Skills for Searching

Bryan Keyt, Germany 2013Need some guidance?  Meet with an ECRC Advisor to discuss your options and select the types of organizations that meet your needs. Your international internship does not have to be with a public corporation or small business. You may find an interesting opportunity in a government agency, non-government organization (NGO), non-profit entity such as a private endowment, or with a philanthropic organization.

Here are some pointers to get your search going:

  • Use multiple strategies: Cast a wide net to find and apply for openings.
  • Go directly to the company website:  If there is a company of interest listed in search engines such as ENGenius.Jobs go to the company website, and identify the head of international operations. Send a letter of introduction and a resume to that person, and include a description of your:
    • Interest in the company
    • Desire to make an international internship part of your educational experience
    • Skills, abilities, and background and why you make a good fit for the company
    • *If you also have an interest in working in the U.S. operation of the company, be careful how you construct your cover letters to ensure the broadest consideration.
  • Consider placement organizations:  A placement organization can offer valuable services to help you find work abroad.
  • Network:  Learning to network effectively is a skill you will use the rest of your life.  The Engineering Career Resource Center (ECRC) routinely offers workshops and advice on building and using your network.  Become an expert!
  • Contact past employers:  Many companies have overseas subsidiaries where you might find work.
  • Contact faculty members:  Find out if they have colleagues around the globe who might have similar projects and positions for students.
  • Contact other U-M, CoE students:  Try to connect with other U-M, CoE students who have already completed an internship in the country or company of interest to you.  When you contact a peer, ask questions about their internship.  If appropriate, request introductions to prospective employers or others who may be able to assist you.
  • Attend career-related events:  Career and information programs or employer meetings may be useful means of finding opportunities abroad.  They may provide you with background information, ability to meet peers with similar interests, and gain access to representatives from potential employers.  Look at the ECRC’s events and the International Career Pathways sessions in the Fall.


To learn about and prepare for International Internships

Engineering Career Resource Center: WA1Meet with a Career Counselor from the Engineering Career Resource Center to discuss work abroad and internship search strategies.  The ECRC can also critique your resume and provide resources to help you adapt your application documents for a non-U.S. audience.

Michigan International Internship & Service Program (MIISP): MIISP, facilitated by the International Center’s Education Abroad office, provides students with resources and support for finding an international internship or service opportunity.  Applications are available at the beginning of each academic year with a deadline in early October. So, be sure to plan early and apply.

International Career Pathways (ICP): The International Career Pathways series brings U-M students together with educators and employers to explore pathways to international careers through work, internship, volunteer, and research abroad.  The ICP series, usually held during Fall semester, consists of panel discussions and presentations focused on global professional opportunities during and after your time at U-M.  There is also an annual International Opportunities Fair for students to explore work, volunteer, and internship opportunities abroad.  Refer to the ICP website for a listing of past presentations and program updates!

U-M Libraries: The University Library is an invaluable partner in furthering the mission of the University of Michigan as a global university.  Offering a full range of resources and staffed by librarians in diverse international specializations, the Library provides a unique service to the U-M global study community.  Using the IPE research guide and the Global research guide, discover tips and tricks to finding the information you need, global activities at the Library, and learn more about databases and websites you’ll need. 

U-M International Center, Education Abroad Office: The Education Abroad office and website is an excellent resource for finding international opportunities beyond U-M.  They also host a variety of events and compile lists of funding sources for international experiences available at and beyond the University of Michigan