Over the past few months I’ve received emails from students who are studying abroad and expressing their stress of missing all the fall recruitment activity. I often tell them that a little stress can be a good motivation, but what I fear is that stress will take them over and they’ll not know how to respond. So this blog is dedicated to all those students in Paris, London, Madrid, Buenos Aires, etc. And for students considering going abroad.
Tip #1 Before leaving for study abroad visit with your career services office
It is important to check in with the experts who will know how your time away from campus will effect your internship or job search. You also can ask to have your resume reviewed, that way you could be applying to jobs or internships online while studying anywhere in the US.
Tip #2 Communicate with career services through email while abroad
If you have questions, see that you are missing information sessions or want to apply to on campus interview schedules be sure to communicate with UCS staff. Often times, employers are willing to allow you to interview over the phone or through Skype. UCS can also review resumes, cover letters and give you search advice through email correspondence.
Tip #3 Take advantage of being abroad to network with NU alumni who are in your city/region
One of the best ways to find an internship or job is to develop relationships with those within your chosen field who could at some point recommend you for an interview or a possible position. This networking process will also help you gain a better sense of what type of work you will be most interested in by asking others how they arrived at their career decisions and what their day to day activity entails. To find alumni who are abroad use Northwestern CareerNet (search “Career Network” by location to gain a list of alumni who live abroad and have volunteered to help students as career mentors) or the Northwestern Alumni International Clubs (search for officer email address or a general email address).
Tip #4 Take advantage of your unique experience as a way to market yourself
Not all students study abroad and have a once in a lifetime experience which can help set you apart from the competition. Therefore, don’t feel disadvantaged for being away from campus, instead use it to your advantage. Add your study abroad experience to your resume under the education section or a section called “international experience”. Reflect on what you are learning and experiencing so you can describe your experience and its impact on you and your career development.
For more assistance and tips please be sure to contact the Study Abroad office and University Career Services at your university.