How Global Internships Are Changing the Way Graduates Get Jobs


It’s no secret that today’s economy has gone global. We are a connected community, and will only become more so in the future. Often times, a single product or project is completed by numerous people on different continents, speaking different languages, and living in different cultures. 

10 years ago, the idea that a small business or startup could do business internationally was less than popular. Today, however, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t deal, in some way, with someone overseas. 


The more that technology allows us to connect to one another, the more global opportunities emerge. Although it is becoming easier to work across borders and seas, only seven percent of American graduates have global work experience (IEE 2015).  That means that of the nearly two million students that graduate from college each year, only about 120,000 have gone abroad to intern or work. 

According to the Job Preparedness Indicator Survey conducted by the Career Advisory Board at DeVry University, employers expressed that “Global Outlook” was an area where there was a significant gap for graduating seniors. “Global Outlook” is one of the top five desired attributes that employers seek in employees, but many companies report that job applicants are often missing this experience. 

While it’s fairly common knowledge that any type of internship experience is better than no experience, students often limit themselves to local opportunities which may not always provide the high level of professional training or the skills needed to navigate different cultures to compete against other recent graduates. 

Gaining global aptitude requires students to leave their native country, experience foreign environments while gaining professional and cultural skills. Although the price of traveling and living on a new continent may be high, the return on investment can potentially be huge based on the very low number of students enrolling in such programs.


Students with internships are in demand. The National Associaton of Colleges and Employers reports that 73.7 percent of employers would prefer to hire candidates with relevant work experience. Students with global internship experience also have a higher chance of getting hired. 42.3 percent of students with an internship experience receive at least one job offer versus 30.7 percent of students without an internship. Lastly, students with global experience tend to make more money. Recent graduates that have interned generally have a higher salary by over 20 percent. (NACE 2015 Job Outlook Survey)

Where in the world will you work? This photo features Sage Corps program city Hong Kong.

Where in the world will you work? This photo features Sage Corps program city Hong Kong.


The task of finding and securing a global internship may seem daunting, but students have a plethora of resources available online. Organizations, such as Sage Corps, help place students in foreign countries with startups making an impact in their communities. Whether studying abroad during the semester or looking for a summer experience, Sage Corps supports top-level students on an on-going basis from admission through their professional experiences after returning home. 

Our connectedness via technology and the internet have afforded today’s students the ability to easily access information about finding international opportunities. Now it’s up to them to take advantage of those opportunities and get ahead of the competition.