Are you a study abroad aspirant thinking about your future career prospects? Or perhaps you want to think more deeply about optimizing your post-study visa by acquiring international work experience? This blog focuses on precisely this question: How does international work experience boost your career prospects?
First of all, what can be included in international work experience? Let me clarify that the following can count as international work experience: studying abroad, an internship abroad, work placement or volunteering internationally with an organization. However, in this blog, I want to focus on “work experience” as that which involves working professionally in your field of specialization. This may involve a salaried job or an internship which may be moderately paid but provided you with some responsibilities to handle a project or be a team member with a specific assignment.
Now let me discuss how international work experience can boost your career prospects. I am going to illustrate with examples of students who I have known and mentored over the years both in India and abroad. These students completed a degree overseas, gained some work-ex and then used it to build strong careers in finance, data analytics, consulting, computer science and even some unusual choices like sports management and pharmacy. Let me share two examples:
|Did a one-year post-graduate degree in Pharmacy in the UK and got a placement with the National Health Services. His salary was modest, but he got wonderful exposure to learn within a highly reputed healthcare system. With this exposure, he was able to get job offers from medical equipment companies and drug manufacturing firms which have global offices in Asia and the Middle East.||Went to study abroad and after completing a Master’s degree in Data Analytics was able to get a research job with a bank in the US. Her work experience of one year worked well for her and she got offers from two US companies. Shivani wanted to return to India for personal reasons so when she applied for placements in India, she had options in fintech. She chose to work with a start-up which offered her a good package and flexible timings which suited her very well.|
In both cases, Shivani and Rishabh were able to enhance their career prospects because of their international work experience.
I also wish to add that international work experience can also be added by going abroad, especially for professional experience. For example, if you want to work in healthcare, hospitality and international tourism or environment and ecology, you can find several programs online through companies which will offer work experience in different countries in Asia, Europe, or Africa.
Many of them also provide funding. The duration may range from a few months to a year or more. The work experience acquired through these agencies or companies can give a special edge to your resume and your future career prospects.
Alert: Be cautious to verify the credentials of the recruiting agency before you submit personal information and documents. It is always better to find a project through a well-established international organization or an agency of the UN which has been well-reviewed by other students in your field.
Why is International Work Experience Valued?
Truthfully speaking, many Indian companies today offer excellent work conditions, good packages, and a work culture in which a person can grow professionally. However, working internationally leads to professional growth because it provides:
- Exposure to new processes of work.
- Understanding of different systems and supply chains within which businesses are conducted.
- Learning from multinational perspectives.
- Understanding and learning from best practices in other work cultures to enhance your own productivity and efficiency.
I have taught and researched in many different countries, and I think the most important reason that international work experience boosts your career is that our world today is highly interconnected, and all businesses and professions need to be aware of global developments in their field.
What is the latest research? What are the cutting-edge systems that are being followed in other countries? What are the innovations in your industry and which country is leading the innovation? All these are key questions and international work experience can help you to get well-grounded in your special field.
Whether you are working in finance, data, social sciences, public policy, healthcare or STEM, international work experience will benefit you immensely. Even if you plan to become an entrepreneur and set up your own business, you are likely to want international collaboration with partners, investors, or clients from overseas.
Thus, if you have some international work experience, you can lead your business to adapt to the latest technologies and innovations happening globally. For all these reasons, international work experience can really boost your career.
We will be back next Friday with another amazing blog from Dr Maina Chawla Singh. Till then, if you have any questions or suggestions, just drop us a comment and we will get back to you.
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