4 Ways That Interning Abroad Helps Women Become #GirlBoss Leaders
Who run the world? #GirlBoss
Women are smart, talented, and powerhouses on so many levels. With this notion, there are consistently fewer women taking on leadership roles than men in business, politics, and tech industries. In an already competitive workforce, women are still making just $0.78 to every dollar that a man makes in the same position. Let’s change that.
There are still challenges and gender barriers in the 21st-century workplace, and for the modern woman starting her career, an international internship can help face some of the biggest problems in the workplace.
There is one area that young women are dominating – travel. A whopping 75% of our candidates in 2017 were women, and almost 80% of our 2018 candidates abroad are also women from all over the world. Going abroad is very popular among female college students and young women who are finishing their degrees and beginning their careers.
The key to making your travel stories stand out in your interviews is to show some work experience abroad. While some universities and programs require an academic internship, many of our candidates take on the opportunity to explore several possibilities of professional development overseas.
Here are a few ways that an internship abroad helps women gain quality leadership skills needed in male-dominated roles:
Reason #1: Confidence
While not everyone has an issue with confidence, it tends to be a huge challenge for women, especially when it comes to interviewing for a significant position in their career, negotiating salaries, and asking for a promotion.
Getting placed in an internship abroad helps our candidates practice their hard and soft job skills while learning how to adapt quickly to a unique environment. Many of our partner companies provide their interns with various opportunities to learn different skills, take on an international strategy for the team, and boost their resume and self-esteem.
Outside of your internship, you’ll learn how to move in and around a different country, new culture, and even a new language (having a second language is a HUGE resume booster). Being able to blend in like a local and immerse yourself in life abroad can be a reminder of your professionalism and maturity, boosting your confidence for any challenge moving forward.
Don’t be afraid to share with your future employers what you gained from your internship and how it’s helped you with the skills needed to take on a role in their company.
Reason #2: Being Direct With Peers
We do it all the time. “I was thinking…how about we…would you be interested in…I’m sorry to interrupt.” As polite as these phrases may sound around friends and family, it can, unfortunately, come off as insecure or inferior in professional environments. When you’re in another country, speaking another language and working in a new culture, you have to be direct with what you want or need.
With language and cultural barriers abroad, young women learn very quickly how to be clear with their requests and, consequently, become effective communicators with their team. It’s something that a #GirlBoss has to possess in any industry to get exactly what they want. With language barriers abroad, there’s no room for wishy-washy requests and being too shy to ask for something. You’ll come back home with new vocabulary and become unapologetic of your plans and goals.
Reason #3: Global Perspective
Man or woman, an international internship teaches every intern two important skills for the global economy: intercultural communication and critical thinking. With ever-growing globalization in all businesses today, most hiring managers look for these in their employees, and some are even paying their teams to be educated in these areas.
Coming into an interview with a resume possessing these skills will not only keep your chances of getting the job high but also show that you’re a valuable asset for the years to come (hello, corner office!). Interning abroad helps you understand different cultures but also help you and your team adapt resiliently to new environments and diverse perspectives.
Having a global perspective is in high demand for most major businesses and industries, and women who possess these skills will have the leg up in the next leadership roles.
Reason #4: Building a Stronger Network
Women are empowering women, ya know?
It doesn’t matter how amazing you are in your craft; in the professional world, what matters the most is who you know and who knows you. As a young woman beginning her career, it’s important to grow and join a tribe of strong, powerful women and female mentors who are willing to guide you in advancing your career and manifesting your passion.
Interning abroad creates an opportunity to finding mentors, whether it’s for language assistance to finding professional connections locally and globally. Many of Adelante Abroad’s program directors are female business owners or are partnered with female business owners who love mentoring our candidates. Outside of your internship program, you can also join networking groups in your city through professional programs or sites like Meetup.com. You never know who you’ll meet abroad who may know a company in your hometown who is looking for a #GirlBoss (nudge nudge).
Becoming a female business leader and #GirlBoss is a journey. You’ll be spending the next 5, 10, even 20 years growing your skill sets and becoming a powerhouse in whatever industry you work in. Taking an internship will help spark those skills into your life, give you the experience that you’d never have at home, and help grow your influences and relationships with professionals all over the world.
Let’s face it. Women can do just as much as men can do. So let’s show them who’s boss.