the Post-9/11 World,, W.R. Melton, 2005
- Overseas Americans : The Essential Guide To Living And Working Abroad,, W. Beaver, 2001
- Survival Kit for Overseas Living, Fourth Edition: For Americans Planning to Live and Work Abroad, R.L Kohls, 2001
- When in Rome or Rio or Riyadh...Cultural Q & A for Successful Business Behavior Around the World, G. Olofsson, 2004
- Work Abroad: The Complete Guide to Finding a Job Overseas, C. Hubbs, 2002
- Work Worldwide: International Career Strategies for the Adventurous Job Seeker, N. Mueller, 2000
- Work Your Way Around the World, S. Griffith, 2003
Recruiting Tips for Returning Study Abroad Students
International experience can help set students apart from peers. Employers are looking for people with interpersonal communication skills and flexibility, who can quickly learn in whatever situation they are placed. These are the skills students gain while studying abroad! Here is some advice from students who studied abroad.
“When employers see a study abroad experience, I think it shows them that you adapt to new environments quickly, be it due to relocation or at your worksite, and you can 'hit the ground running,' instead of training for long periods of time (e.g. adjusting to the industry, understanding the channels of communication). Leverage this experience by explaining to future employers that you do not need constant direction and handle ambiguity well.” - Dana, University of New South Wales, Australia
“I chose to highlight my abroad experience by listing it as a separate heading on my resume. This has caused almost every employer to ask about it during my interviews. It's been a fantastic tool for me, because most employers have asked the same, general questions about my experiences, ‘How was it?’ and ‘What was the most valuable thing you gained?’ This has allowed me to prepare answers for questions in advance, in which I usually try to highlight two things: the ability my abroad experiences gave me in resolving difficult and foreign problems, and the perspective they gave me on life in the U.S. and on my own individual situation.” - Stephen, WU-Wien, Austria
Helpful Career Resources
Top 10 Reasons To Study Abroad and How Communicate That Experience to Recruiters
Did you know that only 4% of U.S. undergraduates ever study abroad? Yet, the world is becoming more global. The 2009 Institute of International Education reports that studying abroad is up 8.5% from 2007 to 2008. We are learning how interconnected we actually are. American companies are increasingly investing dollars abroad, and companies from countries around the world continue to invest in the international market as well. As such, it is especially important for students to explore the world around them.
1. It is the optimal way to learn a language (in the country where it is spoken). Being immersed in another culture that actually speaks the language you are learning is by far the most effective way to become fluent.
Communicates: The willingness to jump in and learn another language as a native speaker would; ability to translate nuances within the language that cannot be discovered in a textbook.
2. It provides the opportunity to travel. Weekends and academic breaks allow you to explore your surroundings - both the immediate and the more distant locations.
Communicates: Sense of adventure, ability to explore/go out on your own (possibly risk-taker); designates you as a self-starter; willing to consider a multitude of opportunities—and to seek them out on your own.
3. You get to know another culture first-hand. A person's culture reflects very deep perceptions, beliefs, and values that influence his or her way of life and the way that s/he views the world. Students who experience cultural differences personally understand where other cultures are coming from and learn to examine their own culture more objectively.
Communicates: Having an understanding of Intercultural communication will be vital to an organization and its members. Students who can relate to individuals who are different from themselves, increase overall communication and work better to resolve conflict or questions among differing cultures.
4. It helps you develop new skills and provides experiences that a classroom setting cannot. Being immersed in an entirely new cultural setting is an opportunity to discover new strengths/abilities, conquer new challenges, and solve new problems. You will encounter situations that are wholly unfamiliar to you and will learn to adapt and respond in effective ways.
Communicates: Readily taking on new and unfamiliar challenges; working to solve problems with no direction or frame of reference (ie: often seeking to find solutions in an environment where student cannot read signs or ask for directions—similar to undertaking a project at work with little to no instructions provided—and comfortable with that task because it has been experienced via study abroad).
5. You make connections with people from around the world. While abroad, you will meet not only natives to the culture in which you are studying, but also other international students who are as far from home as yourself.
Communicates: Ability to communicate with other Americans abroad and international students alike; develop new connections and maintain relationships while simultaneously adapting to change.
6. Y ou learn about yourself. Students who study abroad often return home with new perspectives about whom they are and where they fit within their own culture. Their ideas and perspectives of self may be strengthened or they may choose to embrace new concepts and values.
Communicates: An understanding of changing perspectives and how to adapt accordingly within differing values and cultural viewpoints; signifies growth as a person, more than a student—a member of society able to contribute to more global vantage points of discussion.
7. You expand your worldview. In comparison with citizens of most other countries, Americans tend to be uninformed about the world beyond the nation's boundaries.
Communicates: You’ve developed a greater awareness of the global economy and how nations are intertwined, dependent on one another in order to prosper (and by what methods)—gained a broader worldview, perhaps different from a narrower American picture of the world around us.
8. You will expand your knowledge and break out of your academic routine. You may become familiar with an entirely new academic system and you will have the chance to take courses not offered on your home campus. It's also a great opportunity to break out the monotony of the routine you follow semester after semester.
Communicates: Desire to “think outside the box”; generate new ideas and implement projects different from originally designated processes.
9. It enhances employment opportunities. Through an employer's eyes, a student who has studied abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems and situations. Your experience living and studying in a foreign country, negotiating another culture, and acquiring another language will all set you apart from the majority of other job applicants.
Communicates: You have developed a greater appreciation of other cultures, while reflecting upon your own society's values and behaviors—ability to producing creative solutions, delivering new ways of seeing and interpreting the world—something critical for any global company.
10. It adds value to your degree. Your language skills will receive such a boost that it is normally quite easy to add a minor in a language or even a second major without having to take many more additional courses after the return to your home campus.
Communicates: Willingness to acquire knowledge on a daily basis—to grow beyond what is expected of your degree plan; desire to challenge oneself to excel beyond general qualifications of an assigned duty, project, etc.
Remind future employers of what you have to offer:
Expanded your understanding of diversity with respect to other cultures
Can provide insight into international regions and markets
Gained perspective on globalization and world affairs as a whole
Ability to communicate through a cross-cultural lens of experience, as well as language
Source: McCombs School of Business, BBA Career Services
Study Abroad and your Career
You already know your study abroad will be an epic adventure. What can it do for your career?
The International Programs office has developed some methods to help you prepare for your study abroad, make the most of your experience while there, and use it to its full advantage upon return.
Before you depart for your summer abroad, map out a plan with your job search in mind. Imagine the kind of story recruiters would admire, think about the skills you wish to acquire along the way, and consider interview talking points.
Here are some great tips on how to easily implement your strategy while abroad, through writing journals, making connections, and tweaking your typical approach to challenges.
Upon return it will be your job to convince recruiters how your study abroad has augmented your character and skill set. Here are ideas on structuring your story, the skills that transfer to the workplace, and how to use the experience to enhance your resume and cover letter.