Should I work an Internship while earning my online Master’s degree in International Relations?

Internships are an essential part of any educational journey. If you are earning your online master’s degree in international relations, you may not only be wondering IF you should work an internship…it may be REQUIRED. Most colleges and universities go to great lengths to assure that their students are successful and can obtain gainful employment upon graduation and an internship is an important part of the process. Your best chances for fulfilling your dream career is to work an internship that best relates to the field you wish to pursue.

Internships are most beneficial because they allow a student, while earning their degree, to gain valuable, real-world work experience. It is basically on-the-job training, allowing you to get an inside glimpse of the day-to-day operations of your chosen career. In addition, if you have not chosen a field of expertise, then an internship may help you decide what you would like, (or perhaps, not like), to pursue in your future.

Potential employers will look favorably upon an applicant who has worked an internship while earning their online master’s degree in international relations. It will most definitely give you an advantage over those that do not have the internship distinction on their resume. Although some internships pay a small wage, some do not pay at all, however, you will earn credits…if you do get paid, that is just a bonus!

When searching for an internship, take advantage of the help your school may be able to provide. They often work closely with designated companies that often take advantage of the low labor costs of interns, however, online job boards are helpful, too. If you find an intern opportunity with a company on your own, be sure to check with your Career Counselor for approval and requirements. Employers will be responsible for reporting your progress to your school to obtain credits.

An excellent internship for the student in an online master’s degree of international relations program is to study abroad. This adventure provides the student with experience in cultural differences and the opportunity to put your knowledge of a foreign language to good use. These internships generally last three to six months.

After you have your master’s degree in your hand, you may want to consider spending some time in the Peace Corps. The U.S. government sends people regularly to foreign countries to help others where needed, with a focus on economic and social development. Although rewarding, volunteers are often exposed to unpleasant physical conditions and generally are present in a foreign country for at least two years. The Peace Corps will give a new graduate a taste of living away from home and will represent what a career in international relations could possibly entail. Prospective employers consider students with international work experience as very valuable and beneficial to their organizations, therefore, it is well worth your time to at least consider.

As an intern, you must do the best job you can. Show your employer that you are dependable, prompt, friendly, a team player and willing to go the extra mile. A complementary reference portraying you as the ideal employee will be priceless when entering the job market. With your internship experience and the completion of your online master’s degree in international relations, you will be ready to apply your networking skills to land you the job of your dreams. If you are interested in pursuing this degree, please check out our pick for the