I have now officially completed two international internships. Granted the first one was in Bolivia last year and was more mission-oriented, but by all technicalities it was an internship as well.
However, this summer I was in Querétaro, Mexico interning with Babilon Language Coaching.
A lot of people told me I was absolutely crazy for not only taking an unpaid internship, but taking an internship that I would have to pay for. I had to pay tuition to the university (Tec de Monterrey) not to mention my housing costs and plane ticket.
I’d argue though that it was absolutely worth it.
I’m majoring in International Studies (with a focus in Latin America and concentration in International Politics – lengthy major title, no?) and linguistics of Spanish. There is nothing I want more than to work internationally and I don’t exactly see a better way to get my foot in the door than actually going to work in a foreign country.
Going to Querétaro, I applied through the Tec and they matched me with an internship. I kind of wish that they’d given me a list of companies that accept foreign interns just so I could check them out myself, but regardless I got matched with a company that honestly helped me acquire new skills.
Before Babilon I’d never translated anything more than just casual conversations. Now I can translate non-disclosure documents, no competition contracts, and employment contracts. Of course I have room for improvement as far as the way the documents flow, but when checking back over what I’d written my supervisor told me she’d only seen one section of the document that had been a bit rough translation-wise.
Of course an internship always means doing a bit of work that is just busy work, but at any entry-level job or internship, what can you expect?
I certainly wasn’t expecting to actually be so involved in translating documents that people legitimately needed. I’m really happy to have done that.
As far as what I’m going to do when I graduate…I have no idea.
Right now I know I love to be around people and feel like what I’m doing is actually making a difference to somebody. I think in the upcoming months I will start to look for jobs in Querétaro.
I know that Tec de Monterrey offers internships in their international office where you can go for x amount of time and they cover your living expenses (housing and food) but other than that you’re on your own. I’m wondering if it would be insane to take another [somewhat] unpaid internship upon graduation? But at the same time I would have just turned 23 by the time I finished that internship so I’m not sure if I see the rush of jumping into employment in the US when I’m not even exactly sure of what I want to do.