# Career benefits of a nonprofit internship
The job market is competitive. Just finding a job is a challenge, never mind finding one you love. It’s difficult for students picking from careers they don’t know about, for graduates to substantiate qualifications with real-world experience, or even for someone with a job to change fields. Fortunately, there is a way to overcome some of these pitfalls: a nonprofit internship abroad.
– By Tom Rusbridge
Besides the fantastic opportunity to travel, and the chance to make a meaningful impact for worthwhile causes, there are a wealth of ways an internship program abroad could give your career a well-deserved boost:
- An internship could help you see if a certain career suits you
- It could help you find an application for what you’ve studied
- As cliche as it sounds, it could help you find strengths you didn’t know you had
- What can be said for certain, is that interning for an NGO in another country will make your CV stand out when competing for the jobs you want.
Who could benefit from a nonprofit internship?
Whether you’re looking to gain experience early in your career, expand on pre-existing skills, or open your horizons, you’d be amazed at what you could do with an nonprofit internship abroad, and moreover, what it could do for you. So, when asking how it could boost your career, it really depends on who you are and what you’re after? Here are just a few examples of who might benefit and how.
The Gap Year Go-getter
You’ve just finished school, you’ve got a year before you start university, and you’re deciding how to best spend that time. You consider backpacking with some friends, visiting your cousin who lives in another country, your parents say you should get a job and save for uni, but you want something more. My advice: you can go backpacking at any point in life and might enjoy it more when you’re older; you can see your cousin at Christmas; and your parents offer sound advice, but money comes and goes, you’re only young once. I recommend investigating a nonprofit internship abroad.
There are all kinds of internship opportunities abroad specifically designed for that interim period between secondary and further education. You could explore a new continent, expose yourself to new cultures, and all the while gaining valuable work experience. What’s more, your gap year could be spent making a positive impact in the world.
Needless to say, you would be doing wonders for your prospects in university admissions. Do you need to show commitment to your desired field of study? Do you need relevant work experience to make your application stand out? This could be what unlocks the top tier of universities when it comes time for you to apply for courses.
The Overachieving Student
Good grades, on-point extracurriculars, captain of the sports team, and it’s still not enough. For some young go-getters, the future’s big and there’s no time like the present. If you’re a student that feels ready for real life to begin, then you might be the ideal candidate for a nonprofit internship abroad.
Perhaps you’ve chosen your career path and are looking for a head start. Perhaps you want to test the waters before taking the plunge. Maybe you’re just looking for something to do with your summer break. Whatever your situation, a nonprofit internship abroad is an ideal way for a student to make their first steps into the working world.
An internship abroad offers a student a reprieve from exams and assignments, and the chance to see where their studying might someday be put to use. As an intern you would receive training in employable skills, access to educational and vocational resources, and mentoring from industry professionals. Most crucially, you would be getting the chance to see where you might fit in the world of work.
The Book-Smart Graduate
Do you know more than your CV shows? Sometimes graduates reach the end of university having learnt a lot, but having had few opportunities to put that knowledge into practice. You could be an expert in your field of study, but with no practical skills and experience, you’re going to struggle to find and get your dream job. If this sounds like you, worry not, you’ve found your solution.
This is perhaps when the relationship between the intern and the company hosting becomes most mutually beneficial. At this point, you have qualified expertise in your field. You are able to contribute valuable skills and knowledge to contribute. What’s more, this is when you stand to benefit the most from the career opportunities an internship offers. At the end of an internship, a graduate will have projects to discuss on their resume, new skills to flaunt, a glowing reference, and a network of industry professionals to offer support and guidance as you begin your career.
Pretty much any graduate could benefit from a nonprofit internship abroad. However, some fields are harder to break into than others. If your looking to start a career in these fields, our programs could really be of value to you:
- Psychology and Counselling
- Education and Pedagogy
- Marketing and Communications
- Wildlife Conservation
The autodidact. The maverick. The ‘portfolio career’ kind. Maybe you never went to university and worked since eighteen. You might have studied and found employment in a field that no longer excites you. Perhaps you’ve led an eclectic life and approached the job market like a tapas menu. The point is, you’re ready to break into a new career, and an nonprofit internship abroad might give you that much-needed foot in the door.
Education can come in all forms, and sometimes people find their passion later in life. If you’re reading this and thinking an internship program abroad would be tremendously exciting, if only you’d had the chance when you were younger, then don’t be ridiculous. An opportunity to learn and challenge yourself is valuable at any point in life. Also, NGO’s jump at the chance to take on interns with lived experience and a proven track record. Whatever your age, if you’re looking for your next adventure, you might be just who we’re looking for.
Roots internships are highly adaptable. Interns can have an entirely different experience depending on what they’re after. If you feel stuck in a job you have no love for, then go learn something entirely new. If you have a passion or a side-hustle that you’d like to focus on more, then expand on those skills and gain credentials. Maybe you like your job, but don’t like the sector you’re in. Go and learn about the industry you want to work in. If you’re ready to carve your path into a new career, anything is possible with a non-profit internship abroad.
The One with Wanderlust
Maybe you like your job, you just like a holiday too. Life is at its most exciting when we push ourselves outside of what we know, find ourselves in a corner of the world we never thought we’d see, doing things we never dreamt possible.
A nonprofit internship abroad doesn’t have to be the start of your next chapter, it doesn’t have to launch you down a new career path, it can just be something different. A break. For those who are happy with their career but still feel a little stuck in a rut, traveling to another country, working for meaningful causes, and opening your mind to other ways of life could be just what you need to shake things up.
An internship program abroad could gain you new skills that might prove useful in your line of work, your perspective might shift and change how you approach your daily life. More than this, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. After some time away from your routines and habits, you might return home with a newfound sense of appreciation.
Anyone Interested in a Career in the Non-Profit Sector
In all honesty, it’s a bit of a myth that a nonprofit internship abroad is only useful to those interested in working for an NGO. There are so many academic fields and specializations to pick from. You can find internship programs in:
What’s more, the transferable skills you will gain from an internship abroad are applicable wherever. Really, whatever you’re interested in, it’s worth considering the options available.
Nevertheless, if you’re starting career in the nonprofit sector, there is no better way to take those first steps. It might seem an obvious point, but it’s one worth making: interning with an NGO is the best way to kickstart your career in the nonprofit sector. You’ll gain first hand experience of what it’s like to be in the field. You can see what challenges might arise, and what skills you’ll need to overcome them. You’ll develop the interpersonal skills, pragmatism, and perseverance needed to forge a career in the nonprofit sector. And, crucially, even as you learn, you’ll be giving your time and effort to a cause that really needs it.
How will a nonprofit internship abroad help YOUR career?
As might be expected, here at Roots we’re a little biased and feel that almost anyone’s career would receive a boost from a nonprofit internship abroad. With such an array of courses, programs and opportunities, the possibilities of how your career could change are almost endless. And that’s just from what we can guarantee. On any internship there are countless unknown variables, and often this is where our interns find their most valuable takeaways. There is no telling who you’ll meet, what community you’ll find, what new passion or calling might spark to life.
So, how could a nonprofit internship abroad boost your career? Immeasurably and in a bounty of different ways. There are so many points in your career that the opportunity to travel, learn, and make an impact could help you develop further. Wherever you are in your career, and wherever it is you’re going, there is a nonprofit internship opportunity abroad that could provide you with your next step.
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