Note:  The following commentary was written by Carleton grad student Gazal Bathla.

Gazal Bathla

Gazal Bathla

Believe, Enable and Empower! This sentence very clearly describes what our motto in life should be. Being a graduate student brings with it, its own set of responsibilities. As the level of knowledge improves, so does the expectations that we have to get our “dream job”. Just a master’s degree is not enough. We need something that can improve our skillset as well as provide us with experiences in our field.

International internships not only help you in exploring a new place but also make you more adaptable and employable for the international market. As the competition rises, employers look for people with more and more experience that distinguishes them from others. The most sought after skills are flexibility and adaptability. An internship will not only teach you how to adapt but enrich your knowledge, improve your tolerance, interpersonal skills and understanding of differences and similarities.

AIESEC is one of the largest student-run organizations providing students with a chance to go on international internships. It is present in over 118 countries, and growing! AIESEC offers internships that vary in length from 2 months to 2 years, with organizations ranging from rural grade schools to multinational corporations. So, whether you are looking for something for the summer, for a post-college job, to get out and contribute to the developing world or launch an international business career, odds are pretty good that AIESEC has something to offer.

AIESEC offers two types of internships:

Global Internship Program (GIP):  Through this program, one gets to work abroad and get paid. Each year, more than 10,000 students and recent graduates take this challenging opportunity to live and work in a foreign country. Through the GIP, you get an opportunity to learn, experience and develop things, while gaining professional experience in your field of study or interacting with a different social and cultural environment. These internships last 4-18 months. If you have international work experience as opposed to local experience, you’ll have a greater probability of getting a better job.

Global Community Development Program (GCDP): These internships provides you the opportunity to work on developmental projects, usually with NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations), relating to a wide variety of issues with community development; working on educational projects like promotion, curriculum development, teaching and counseling; or working on micro-finance projects involving work on the grassroots level with NGOs and institutions to assist marginalized societies. These internships last from 6-18 weeks. They are not paid internships, but the experience and knowledge gained though these are invaluable. The best part is that the cost of living is often covered.

It’s our life, and we are the ones who can make or break it. Having an experience that not only gives us a chance to learn but also improves our chances of getting a job, then it definitely is worth it.

For more information about AIESEC and how to apply for an internship, please go to the AIESEC Carleton website.  If you’ve done an international internship with AIESEC or another organization, please feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below.