The ‘Going Global’ Series: Overseas Internships & Industry Experience

The low down on obtaining industry experience overseas. You read that right.

In today’s competitive media and communication industry, it is becoming increasingly important for undergraduate students to obtain industry experience. Work experience or internships in your chosen career field provide you with the best chance for securing an undergraduate position; high academic results are no longer enough.

A trend currently occurring amongst university students is completing work experience whilst studying abroad on a student exchange or simply whilst travelling overseas. But is an overseas internship a feasible venture?

The answer –YES!

If you’re lucky (and organised) enough to get an overseas position, it can be an invaluable experience not only due to the international connections made, but also for your personal growth. It will make you more confident as a person and industry professional, and widen your skill set. Partaking in an overseas internship forces you out of your comfort zone and exposes you to different work place procedures. These traits of adaptability and ambition are very desirable amongst employers.

We caught up with one aspiring business and music student who is currently on exchange in London and simultaneously completing work experience. Here’s what he had to say:

“In January 2017 I departed for student exchange to London. Whilst I have wanted to live in London for a long time, I also saw it as an opportunity to further my career by making connections and partaking in unpaid work to gain industry experiences. Whilst in Brisbane I had two jobs, I worked as a junior accounts manager in a marketing agency as well as DJing in nightclubs in Fortitude Valley. As London has both a large nightlife and big marketing industry, I saw this as a good opportunity to expand my skill set in both industries. Using industry contacts from home, I was able to make contact with many marketing agencies within the Greater London area. One of those agencies was Palladium Digital, a digital marketing consultancy firm based in South London. I was in charge of undertaking digital audits on social media and web traffic for clients and making recommendations for ways they can better achieve their digital goals. This work has enabled me to gain valuable industry experiences as well as make a multitude of industry contacts that will be able to aid me in gaining employment upon graduation.

Getting work as a DJ is different to being employed by a company. It isn’t as simple as responding to an ad or emailing someone. Booking agents hate being contacted via Facebook or emailed asking to be booked. It is best to spend time at the venue, find out who the booking agent or promoter is. After that it’s about being seen at the venue, communicating that it is a venue you believe in, buying some drinks for the promoter can’t hurt either. After that you might get booked to open or close the venue. This was what I did in order to get booked at The Roxy in central London. I now can add to my figurative “DJ resume” that I have played in clubs in London which will aid me in getting work upon my return to Brisbane.”

If you’re heading overseas, whether it be to study or simply to travel, it would be well worth your time to look into any potential industry work experience you can secure along the way.

**Please check both home and overseas working visa conditions before applying for any position.

by Rachel Shaw