While many recent graduates are attracted to the idea of employment overseas, it is often challenging to find an employer who will take a chance on someone with a formal education but little to no work experience. For example, if you wished to work in an accounting office overseas, the Canadian employer would have to be confident that you would be able to adapt not only to the new culture but also to the new employment culture. In many cases, the employer would have to pay for your airfare, relocation allowance, extra health insurance, and many other expenses which the employer wouldn’t have to if you were employed in Canada. For this reason, internships provide recent grads with an entry into the international job market.
Internship are more popular in the United States and Europe than they are in Canada, so many internship agencies are non-Canadian. There are many types of internships; however, many internships are for unpaid or minimum wage employment. In fact, in some cases, the intern must pay to work. It sounds strange to pay and employer to work, but interns receive the benefit of experience in building on what they have studied in university. In addition to enhancing one’s resume, an internship is also an excellent way to network. If you’d like to work in the field of the environment, it’s probably better to be an intern with an environmental management organization than to work for a landscaper cutting grass. Provided you are enthusiastic and do a good job, your internship could lead to permanent, paid employment in your field of interest. However, it’s important to choose a placement that will enhance your long-term career goals, especially if you’re working for free.