Doing business in today’s global economy requires companies to evolve frequently in order to solve the world’s complex problems. Innovation begins internally by building a team full of international talent, including interns. Hiring an intern from another country can help your company get a fresh perspective on global business and is an enriching experience for both parties. There are some things to consider when hiring for an internship:
1. Regional hiring. Doing business across borders often requires extensive research into the region to establish cultural awareness. An intern from the region can provide an invaluable case study of the target market and bring unique perspectives from the region that may have not been considered before. For instance, an Arizona company brought on interns from three separate regions of Costa Rica in order to gain their perspectives on marketing their products there.
2. Language capabilities. An advantage to hiring international interns is the language abilities they bring beyond English. It is important to consider the intern’s proficiency in English when assigning roles within the company. For example, a website development intern may not need the same level of written proficiency as a marketing intern. Bilingual interns can ease the language barriers that inevitably come up when doing global business and make sure your company’s messages are communicated effectively across borders.
3. Strategic assignments. Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, it is important for employers to ensure that the internship is mutually beneficial for the company and the intern. To achieve this, a company should design a program that meets the intern’s educational goals and also serves a specific need within the company. The internship will be most effective when there are clear projects that utilize the intern’s skills and field of study, as opposed to just assisting on miscellaneous tasks with no clear strategy.
AIESEC and Global Chamber have teamed to offer companies anywhere in the world the ability to have interns from anywhere in the world. AIESEC is a nonprofit organization here in the U.S. and is the largest youth-run organization in the world, operating in 125 countries and territories. AIESEC brings recent university graduates from all over the world to work for companies in the United States.
A second intern program provides Swedish American Chamber and Global Chamber members access to the Trainee Program as a tool in developing international business activities utilizing skilled Swedish university students in diverse fields. Trainees educated within the highly regarded Swedish educational system bring expertise within their academic field along with an intimate knowledge of the Swedish and European market, language skills and cross-cultural knowledge.
A third intern program is administered by Arizona State University and the Government of Brazil covering interns that are available from late May through mid-August. They may work anywhere in the U.S. This group of interns is more than 300 students enrolled at ASU studying in STEM fields through the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program, sponsored by the government of Brazil. A large percentage of these students is in engineering, but students are also in other fields such as biological sciences, chemistry, computer science and architecture.
Consider accelerating your company’s international growth with interns from Sweden, Brazil and around the world. Contact Global Chamber for information on any of these internship programs and for more resources to grow globally.
Arielle Cottrell is the marketing manager of Global Chamber®