The Due Diligence of Professional Development
With four internships and two volunteer roles listed under his Linkedin qualifications, Richard’s resume stands out for the right reasons. Those wise old sayings on self-development we grew up hearing have clearly become foundational morals for Richard, whose commitment to diversifying his skills embodies a favourite quote of mine:
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.”
We can all agree that there is considerable merit to doing an internship, almost a necessity at this point for most professions- but four? What was Richard’s strategy in jumping into so many contrasting intern roles?
“It comes down to my belief that I don’t think I have reached professional success yet. I am fine with doing the A-B-C’s to get where I want and need to be as a standout employee, I will do it for free. I want to be well rounded, that is the most important thing to me.”
Richard chose China for his internship abroad with CareerUp, a country he had previously visited. The country’s professional development opportunities enticed him to return… and the fond memory of socially acceptable afternoon naps.
While interning abroad, Richard performed a range of duties: managing client relationships, working with excel spreadsheets, cash flow analysis and memo editing to name a few. The multifaceted nature of his position gave him an awareness of the various tasks that could be asked of him in a finance role. Beyond the practical skills, his experience working for a strict employer exposed him to professional critique, which he accredits to building him into a stronger person.
“Even as a senior in high school, I never thought of having professional confidence or understood what that concept encompassed… I wasn’t thinking about it. Now, I am confident in cultivating client relationships, believe I possess reliable skillsets from my internships, and feel prepared for the possibility of a tough internship or professional role in the future.”
Because this wasn’t his first experience in Beijing, cultural differences were less pronounced for Richard. Interestingly, the ‘challenge’ that stood out to him during this internship was one that many young professionals experience and adapt to all over the world.
“The only difficult part of my internship was the adjustment to the hours- that was tough at first. We had to put in last minute extra hours pretty often, but that happens in America too. It’s important. Our employer commented on the extra work we all did, he definitely noticed our hard work. In the end, two people from the company wrote me great letters of reference.”
On the other side of the world now, a global internship under his belt, Richard is jumping into a fifth interning role- in India. Did his internship abroad with CareerUp help to land this opportunity?
“I love how it [my internship in China] looks on my resume.
I got so many interviews from it-
so many I got sick of them!
Of course, I would recommend interning abroad. An internship abroad helps you to gain exposure to new cultures and know what to expect for an international profession.“