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Gain business experience with an international internship

A question I am frequently asked is ‘what experience do I need to be a Virtual Assistant?’ Whilst it is a great question, it is also a really difficult question to answer!

Virtual Assistants are just that – assistants to businesses on a virtual basis, and so the possibilities are endless. And if you’re anything like me, that’s incredibly exciting potential!

If you have read some of my other Virtual Assistant blog posts, you will know that I became a Virtual Assistant during my second maternity leave when I couldn’t get the sums of childcare to add up! To my Virtual Assistant business, I brought a degree in Hospitality Management, 4 years of Event Management, and 7 years of experience in Further Education in the Hospitality sector.

Administration skills were a by-product of all my experience, and this is what I started offering as a service. I also had good business acumen from my years as an Apprenticeship Assessor.

However, the Virtual Assistant world has changed….

When I started seven years ago, Virtual Assistants tended to mainly be like me – a few years into an established career but wanting to change things to fit in around young families. No one really knew what a Virtual Assistant was either when I told them what I did!

But the pandemic has been a game-changer for the world of work and working as a Virtual Assistant which used to be quite niche has now become more mainstream and also globally recognised. Indeed, a large percentage of my 463 course enrolments are based outside of the UK!

It has also become a popular option amongst recent graduates either as a way of earning some money on the side whilst travelling or as a fully-fledged career option with a fabulously flexible way of working! But for this age group, what do you do if you don’t have any business or admin experience?

Have you considered an internship?

An internship is a fantastic way to explore the professional world and gain experience without having to ‘jump right in’. You can get a taste for an industry before committing to anything more permanent.

I was lucky in that my undergraduate degree was a sandwich course consisting of two years in university, one year on work placement and then another year back at university. When I graduated, it was my work placement experience which nailed me my first job. My 12 months of hands-on experience gave me a confidence and a reference that no classroom-based lessons in ‘Strategic Management’ could have given me.

If your degree didn’t include a work placement then in my opinion, an internship is perfect way to bridge that gap between the world of study and work.

Take it one step further with an International Internship

Speaking from experience, if you have the opportunity to work abroad, then go for it!! I did with my degree, but at the time I couldn’t imagine being away from home for 12 months so I stayed in the UK!

Whilst I don’t regret my decision as it was right for me at the time, I do wish I had spread my wings further whilst I was younger.

If I were to have my time again, I would want to feel confident in the entire process. Looking back, that was definitely lacking for me at the time and likely impacted my decision. I just kept picturing myself turning up at an airport abroad and having to find my own way to accommodation and work, and it terrified me!

I would want experts organising my international internship, like the team at Beyond Academy, so I could feel completely reassured and supported by the wealth of experience in the team involved in the programme organisation. It’s not just an internship programme with them – it is a completely tailored experience which includes community events, career coaching sessions and online tools and courses to support your professional development.

Their International Internships Seoul looks like an incredible option – gaining experience in a global business hub whilst also immersing yourself in a rich traditional culture.

With international internship options available from 6-24 weeks in length, and industries including fashion, business, PR, marketing, technology and finance, there is something to suit everyone!

What are you waiting for?

With the world of global travel back open again after Covid, and the lessons we have all learned from two years in and out of lockdowns, there has never been a better time to explore all options available to you!

The last thing any of us want to do is look back and think ‘what if?’, so if travel has been on your agenda and you are looking to kick-start your professional life and potentially your Virtual Assistant business with a career-boosting internship, then visit their website, download a brochure and grab a coffee to settle down and start envisaging your future!