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Building a successful career is hard. There are so many decisions to make. Countless opportunities. Endless questions to ask. One of the biggest ones that many Golden Key members consider is: should I do an international internship? While it’s not the right choice for everyone, doing an internship abroad can be a life-changing experience that will help set you on your path to future success.
Want to know more? Our partners The Intern Group have put together this fantastic list of 9 things you’ll gain from an internship overseas:
1. An international network
As a young professional, there is nothing better than having connections in your industry. Whether you’re a current student or a recent graduate, the people you meet during your internship will be key contacts for you in your career. If you hope to move abroad in the future, they become even more essential.
2. A new language
Being bilingual is an extremely desirable skill. As more and more companies begin to operate internationally, young professionals with foreign language skills will be at the forefront. An international internship is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself, whether you’re a complete beginner or have taken classes before.
3. Understanding of a new business culture
When you leave your home country, you’ll be constantly exposed to customs and practices that are different from what you’re used to. Regardless of how many internships or jobs you’ve had at home, there’s nothing more rewarding than being able to navigate a new business culture. Business etiquette differs from country to country, and successful global professionals will be familiar with the ins and outs.
4. The chance to travel
This is one of the most obvious benefits of internships abroad. If you love traveling and exploring new places, an internship abroad is a perfect excuse to see more of the world. You’ll not only get to live and be immersed in a new city, you’ll have the opportunity to travel and explore in your free time!
5. Skill development
In addition to soft skills like communication, leadership, and organization, you’ll also be looking to sharpen your industry-specific skills. The best place to apply what you’ve learned in your courses is in the office. After completing an internship, you’ll be able to show future employers that you not only understand theory, but that you have the technical skills to back it up.
6. Communication skills
Interpersonal skills are essential to forming good relationships, both in the office and outside of it. One of the top benefits of internships abroad is that they enable you to develop your communication skills in a diverse, cross-cultural setting. The ability to communicate effectively with people from different cultures is one that will serve you well throughout your career.
7. Excellent references
When you begin searching for a full-time position, most employers will ask for references. They want to know that someone else vouches for your abilities and would recommend you. Developing references is a crucial part of any internship. Get to know your supervisors and coworkers, and even look for a professional mentor.Keep in mind that every professional experience is an opportunity for a great recommendation in the future!
8. Lifelong friendships
As an intern abroad, you’ll be surrounded by young professionals who are just as passionate and driven as you. From living together in a new city, to overcoming language barriers together and exploring your host country, these are the types of experiences that bring people together.
9. A foot in the door
In today’s competitive job market, many young professionals face a tough paradox. You need to have experience in order to get experience. An internship allows you to get your foot in the door and make the job search much easier and more rewarding.
This article was first published by Golden Key partner The Intern Group.
The Intern Group is an award-winning, social enterprise that takes top applicants and significantly improves their skills and employability via their international internship programs. Their global team understands deeply how important international professional experience is in today’s job market. They are a global leader in the international internship area: one of the fastest growing segments of the international education industry.
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We have an amazing line-up of inspiring speakers for our 2019 Houston Leadership Summit in July – and today we’d like to introduce you to T.J. Sullivan, who will be our closing speaker for the weekend.
T.J. Sullivan is one of the most sought-after college leadership speakers in the nation. In fact, his first book, “Motivating the Middle: Fighting Apathy in College Student Organizations” is currently being used in more than 100 college leadership courses. T.J. will help Golden Key members utilize his quick, practical leadership model as inspiration to reshape their approach to motivating and engaging their chapters. We are excited for his outlook and advice on things like motivation, strategy, member engagement and leadership development, all in an upbeat and positive way. What more could you ask for?
Our Houston 2019 Leadership summit will take place over three exciting days in July and we would love you to join us!
We will have a whole program of events, workshops, talks, and activities on offer–and you’ll have the chance to do so many interesting things including:
- Meeting and interacting with other Golden Key chapters
- Getting to know the vibrant city of Houston, Texas
- Taking part in workshops to learn (or polish) new skills
- Joining a service project to give back as a team
- Mixing and mingling with the incredible people (just like you) from across the globe
With over 2 million inspiring members and growing strong, Golden Key is the world’s leading international honor society. Our amazing members are doing incredible things and changing the world–and we’d love you to be part of it! When you join Golden Key you become part of a vast international network of high achievers, and gain access to a wide range of awards, scholarships and special benefits thanks to our terrific partners.
Be part of it.
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The Canadian Golden Key Leadership Summit, also known as CANCON, was held in Montreal this year February 23-25, at the Marriott Chateau Champlain. The summit was co-hosted by the Concordia University and McGill University chapters.
About 125 students, alumni, and chapter advisors came in from across Canada and the U.S. and we even welcomed one member from Australia. For those that arrived early enough on Friday, CANCON started off with a team scavenger hunt around Montreal. Groups headed off with their clue sheet in hand to explore the city and get some great pictures and videos of themselves completing the tasks to earn points for their team.
The opening session was held in the famed Caf’ Conc’ theatre in the hotel that was designed to look like the French theatres of old.
The keynote speaker on Friday night was one of the McGill chapter’s honourary members, renowned human right lawyer and former McGill University professor, Julius Grey.
In an after summit survey, one attendee wrote “I think that Julius Grey shared an important message regarding leadership, especially in terms of being afraid to speak up about ideas that might go against mainstream ideology”.
After the opening session, everyone headed out to a networking social event at Thursday’s Bistro Pub nearby. It was a short walk and fun to see the group out exploring Montreal together. The networking event was held in a section of the restaurant reserved just for our group. A special thanks to the Concordia University chapter for organizing the Friday night networking event.
Saturday morning started off with a wonderful speech from Dr. Karl Moore. Dr. Moore is a professor at McGill University and he discussed introvert and extravert characteristics in leaders. His presentation was a great start to the morning. Karl is quite an extravert himself and had a wonderful way of engaging the audience during his presentation.
One attendee wrote in a post summit survey “I absolutely loved listening to the presentation of Dr. Karl Moore. He was an energetic personality that had the attention of the room the entire hour. I found his content extremely relevant and took an immense amount of notes. I found myself actually understanding more about myself from the qualities and behaviours he addressed with an extrovert.”
We then started up the workshop sessions where attendees could choose from three options for each of the three sessions. A variety of speakers presented throughout the day including a doctor discussing med school, a McGill professor talking about how he almost became an astronaut, an etiquette specialist teaching attendees about business and culinary etiquette, a presenter working with attendees on their personal brand, the McGill chapter advisors discussing learning styles of gifted individuals, a representative from Dans La Rue which is a service organization dedicated to helping the homeless in Montreal, and many more inspiring speakers.
One attendee wrote ““My favourite moment at the 2018 CANCON Montreal Summit was the Dans La Rue workshop. It truly changed my life.”
After the workshop sessions, we all gathered again in the Caf’ Conc’ theatre for a group sharing session. The attendees formed small groups to share ideas about what works at their chapters, challenges they have come across, great service project ideas, and to connect with other chapters to possible collaborate with each other. Each group then sent up a representative up on stage to share what their group had discussed and any recommendations they had for everyone. It was great to see so many connections made and to hear about all the wonderful events and service initiatives that the chapters are organizing across Canada and beyond.
We moved right into our closing session where Juno Award winning singer Kellylee Evans shared her story of being struck by lightning and what she has learned about herself through her long recovery. She also delighted the crowd by singing two songs on stage that had everyone captivated. She even got the GK members to sing along for part of one of the songs, which was a lot of fun. The closing session was very uplifting and Kellylee was a great speaker.
In a post summit survey, one attendee wrote “Funny, informative, touching, engaging. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out the weekend”. Kellylee is an honourary member of the Carleton University GK chapter.
After a little time to get ready, everyone gathered in the hotel lobby to walk over to Crescent Street where we had our big group dinner at Wienstein & Gavino’s. The food was very good and everyone seemed to have a good time chatting with each other and making more GK connections. After dinner, some people headed out to explore the Montreal nightlife and others headed over to the Montreal Festival of Lights, an outdoor festival that was going on not too far from the summit hotel.
On Sunday morning, a number of chapters met with Golden Key’s Canadian director to go over their plans for the rest of the year. Most people heading off back home on Sunday but few stayed an extra day to further explore the wonderful city of Montreal.
Overall, the summit seemed to have been very well received by the attendees.
Some of the comments from attendees about their overall experience at CANCON:
“I really liked the emphasis on, not only allowing opportunities to network, but teaching members *how* to network. I really liked the session that explained the different ways that introverts and extroverts operate as leaders and by extension how this affects the way that they network. Not only that, the conference allowed for these two types of networking to be explored. The conference was great in giving attendees the opportunity to network both with and without guidance.”
“Being able to connect with other chapter executives and the chapter sharing session were the most useful as they allowed discussion of common chapter issues. This allowed for collaboration between chapters to discuss potential solutions to common problems.
“Excellent session content, enthusiastic participants. Fun side-activities.”
“I found that I truly understood what Golden Key was really about this weekend. I love it.”
Congratulations to the Concordia and McGill chapter executives for helping to organize a wonderful summit. All your hard work throughout the many months of preparation is very much appreciated.
Looking forward to CANCON 2019!
For more detailed descriptions of the various speakers, please visit www.gkcancon.com. The CANCON 2018 information will stay up on the website for a little while.