One of the results of the recent recession is perhaps the worst job market in decades. Canada may not have been hit as hard as the US, but we’ve still felt the effects. In fact, many newly graduated Canadian and American college students are having a hard time finding full time employment. A recent article I found on Bloomberg Businessweek discusses this issue, and a potential solution.
“In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.” In times like these, what can you do to differentiate yourself from the thousands of other young graduates? One of the best solutions, it seems, is to gain international experience.
“Increasingly, a growing number of [university graduates] are securing an internship abroad to gain some work experience and then coming back to the U.S. [and Canada] to launch their careers.” Working abroad can help jump-start your career. Sarah Block, a Syracuse University Graduate, worked abroad in the marketing department at Tel Aviv-based Radvision (RVSN), which develops video network infrastructure. “When I came back, employers and recruiters would specifically ask me about my experience in Israel. I think it gave me an edge.”
The type of experience also offers many other benefits. Living in another country is not the same as travelling there. Working and living in a foreign country offers up so many opportunities to embrace a culture and way of life that may be very different from yours.
Sally Hudson from Bowdoin College is flying to Europe this fall to work in the German parliament. Hudson is delaying her job search until she’s back from Berlin with international experience. “There’s a sense among a lot of my friends that the economy will be pulling out of its worst point in a year or two,” Hudson says. “I’m just hoping that I can hold my head above water until then.”
AIESEC SFU is proud to offer the Global Internship Program, which offers four types of internships (management, technical, developmental, education) in countries all over the world. If you are a member of AIESEC SFU and you’re interested in going on exchange, contact Naomi Zheng, VP Outgoing Exchange (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are not a member but are interested in joining AIESEC SFU, please contact Nicolas Cheung, VP Talent Management (email@example.com).