How to rock your internship

How to rock your internship

So, you are already in the middle of your internship abroad. Maybe you lost a bit of your motivation or are little stuck. But don’t worry, we’re still here to support you and will give you a view tips on how to get over this phase and how to keep on rocking your internship.

Rock your internship

Remember why you came

First of all: there’s always ups and downs in life – and an internship is not an exception. So if you are not 100 % happy with your internship right now, don’t worry, everyone feels like that at some point. Maybe you haven’t found as many friends as you thought or maybe you’re still having trouble adapting to the local culture. This feeling will go away. And always remember: You made the decision to come here! If you have a down period try to remember, why you decide to do your internship specifically in this country, in this city and in this company. That way you will get more positive thoughts again.

Interact with your co-workers

In order to be a very good intern, not just your working skills count, but also your social ones. Interact with your colleagues as often as possible. Spend lunch together with them and get to know them. If you are interested in their lives, they will get a positive impression of you. What is the use of this? The purpose is clear: if your co-workers like you, they’ll talk positively about you to your boss and that way you’ll reference will be even better. And a big plus: if one day you may apply for a real job at this company, they still know you and you will have better chances getting a full-time employment.

Ask for help and feedback

Being a good intern means to constantly grow. To be able to do so you will need to ask for help, advice and feedback. Whenever you didn’t understand something, just ask again. It’s better to ask five times instead of doing something completely wrong! And if you really can’t manage the task, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This is not a sign of weakness but of knowing yourself and wanting to learn. Whenever you completed a task you can ask for a little feedback. That way, you’ll get positive input, but you’ll also learn what you need to improve, etc. In both cases your motivation will grow in order to get even better. Your co-workers and your boss will notice your constant urge to grow and will have a positive impression of you as an intern.

Be active

You’ve already been working some time in the company. You know how everything works and you may also know what doesn’t work so well. If you have any ideas on how to make the company or the workflows more efficient you should tell your boss. He/she will be very happy about this kind of advices and that way you might have also found your own personal project to work on. But don’t annoy your co-workers with too many ideas, try to focus on the best ones and present them to your team. Sometimes less is better and that way you don’t seem like a know-it-all.

Take advantage 

In every business there are high and low periods. If you have a period with not so much work right now, don’t just google random stuff or chit-chat with your colleagues. Instead ask your mentor or your boss for tasks which need to be done. You’re here to work and learn as much as possible, show this intention to your superior. All this will have a positive impact on your final review / recommendation letter.

Be neat

This is a very general advice, but sometimes it still needs to be said: be neat. This refers to your appearance but also to your behaviour. Always keep your working space clean, wash your dishes immediately, etc. – generally said: behave yourself as if your mom was watching you. Of course, you should also take care of your appearance: dress yourself professionally and don’t molest others with your smell (may it be from perfume or from sweat).

Ask for a recommendation letter

Last but not least: after you already followed all these advices and showed your best side at work, you are ready to harvest the fruits of your effort. Ask your superior for a recommendation letter a week before the end of your internship. And because you have been such a good intern, it will be a very positive one, which might open you other doors in your future career.

We hope these tips helped you to get back the motivation during your internship and made it possible for you to end it like a rockstar. An internship is always a great way to learn something new, apply your theoretical knowledge and move forward in your career. And doing an internship abroad was even a better choice, as you gained cultural knowledge and practiced your foreign languages.

One last advice: Try to evaluate your internship at the end and resume it for yourself. If you want, you can write us an email and tell us how it went. We are always happy to hear about the experiences our students had. And if you are looking for a new internship abroad for the next semester check out our offers and don’t hesitate to contact us at info@pic-management.com

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7 tips on how to handle your phone interview for your internship

7 tips on how to handle your phone interview for your internship

You almost got your internship, now there is just the obstacle of the phone interview with your future boss or HR of the company. But you don’t have to be nervous! With the following 7 tips we’ll help you, so you manage your interview without a problem.

How to handle phone interview for internship

1. Take it as seriously as a personal interview

Even though the interviewer can’t see you, you should not take this interview less serious. Don’t eat, drink, chew gum or smoke during the interview. Maybe even try to dress nicely although no one will see it. It’s the environment you’re creating that way, that will also help you be more serious in the situation. Also, always try to smile politely even if it can’t be seen, because the interviewer will notice it positively in your voice.

2. Do some research before the interview

This counts for phone interviews and for personal interviews: do some research beforehand. Invest maybe half an hour in looking on the company’s website and some articles you can find online to get a better impression of the work there. Also try to read the job description again and take notes.

3. Prepare a cheat sheet

Your cheat sheet could be your CV (because your interviewer will look at the exact same document during your call), but it can also be a piece of paper with your notes from your research. Also, think beforehand about your accomplishments and write them down. That way, when you’ll be asked about them, you are prepared.

4. Don’t dominate the conversation

The most important part is that you listen to the questions the interviewer asks you. Don’t try to talk too much. You are getting interviewed and not the other way around. So, wait till you are asked something, be sure your interlocutor is finished talking and then answer the question and only the asked question. If you don’t understand or did not hear the question, ask them politely if they could repeat it. Also, try to use the interviewer’s name, when addressing to him/her directly.  

5. Prepare yourself for the common questions

Be prepared for the common questions, which always are asked during any kind of job interview. Think already before the interview about the answers to questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “Why do you want to work here?”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Tell me about a time you took a lead in a project” or “How would your friends describe you?”. Don’t get overwhelmed by standard HR questions. If you feel more comfortable, you can also write some keywords or cues on your cheat sheet.

6. Ask questions at the end

You will probably be given time to ask some questions of your own at the end of the interview. Take this opportunity! Create a list of some questions in advance that focus on what you’d like to understand about the internship, the company or the country/city. Just be sure not to ask anything they’ve already answered or a question you could easily have found the answer on the first page of google.

7. Follow up your interview with a thank-you mail

If you have an email of your interviewer, it can be a good impression if you send him/her an email after your interview in order to restate your interest in the internship. That way the HR will also be sure you’re 100 % committed to the internship opportunity.

After the interview try to reflect on the phone call you just had. That way you’ll evaluate the interview and you can see what you did wrong and what was good. You can make notes on your mistakes and your strengths and be even better for the next interview.

We hope this article helped you with the preparation for your phone interview and that it will be a success. Tell us how it went afterwards and write us if you have any other tips to help others in the same situation!

We from PIC Management are always there to help you during your internship-finding-process and won’t stop supporting you, till you got accepted for the internship of your dreams!

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Which language should you learn to boost your career?

Which language should you learn to boost your career?

There are currently 7,097 known living languages in the world. But which one of these should you learn to boost your career? We give you an example of five beneficial languages – apart from English – which could help you in the business world.

Which foreign language to learn to boost your career?

You are asking yourself, why you should learn another language? Apparently you already know English and probably this is not your mother tongue, so you know two languages. But still, you should consider learning at least one of the languages we will mention in this article. Why?

First, it looks great in your CV. Recruiters are always looking for language skills and the more languages you can speak fluently, the more interesting you are for companies nowadays.

Second, you will get a wider view by learning another language. Also, see the language learning process as a kind of “brain exercise”.

Third, a new language will give you access to a new point of view and way of thinking. By getting the chance to communicate without a language barrier with people from another culture, you will learn incredibly much. That way you’ll also learn to understand their way of thinking and get a clear insight in cultural and political aspects from another country.

 

Now, that we made our point in the importance of foreign languages, let’s take a look at the most beneficial languages to learn in the world:

Spanish

Spanish is the official language in 20 countries of Europe, America and Africa. Apart from that, Spanish is an official language of the United Nations. Also, it is the second most spoken language – after English – in the USA, being understood in wide parts of the nation. In total there are about 570 million of native speakers in the world.

Spanish is a Romance Language, a descendant of Latin. This means: if you already speak another Romance language – like for example French, Italian or Portuguese – it’s easier for you to learn Spanish.

French

This other Western Romance language is the official language in 29 countries in Europe, Africa and on the American continent. French is spoken by 220 million people around the globe. It has a long tradition as a diplomatic language, wherefore French is still a working language of many international organizations, like the UN, UNESCO, NATO, FIFA and WHO. If you want to work in a diplomatic environment (e.g. international relations) or if you plan to work with projects in (northern) Africa, you should learn French. Also, it is the lingua franca of the designer and fashion world.

German

With more than 150 million speakers worldwide German is a widely spoken language. In fact, German speakers are the biggest language group of Europe with the most native speakers. It is the official language of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and parts of Belgium and Italy. Germany itself is one of the strongest economies in the world. So if you are aiming for a career in the business world, German is always a good choice. Also, engineers, scientists and students of the financial sector should consider learning this language, as they will get in touch with its speakers or articles written in German sooner or later in their career.

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin has almost 200 million native speakers and is spoken in most of northern and southwestern China. Apart from that, it is spoken as a second language in many parts of the world, like e.g. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mongolia and on the Philippines. China has the second biggest economy worldwide and without a doubt it is beneficial for any B.A. or Economy student to learn this language. Not only will Mandarin open doors to the Chinese culture and economy, also will you be welcomed in all kinds of companies around the world. One should also keep in mind, that the Chinese are a traveler’s nation, which is why likewise Tourism students should consider learning this tonal language from Asia.

Portuguese 

Portuguese – the third Romance language on our list – has 215 million speakers around the globe and is spoken in Portugal, Brazil and in some parts of Africa. In Europe the Portuguese language is of minor importance, whilst on a world scale one shouldn’t underestimate it. The most Portuguese speakers live in Brazil, which is the strongest economy in Latin America. Brazil is part of the BRICS States (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), who are known for their significant influence on regional affairs and form part of the G20.

Alternatives

 Languages are not your strongest talent, but you want to boost your CV anyway? Then maybe programming languages are an alternative for you. With the growing importance of the WWW and computer technologies, programming is one of the most wanted skills in the business world. Not only will you be able to design a website, you will also understand how computer processes work.   

Now you are motivated to learn one of the mentioned languages? You’re asking yourself, what is the best way to learn a new language? Do an internship in a foreign country and take a language course there! That way, you’ll always be surrounded by the new language and at the same time you’ll get an impression of the working culture in this country. We’re here to help! Contact us and we’ll find the perfect internship abroad for you 😉

You can also check out our article about how to learn a foreign language:
https://www.pic-management.com/en/learn-foreign-language/ 

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Top soft skills that recruiters are looking for in young professionals

Top soft skills that recruiters are looking for in young professionals

A lot of recruiters nowadays, place a high value on the hard and soft skills of applicants. Soft and hard skills are easy to distinguish, but soft skills are harder to measure. Soft skills are also known as ´people skills´, those skills measure how a person interacts with other people. In addition, hard skills are teachable abilities and easy to quantify. Each person possesses soft skills, but which soft skills are in demand for the role you are aiming for? This article will give you an insight on the top skills that recruiters are looking for in young professionals.

Soft Skills recruiters are looking for

Communication

Communication is key to excellent team building and overall performance. Successful leaders make sure to facilitate effective communication in order for their team to reach a common goal. Misunderstandings are prevented, and the employees have clear responsibilities and are able to determine how they will perform those responsibilities. Good communication is not only key within an organization itself, but also with its clients.  As communication will lead to an insight of the customers´ wants and needs. Being able to communicate well in both writing and speech will help you gain a competitive edge in the job market.

Problem solving

Problem solving is the basis for continuous improvement and one of the most important soft skills that recruiters are looking for in professionals. Recruiters are seeking for professionals who are able to analyse and find solutions, since the internet and new technologies make it easy to search for a solution online. Problem solving is not only about searching for a solution, but also about innovating and creating the changes towards a desirable environment.

Team work

Effective listening, building business relationships, culture driven, common interests, motivation… Those are some important aspects that contribute to effective relationships between team members. Why is it so important to not only be a team but also being able to act as a team? Teamwork is required in almost each industry from the technology sector to the food sector. Teamwork maximizes strengths, as each individual possesses their own unique skills, in this way each skill will contribute to the skill of another team member and make them a strong and equal unit!

Time management

Last but not least, is the ability so successfully manage time within the organization. Effective time management allows employees to accomplish more within a shorter time period and lower stress. You can start with prioritizing which tasks are of importance and schedule them within your available time. Shortly, you will find out that you will have more energy and satisfaction due to the knowledge you gained about what matters to you and what does not.

 

So make sure to highlight your strengths during a job application. As soft skills can´t be really measured try to use example of situations in which you were able to express them. If you wish to develop those skills, check out the Study Abroad Portal: https://www.thestudyabroadportal.com/

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How to create the perfect LinkedIn Profile in 10 steps

How to create the perfect LinkedIn Profile in 10 steps

It’s almost a must to have a LinkedIn account in today’s business world. Even though you just apply for an internship, they’ll look you up online. Especially when you are applying abroad it is very important as recruiters from all over the world can get an impression of you. But how do you leave a perfect first impression with your profile? In this article we give you an instruction in 10 steps.

Perfect LinkedIn profile

Before we start let’s take a look at the facts: LinkedIn was created in the USA in 2003 and nowadays it has more than 500 million users from all over the globe. LinkedIn is the worldwide most used social media platform regarding career planning. Your profile functions as an expanded business card in the world wide web for your self-promotion.
But how should the perfect profile look like? What are recruiters looking for? Here a few advices on how to make your profile more attractive and present you in a better way:

1. Your profile picture

Your photo should be professional, of course. A selfie or a picture of your last beach vacation with a cocktail glass in hand is not appropriate for a business platform. Your head and your shoulders should be visible. Your profile picture should be in line with the industry: it’s not necessary for example for a web designer to be in suit and tie, while for an investment banker it’s indispensable. The best option is if you have a picture which shows you “in action”. This means: an IT specialist maybe in front of is Computer or a MBA student on stage giving a speech to his/her fellow students, etc.
The most important thing is that you appear friendly and inviting, but still professional.

2. Customise your URL

To be able to show your LinkedIn profile also in a nice way in your CV and to be easier to find for recruiters, you should customise your LinkedIn URL. It is a very easy process directly on your profile. That way you get rid of the annoying numbers behind your name, which the websites assigns you automatically. Also, it gives you the chance to create your personalized URL with your name and surname, which is easy to memorise.

3. Your headline

Your headline is the first thing that gets seen, when someone is looking you up on LinkedIn, because of that it is of enormous importance. Usually people just keep the automatically created headline, which includes your current position (e.g. Student at XXX University or Intern at XXX). A headline like that doesn’t draw any attention and you’ll get less views from recruiters. Take the time and think about your perfect headline. Include for example your degree, your skills and your career goals. The most important part is that you already enter key words in your headline, to make it easier for others to find you.

4. Your summary

Your LinkedIn summary is probably the most important part of your profile and nevertheless many users just leave it empty. But exactly in this section is your chance to stand out from the crowd and tell the things you want your future employer to know about you. Your summary should reflect your CV but should not be a pure repetition of it.

Ideally your summary should consist of 3 to 5 short paragraphs with a bullet point section in the middle.  The text should inform the reader about your key skills, your unique qualifications, your work passion and your previous experiences. Try to tell a story and be authentic by doing so. Use numbers to refer to your accomplishments (“During my time as a working student at XXX I increased sales by 30 % in comparison to previous years”).

But only about 300 words of your summary are displayed immediately, to see the rest one must click “read more”. To achieve that recruiters want to read your whole summary you should arouse interest at the very beginning of your text. Try to put already in the first sentence the most important information about your experiences and your talents.

And – of course – you should also in this section be aware of using key words connected to your career goals or your industry.

5. Name your skills

Don’t be thrifty! LinkedIn offers you the possibility to add 50 skills to your profile and this is what you should take advantage of. Try not to repeat yourself, for example by adding synonyms of the same skill. Put the most important skills for your current job hunt on top, so recruiters don’t have to scroll through and can find them immediately.

6. Improve your experiences 

Your experiences should not just be a list of your previous jobs and your tasks there. Use bullet points to describe your jobs. Try not to just list your tasks like get in touch with clients, post on social media etc., but use this section to highlight your achievements. Turn your tasks into achievements! Reflect on how your work had a value for the company.

LinkedIn also gives you the possibility to add (multimedia) files. There is an article or a presentation you did on your previous job you are very proud of? Then add it to your profile and show your future employer, what you made! That is the huge benefit of an online CV – take advantage of it!

But be careful: Your profile should not differ from your sent CV!

7. Change your privacy settings

Now that you improved your profile, it’s time to ensure that others can find you on LinkedIn. Check your privacy settings and change them if needed, so that recruiters and acquaintances are able to find and add you.

8. Get connections

Try to get as many connections as possible. If you have just a few, it seems like you don’t know anyone. 50 connections prove that your profile is real and you already gained working experience.

Look for connections and add former classmates, fellow students and co-workers. If you have been attending interesting trainings, talks or similar, take the time to connect with the people you met there. You never know how valuable this contact could be in the future.

Although the number of connections plays a certain importance, nevertheless you shouldn’t add strangers for no reason, because if too many people reject your connection-attempts your profile might get blocked.

9. Ask for recommendations and endorsements

As you already added numerous acquaintances it’s time to ask to write you a recommendation or an endorsement on your profile. This is mostly a mutual act, that way all involved parties get a profit out of it and make a better impression on recruiters.

Endorsements and recommendations are a great tool on LinkedIn in order to prove that you’re telling the truth about your skills and your work effort. It shows that other people tell the same about you like you told the recruiter in your application.

10. Be an active member

Don’t be that kind of person who just creates a LinkedIn profile and then never uses it again. To use LinkedIn correctly and get seen, you must be an active user! Try to post something once a week, whether it’s an interesting article you found or a blog you wrote yourself. Like, comment and share the content of others.

 Also, very recommended is being a member of different LinkedIn groups. This way you always stay up to date in your industry and you have the possibility to get connected with new people. On the other hand, your memberships show recruiters where your interests are. It’s also important to follow persons, who inspire you, and companies, who catch your interest, because this is also a good tool for others to get an impression of your characteristics.

Extra advice 

If you are multilingual your profile should reflect that. Especially when you are looking for internships abroad! A profile, which is completely in your non-English mother tongue has no use for a foreign recruiter.  So take the time to add your profile also in another language.

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Five advices for the first week at your internship

Five advices for the first week at your internship

Are you looking forward to the start of your internship abroad? Then, you shouldn’t miss my six advices on how to start smoothly into the first week of your internship. Starting an internship abroad means leaving your comfort zone and dealing with a new country, maybe a new language and new challenges. I started my internship at PIC Management two weeks ago and know exactly how insecure you feel! So, let me help you.

Starting an internship abroad means leaving your comfort zone and dealing with a new country

Check out how to get to the office

Being too late on your first day of work is inappropriate and creates a bad first impression. In order to arrive on time and without any stress, try your duty stroke out in advance. So, combine exploring your new home with finding the right way to work. Then you already know where to go and how long it takes.

Inform yourself about the dress code

The first impression is important! Inform yourself about the dress code of your company before you start working. If you are unsure after looking at their website, just ask. Being overdressed as well as underdressed is an embarrassing feeling at the first day. However, you should still wear something you feel comfortable with. It is your first day at the internship and of course you are nervous. Your clothes should give you some confidence. Don’t forget to smile because a positive appearance is priceless.

Ask question

In the beginning, you will get a lot of input, many information about the systems, way of work etc. Of course, you can’t remember everything so you shouldn’t hesitate to ask again. Don’t blame yourself for forgetting something, make notes and improve your performance day by day.

Give yourself some time

When you start your internship, your body and mind have to adapt to the new way of life! During your study life, you can decide when and where to study and don’t have to be in the office at 8 am every morning. You will need some time to get a routine and a scheduled day. See the advantages, when you go home after work, you are free and don’t have to think about homework, assignments or exams!

Stay positive

See every challenge as a chance to improve yourself and growth in your personal development. No one is perfect, so just try to become a better version of yourself and enjoy this unique experience abroad.

All the best for your time abroad and tell us how you have experienced your first week at your internship.

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How to rock your internship

You’re already in the middle of your internship abroad. Maybe you have a little down right now. But don’t worry! We will give you a view tips on how to keep motivation high and how to keep on rocking your internship.

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