How can I land an International Internship?

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Taisei at University of Missouri asked:international

“What do I need to do if I apply for an internship in China? How can I modify my resume to make it perfect for this situation?”

Thanks for your question, Taisei. Some aspects of job searching are regionally unique, and what we consider unusual or even inappropriate in the United States, are common practices elsewhere in the world. The key point in applying for an international internship is to understand what is expected of you as an applicant.

Prepare your resume for China.

Your MU Career Center counselors may have information on resume and interview customs in China and can give you more hands-on resume assistance. Generally speaking, a concise summary of your skills, education and experience is universally understandable, but the experts at your career center can help you tailor a resume for this special circumstance.

Do not be surprised if you need to include your age, gender, birthday, marital status, number and age of your children, and a head shot on your resume. While this level of personal information is highly inappropriate in the US, Chinese employers often find it valuable.

Do your homework.

Research the company and the position. Learn as much as you can about the country, the customs, and the culture, and use that information to act appropriately and perhaps impress your potential employers. If you’re working through an agency or with a company that facilitates internships for US students, you may not need to worry as much about cultural differences, but it never hurts to be prepared! Part of the experience of an international internship is being immersed in other cultures. Arm yourself with knowledge and you will flourish abroad!

Engage the culture.

Also make a point to visit MU’s International Center and talk with representatives in the study abroad and international student offices. They have information to help students transition to and from the US, including work or student visas, passport applications or renewal, and general social etiquette. Although being professional, properly dressed, and polite will get you far in the job search world, knowing what to expect and having a little extra knowledge about Chinese culture will get you that much further!

Best of Luck,


About the Author

Esme Smith

Esme received her M.A. In Counseling from St. Edward's University, and worked with students at Concordia University Texas' Career Center. She developed a passion for Career Counseling after leaving undergrad without much guidance, and grappling with unsatisfying work. She strives to help others bridge the gap between graduation and "the real world."

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