5 Huge Benefits of International Work Experience for Recent Graduates

Young executives tell Global Marketing Exchange how their 12-month internships in New York City impacted their careers and their lives.

It’s no secret that the job market has been tough for Millennials the past few years. Getting that proverbial foot in the door can be a challenge – and participation in an international internship program can help to kick open those doors. 

Global Marketing Exchange spoke to five young executives and former interns from around the UK who have gone onto career success at large multinational organizations (think: Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, Dow Jones, American Express, Tesco, The Guardian, and Getty Images, to name of few). In their own words, they share the top five benefits of the year they spent working and living in New York City. 

1. Offers a jump-start on the path to career success.

“New York operates at a faster pace than London, so it's excellent training for future positions. In interviews since my internship, people are always interested to hear about my NYC experience.” - Victoria

“It was by far the best year of my life. Throughout my journey I have relied upon my manager in New York, as a mentor. He has continued to help me beyond that year, navigating my way through career decisions. There is absolutely no way I would have gotten to where I am by the age of 28 without my year in New York.” – Joss

“I don’t think I can stress enough how much my NYC internship has impacted my career. I’d always wanted to work in New York, though I hadn’t figured out quite how to go about it. With a desire to gain experience in the PR and Communications industry but with a slightly less than conventional academic background in science, I knew that an internship was going to be the best option. Every job I have had following my time as an intern is a direct result of my year in New York. I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t been to NY, but I can guarantee it wouldn’t be where I am now.  And I like the ‘now’”. – Hannah

It gave me my first experience working for a large corporation that deals in several international markets. This had a positive effect on interviews at a later stage, as potential employers were impressed by the caliber of skill required to implement and leverage a relatively new, global brand. - Nick

2. Delivers a hands-on education for valuable networking skills.

“No one networks better than a New Yorker. Being British, this can feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s been a great skill to bring back to the UK.” – Joss

From working with my former colleagues and being exposed to their network, I was able to identifying new opportunities. - Hannah

3. Provides an opportunity to develop new skills and helps to clarify career goals.

Like many others leaving university or in their early career, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do professionally. The internship in New York was a perfect stepping stone to not only gain experience at a global company but also immerse myself in a unique professional and social culture. I’m increasingly aware with each passing year that those 12 months helped me to get ahead of the crowds and differentiate myself. – Will

My placement taught me new marketing skills such as rebranding, building brand guidelines and importance of brand ambassadors. – Joss

4. Delivers opportunities beyond the scope of ‘traditional’ intern duties.

My favorite work memory was having the opportunity within my first month to sit in on pitches from the who’s who of New York advertising agencies to win our business for the launch campaign. – Will

The scientist in me started to notice that we had no way of quantifying our success, so I set about creating a system to address this, and presented this mini project – a database and an overview report of our progress to date – to the powers-that-be. I can still remember the feeling I got when I received their enthused responses.  Apart from enjoying their approval, it was the first time that I felt like I had identified how I could help the team – I had found my niche. That then gave me confidence to push forward in other areas and everything started to fall into place. – Hannah

I was able to directly support a client event we hosted in Washington D.C. where I helped my manager and one of the sales directors within an exclusive, bespoke event at the National History museum. - Victoria

5. New York City provides life and career experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. 

To this day, my favorite thing about living in New York is the energy and access to anything you could possibly need or want. Anywhere in the world, if there is a new musical act, play, piece of interactive theatre, chef, restaurant experience, you name it, then it will come to New York – assuming it didn’t already originate here! - Will

My commute to work is something I wish I could do every day, walking up Broadway to get to Times Square, with my coffee in hand – I loved the angry hoots of the yellow taxi drivers and the LOUD talking of the New Yorkers. – Joss

Are you a recent graduate Interested in a 12 month marketing internship in New York City? Contact Tim Mickelborough at tim.mickelborough@globalmep.com, or visit http://www.globalmarketingexchange.com.

Global Marketing Exchange is a contemporary work experience program designed to provide the brightest young marketers from around the world with the opportunity to enhance their skills through international work experience in order to effectively differentiate themselves in today's job market, and accelerate their marketing careers.