When it comes to international internship programs, you’ve got a lot to consider. From the type of opportunity your company wants to offer to finding the perfect candidate, you’ll have plenty of questions to answer. The biggest question of all, however, is, where do you start? 

Creating a competitive internship that attracts global talent doesn’t have to be challenging. In this article, we’ll help you build a world-class program by breaking down the following:

  1. Attracting talent
  2. Creating growth opportunities
  3. Making an esteemed internship program

At Intrax Global Internships, we specialize in developing exceptional international internship programs with U.S.-based companies. We help you access a diverse pool of global talent who are eager to dive into their field of choice and make an impact. Let’s start by identifying how your company can attract top-tier candidates.


Attract Talent with an International Internship Program

To attract talent, you need to know how to appeal to an intern directly. When you’re setting up an international internship program that can appeal to a global talent pool, it can quickly become overwhelming to factor in all the things an intern may be seeking.

To streamline this process, we’ve outlined three key steps for appealing to global talent, including:

  1. Creating flexible opportunities
  2. Developing benefits for interns
  3. Implementing strategies for hiring international talent

When seeking internships, candidates want to feel supported by a secure role that offers growth opportunities and new challenges. Let’s start by considering the ways you can deliver professional development opportunities while remaining flexible in your offering.

Flexible Opportunities

A key way to appeal to global talent and make your international internship stand out is to create flexible opportunities. Your top candidate must feel supported in their endeavors, so creating an opportunity that can meet their needs is a great way to level up your international internship program. 

In this section, we’ll explore the options of:

  • In-person internships
  • Virtual internships
  • Hybrid working schedules

In-person internships offer immersive opportunities for global interns to get up close and personal with their industry of choice. It’s an exciting way for interns to immerse themselves in a new culture, and get hands-on experience. Adapting your international internship program to accommodate an in-person opportunity is a great way to build a strong rapport with your intern and provide a memorable experience. 

A critical part of your in-person internship is providing a compliant working opportunity, especially if you operate a U.S.-based company. Your intern will need a J-1 visa sponsor to ensure they have appropriate working rights for your program. At Intrax Global Internships, we specialize in assisting American employers in hiring international interns. We can assist you in ensuring your international internship program is a compliant and legitimate opportunity for skilled global interns.

Unlike in-person opportunities, virtual internships are remote programs that enable global talent to work from the comfort of their home country and gain invaluable industry experience. For many businesses, virtual internships are a cost-effective way to deliver an international internship program. This allows for a focus on the core function of the intern role without the demand of being in the office full-time.

A great way to blend the benefits of both virtual and in-person international internship opportunities is to offer a hybrid schedule for your intern. This gives them time to work from different places in their new location and still get exposure to your office culture. 

Benefits for Interns

Appealing to interns can take on many forms but the most important way to make your international internship program stand out is to be clear on the benefits your company offers. Your benefits will depend on the type of internship you’re offering. Let’s dive into some of the most common benefits for interns.

One of the biggest benefits for interns who are considering international internships is the networking opportunities that come with immersing themselves in their field of choice. To further reinforce your company’s commitment to an intern’s professional development and growth, mention the pathways you’ll provide throughout the program when listing your opportunity. 

Providing full access to aspects of your company is another great benefit for interns, this includes access to:

  • Company resources
  • Industry events
  • Standing meetings

Whether you discuss access during the interview process or make a point to detail the opportunities as part of your job listing, you’ll find there is a great appeal for prospective interns to see the inner workings of your company. 

Another highly sought-after benefit that appeals greatly to interns is accommodation. If you’re offering an international internship program, having an intern's living arrangements organized is a huge plus for prospective global talent. While this is a more costly benefit, you’ll be providing some peace of mind to your intern and making their transition to your country considerably easier. 

Now that you understand exactly what an intern is looking for and the types of benefits that greatly appeal, let’s explore the strategies you can implement to hire exceptional international talent.

Key Strategies for Hiring International Talent

To snag the best interns, you’ll need to build a strong international internship program and use strategy to appeal to high-quality candidates. 

The three key strategies we’ll be focusing on to improve your internship program and hire extraordinary global talent include:

  1. Clarity
  2. Flexibility
  3. Boundaries

When writing your job description and posting it to job boards, it is imperative that you are clear on the role and responsibilities of the intern. For prospective interns, this may be their introduction to your business. Ensure that you use direct language that communicates your company’s position within the industry, what the role entails, and what your expectations are for an intern. This will ensure that candidates have a clear understanding of what your business does and how they will contribute through their efforts.

The next strategy to implement when hiring for your international internship program is to maintain flexible expectations. Much like how we mentioned offering flexible opportunities earlier, cultivating flexibility across all stages of the program is equally important. This means ensuring you have measures in place to support the right applicant and make any necessary accommodations. 

For example, if your applicant suddenly can’t travel to fulfill the position, consider adapting your program to be a virtual internship. Ensure you and your hiring team can provide adaptive thinking to any challenges that may arise during the hiring process. This will help you keep your top candidates rather than losing them to a different program.

The last key strategy is to ensure you cap your applications. Set a deadline or a number of applications you’re willing to consider, then close the job listing. You’ll want to give each application thoughtful consideration without the stress of more applications piling up. By creating a firm boundary for how many applications you can realistically get through you’ll be able to ensure faster response times and identify your leading candidates quickly.

International Internship Programs and Professional Growth

Now that we’ve covered how to appeal to interns and use strategy to hire the best candidate, it’s time to think about the professional growth your international internship program has to offer. Using examples in industries such as web development, marketing, and sales, we’ll cover how your program will:

  • Provide industry experience
  • Build mentorships
  • Benefit your business

Any internship can show entry-level talent how the industry looks. Consider how your program can go a step beyond and offer interns an opportunity to make their mark, deepen their skills, and dive head-first into their field of choice. Let’s start by looking at how you can provide invaluable industry experience.

Provide Invaluable Industry Experience

A core part of any internship is gaining industry experience. To ensure your international internship program is worthwhile for an intern, you must provide an invaluable experience that offers industry knowledge and professional growth. To help identify how you can achieve this, we’ll look at different fields and the types of industry experience interns look for within them, including:

  • Web development
  • Marketing
  • Sales

For interns interested in getting involved in web development, providing an immersive industry experience is a key appeal to working with your business. Your company can expose web development interns to new technologies which will help them broaden their skill sets. Some of the ways to get interns immersed in web development include:

  1. Real client projects: Assign interns to work on actual client projects. This could be anything from designing and developing websites to creating web applications or implementing specific features.
  2. Pair programming: Connect interns with experienced developers to do paired work, such as coding tasks. This provides hands-on experience and enables interns to learn from seasoned professionals.
  3. Code reviews: Check in with your intern regularly for review sessions where interns can ask for feedback on their work from senior developers. This helps them improve their skills, learn best practices, and get exposure to feedback.

Within a marketing team you’ll find plenty of opportunities to expand an intern’s industry knowledge. Providing access to every element of a marketing campaign offers in-depth industry experience. Some other key ways to provide invaluable industry exposure to prospective marketers include:

  1. Campaign development: Assign interns to work on specific marketing campaigns, including tasks like content creation, graphic design, social media management, and email marketing.
  2. Market research and analysis: Have interns conduct market research to identify trends, customer preferences, and competitive landscapes. They can use tools like Google Analytics and social media analytics platforms.
  3. Content creation: Encourage interns to write blog posts, create social media content, or even develop multimedia content like videos or infographics. This allows them to practice content marketing skills.

Plenty of opportunities exist for interns interested in pursuing sales to gain industry exposure through your international internship program. Some ways for sales interns to achieve this include:

  1. Lead generation: Assign interns to research potential leads and compile lists of prospects for the sales team. This introduces them to the process of identifying and qualifying leads.
  2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems: Train interns on using CRM software to track leads, manage customer information, and monitor the sales pipeline.
  3. Sales calls and demos: Provide opportunities for interns to listen in on sales calls or participate in product demos. They can learn about objection handling, pitching, and closing techniques

No matter what particular industry your prospective intern is looking for experience in, your business can offer a diverse range of exposure to professional practices. The next stage of creating an invaluable international internship program is identifying mentorship opportunities for your prospective interns.

Build Mentorships

As we’ve covered, international internship programs provide crucial skill development opportunities. But, what does your team stand to gain from bringing in an intern? Your international internship program is a great way to bring value to your own employees as well as interns who are looking for professional development opportunities after college.

Becoming a mentor to skilled interns boasts many great benefits, including:

  1. Personal growth and development
  2. Professional networking and relationship-building
  3. Legacy and knowledge transfer

As a mentor, you’ll come to find your leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills will quickly sharpen. You’ll have to refine your ability to provide constructive feedback and guidance. Through your feedback, you’ll also deepen your understanding of your field. By imparting what you know you’ll revisit the foundations of your industry knowledge and see it from a fresh perspective.

As you teach your mentee, you’ll expand your empathy and patience, especially when navigating challenges with your intern. For employees who struggle to be social, this can be a great opportunity to expand your emotional intelligence. 

Through a successful mentorship program, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and an increase in your self-confidence. Your industry knowledge has introduced someone to their field of interest and provided the necessary tools to succeed, it’s a great feeling!

Benefits of Hiring Students

Students and new graduates are the perfect candidates for international internship programs as they’re often looking for opportunities to travel and gain first-hand experience in their field of interest. One of the biggest benefits of hiring students and graduates is that you’ll have access to the latest teachings and be able to relate a student's knowledge to practical experience.

Students are highly engaged in their work and eager to make a positive impression. Introducing them to an office environment and their field of choice is a great way to build strong connections with new talent and foster an intern’s professional success. 

While there are many benefits to running an internship, engaging with students is one of the most rewarding. You and your team will be working with someone who is passionate, keen to learn, and fascinated by your industry.

Make Your International Internship Program a Sought-After Opportunity

The exclusivity of an internship can be a big part of a program’s appeal. International candidates seek opportunities that are hard to get into because they offer such a great reward: unparalleled industry experience and connections. 

In this section, we’ll cover how your program can be a cut above your competitors by:

  1. Clearly communicating expectations
  2. Creating purposeful roles
  3. Working with Intrax Global Internships

Ensuring your program’s success starts with effective communication both internally and externally about your international internship. Let’s begin by identifying the crucial details that need to be crystal clear when outlining the duration of your program.

Clear Duration Details and Continuation Options

To ensure a program’s success, creating clear outlines for the length of an international internship and the opportunities available to interns after the program’s end is crucial. Some questions to raise with your team include:

  1. What timeline do we expect this program will follow?
  2. What metrics do we have in place to measure success?
  3. Do we want this opportunity to lead anywhere? Or simply support us in the short term?

Defining how long you expect the program to run and what pathways it opens for an intern afterward are important for all parties involved, especially when considering the duration of a J-1 visa. While it’s necessary for you and your team to outline your expectations for a potential candidate in your job posting, it’s vital that you are accountable too. 

Stating clearly the duration and continuation options for a program helps an intern see the benefits of choosing your international internship program over a competitor. Be clear and honest about what you have to offer and how you and your team will support an intern at the end of their time with your company.

Purposeful Roles for Interns

Another critical part of a successful recruitment strategy is creating meaningful opportunities. Regardless of whether you expect an intern to work in person or remotely, offering a purposeful role to your candidates is what makes your program successful. 

Interns need opportunities that contribute to your business and enable them to expand their skills. While it’s handy to have someone on to do the coffee run, it’s more impactful to your team and your intern to create a role that brings value to all parties.

Outline the role of your intern based on tasks you need completed or around the departments that need support. Perhaps one of your teams is short on hands this quarter and could stand to have someone who is eager to learn. Raise the idea with your department heads and see which teams would greatly benefit from having an intern then define the role.


Work with Intrax Global Internships

To ensure your international internship program is top-notch, work with Intrax Global Internships. Our expert team helps global companies create exciting internship opportunities and connect you with skilled global talent who are eager to take on a new role.

We assist companies in becoming J-1 visa sponsors and finding diverse talent from across the globe. Since 1980, we’ve helped our customers connect across cultures to find the perfect candidate.

Our mission is to build connections around the world and inspire a lifetime of cultural understanding. At Intrax Global Internships, we believe it is our purpose to help companies like yours create international internship programs that appeal to adventurous young professionals.

Develop Your International Internship Program With Ease Through Intrax Global Internships

Start your journey to hiring skilled global citizens with Intrax Global Internships. Our internship programs offer exciting opportunities to expand your team and embrace diversity. Contact us today and discover how we can help you develop a highly esteemed international internship program.

Sep 22, 2023
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