Doing an internship is critical to obtaining the knowledge, skills and experience that will help you land future jobs. A ChangeU internship is especially unique in that you are able to work alongside passionate professionals who are committed to helping people by solving the social problems of the world.
Full disclosure: This experience may ChangeU forever!
ChangeU Internship Benefits
Companies are looking to hire university graduates with skill sets that match their needs. The importance of doing a ChangeU internship cannot be overstated in terms of how this experience positions you to secure an entry-level job and to enhance your career development over time.
Work for a Purpose-Driven Enterprise
A ChangeU internship exposes you to purpose-driven organizations to see if this is the direction you would like to take in your work career. The knowledge and skills you acquire from participating in a social enterprise is oftentimes a prerequisite for getting hired by another social enterprise. As you add this unique experience to your CV/resume, you become a highly desirable job candidate for jobs in the social enterprise sector.
Try on Field of Interest with a Global Social Enterprise
A ChangeU internship gives you the opportunity of not only “trying on” a field of interest, but also of doing so in an international setting. In the 21st-century work environment, understanding how your career field applies in other countries may be important since more and more companies have offices all over the world and seek job candidates with global experience.
Develop a Network of Social Enterprise Professionals
You can bet that the ChangeU network of social enterprise professionals will serve you well in your future career development. Think of them as a loyal “band of brothers and sisters” who are eager to share wise tips with you on how to obtain jobs in the social enterprise space; to provide you with invaluable references for job openings at their fellow, impact-driven organizations; and, oh yes, maybe even to hire you! Wouldn’t that be great!
Employers report that they turn away many job applicants because they lack important personal qualities or “soft skills”. For this reason, ChangeU believes that personal growth is just as important as your career development for both securing and being successful in future jobs.
As you live and work in a different culture, you begin to appreciate the behavior, values and customs of people who are very different from you. You see the world in new ways and find yourself being open to new ideas and possibilities. While dealing with foreign and novel situations may be challenging (and, yes, even, scary), they also help you to stretch your ingenuity; creativity; and problem-solving skills. The confidence and personal growth that occurs will serve you well the rest of your life.
Social Enterprise Internship Certificate
After the completion of your internship, ChangeU grants you a certificate signifying that you have gained valuable knowledge and skills through a global social enterprise. You can add this certificate to your career portfolio and highlight your internship experience as you apply for jobs with social enterprises and other companies.
Since colleges and universities value the experience that you are able to get through a ChangeU internship, you may be able to earn course and/or unit credit at your school. Institutions differ in their policies and procedures so it is important that you check with your school to learn what steps you would need to take to earn this credit. ChangeU is happy to work with your school to facilitate this process.
Housing and utilities are provided to you at no cost by our social enterprise partners. Accommodations vary with each social enterprise and include private and shared rooms with host families and in dormitories and apartments in the local community. You can rest assured that our enterprise partner will make certain that you are comfortable, and that your needs are taken care of in your new location.
Safety and Support
Because your health and safety is a high priority for us, ChangeU places you with social enterprises that value your well-being as much as we do. You will be happy to know that our social enterprise partner is your support system throughout your internship.
On weekdays, you are safe and sound with the staff in your work environment. On weekend free times, you are equally taken care of as your well-travelled team often wants to embark on fun, local excursions and activities with you. When you venture off on your own, they become helpful advisors by providing you with tips on the safe and not-so-safe places to visit, and by offering sage recommendations for navigating the community they know so well.
Your new work colleagues help you navigate your unfamiliar surroundings by recommending local food markets; restaurants; convenience stores; banking centers; fun and interesting places to visit and the like. In addition to the support provided to you by your social enterprise team, ChangeU also offers 24/7 emergency support by providing you with important contact information found here.
To state the obvious, it is important that you take precautions when traveling abroad to ensure your safety and well-being. Some useful advice can be found here.
Travel and Housing
Upon arriving at your destination, you are picked up by our social enterprise partner and taken to your accommodation. Your accommodation is in a safe area and is provided to you by your host enterprise. Types of accommodations vary by program and include private and shared rooms with local families and in dormitories and apartments in the community.
At the conclusion of your internship, our social enterprise partner makes sure you get back to the airport for your return home. Chances are good that you and your new mates will hesitate to say good-bye, but, alas, all good things must come to an end.