Week 6: June 18 – June 24
After the hectic past month of late hours and Saturday work days, we’ve decided to take this week off. It works out perfectly because my parents are still in town, so I will be able to spend time with them. For this week’s blog, I’m going to talk about how I obtained a Belgium internship.
When people give advice to young adults about looking for employment and life after college, they always mention connections. With this current experience, I cannot emphasize how important connections are. I’ve met my employers in Romania five years ago when I was at a conference there. We hit it off well and I asked for their contact information. I made sure that I maintained the connection periodically with simple email inquiries on their current work and projects. I’m assuming that when my boss was thinking about her next big project (the one that I’m working on right now) she thought about me, when she received another inquiry, and how it would be a great addition to her team. In the past two years, I have also been working on my portfolio website and polishing my resume. So, when my employer replied to me, asking for me resume, I was able to send those off to her right away.
In terms of the logistics of working abroad. As a US citizen, I am allowed to stay in Schengen countries for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. And because my internship was an unpaid internship, I simply went to Belgium under a tourist visa.
Working abroad isn’t impossible. It does require more pre-planning and more online searching for that country’s laws and requirements, but as cheesy as it sounds, it will be worth it. Not only are you gaining a working experience, you will learn about a new culture, adapt to the new environment, and broaden your world perspective. Visiting a foreign country and actually living in one, are two very different experiences.