Home

 

Getting Experience

- # of # Filtered -

An Epic Internship in Malaysia

Q&A with Aske: Interned Abroad in Malaysia
Share this
Print this
Aske
Interned Abroad in Malaysia
His thoughts on Boosting Your Career
I found that getting hired by a business abroad as a recent graduate was actually easier than getting hired at home, because my innate value as a worker was crystal clear.
His thoughts on Boosting Your Career
There are so many pathways to international careers that I had no idea existed until I started doing in-depth research and connecting with experienced expats.
His thoughts on Taking It All In
There’s an instant connection between fellow expats abroad, and I’ve found that the further from home we travel, the more this tends to apply.
His thoughts on Motivation
If you're interested in an international career, my advice is to go abroad and reach out to experts and expats. You might be surprised at the opportunities that await you when you dream big!

As we put on our swim vests my boss yelled, “Who wants to capsize!?” I was taken aback that this white-haired professional seemingly wanted to throw himself straight into the powerful river current.

We were white water rafting as part of a team-building day with my host company in Malaysia, and my boss yelled this right before we capsized our raft for the second time that day. Luckily no one was hurt. It was a great deal of fun and that boss was one of the best I've ever had. You never know where you'll end up when you intern abroad!

The Backstory

I studied international business and trade at Zealand Academy of Technologies and Business in Denmark, and although my degree had built-in internship slots, there was actually no international component offered. So, a few of us took it upon ourselves to build a partnership with a university abroad. As a result, I got lucky and was able to spend a semester at the University of Malaya, which I then managed to extend into an internship with a local outsourcing company in Malaysia, named Vedel IT. This internship was an eye-opener and a big career booster for me.

Going Abroad Kickstarted My Career

I’m currently based in Vietnam, working at a healthcare start-up (and managing the Expat Vault blog), but it was the international internships undertaken during my studies that set me on the path to career success abroad.

I undertook several internships during my studies, trying to find a way to stand out to future employers. I interned at agencies, bought TV advertising for some of the biggest brands on the planet, worked at a well-known travel start-up, and more. And I actually ended up completing more internships abroad than at home.

My internship in Malaysia, with a local outsourcing company, stands out because it demonstrates what is truly possible when we take the plunge, go abroad and take advantage of every opportunity.

This six-month internship started out unexciting. I was asked to do surveys and research potential clients in my native language. This could have been somewhat boring, but I made sure to offer my services for other campaigns and help out in other areas of the business.

At the time, I didn’t know much about online marketing, apart from what I’d learned through personal projects in my spare time. Still, even this level of experience ended up being hugely valuable because no one else at the company had similar knowledge. In the end, I became responsible for doing most of the company’s digital marketing campaigns and gained valuable experience that, unbeknownst to me, would set me up for a job abroad further down the road. All because I was willing to take on extra challenges and make the most of my unique package of skills and abilities.

Taking Your Skills Abroad

I was surprised to find that, in the office abroad, no one cared if I was proficient in the local language. They found it more valuable that I was fluent in my mother tongue, because I could better connect with clients from my home country. I became an invaluable resource for client communications and was able to ensure that nothing was mistranslated or misunderstood.

For business students, I think the biggest challenge when looking for a first job after graduation is how to set yourself apart from other candidates. Our studies don’t seem immediately useful in the real world, so it’s hard to know how to sell yourself for positions. Hiring managers also seem to find it challenging to see the connection between our studies, our internships, our extra-curriculars and the value we might bring to their organizations.

However, when you go abroad and work with companies who have an interest in your home country, your value and potential is obvious. I found that getting hired by a business abroad as a recent graduate was actually easier than getting hired at home, because my innate value as a worker was crystal clear. As someone with an understanding of my home country’s business culture and language, I could offer in-depth knowledge to the Malaysian team, even without prior experience in their industry.

Connecting with Experts & Friends

When I first considered working abroad, I felt confused about the options. I only imagined typical “international” jobs, like working as a diplomat or in the oil and gas industry. But this is where it became important to seek out experts in the field of international careers (like MyWorldAbroad). There are so many ideas and pathways to international careers that I had no idea existed until I started doing in-depth research and connecting with experienced expats.

Through networking and research, I realized that there might actually be opportunities abroad in my industry. And I discovered what I feel has been the biggest insight interning abroad: the hidden job market.

There are typically two ways to find a good internship or job abroad: apply online or discover hidden jobs through friends. The latter has become my go-to strategy since moving abroad.

Although when I first moved abroad I was concerned that making friends would be a challenge, I quickly discovered that networking with expats is actually easier – and more powerful – than making friends at home. There’s an instant connection between fellow expats abroad, and I’ve found that the further from home we travel, the more this tends to apply.

Many expats get bitten by the long-term travel bug and, instead of doing one job and heading home, they stay abroad and relocate for new assignments. By developing long-term relationships with these people, you can tap into insider opportunities and “hidden jobs” via your expat friends. I’ve seen this happen so many times you wouldn’t believe it.

My internship in Malaysia gave me the insight that one of my biggest assets was actually my nationality. With that insight, I went on holiday in a new country and, while there, I reached out to Danish companies with offices there. This led to a casual coffee meeting, interesting restaurant discoveries and, ultimately, a connection with my future boss. All because of a seemingly casual expat meet-up over coffee.

If you're interested in an international career, the one thing I'd leave you with is to go abroad, and reach out to experts and expats. You might be surprised at the opportunities that await you when you dream big!

Advice from MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey, Publisher, MyWorldAbroad

Aske’s fascinating story demonstrates the power of going abroad and the value of remaining open to new opportunities and adventures. His positive and resourceful attitude sets an excellent example for all globally minded young people. We particularly appreciate his insights into finding hidden opportunities via expat networks while abroad. Aske has also gone the extra mile of beginning to share his expat insights with others on his blog, the Expat Vault, which is definitely worth a visit. In order to expand his cultural palette, Aske might one day also pursue professional opportunities in another contrasting region of the world, such as South America or Africa. We wish him luck! Some articles for others interested in long-term travel: 

Aske's Next Steps
Advice from MyWorldAbroad
by the founder of MyWorldAbroad
Jean-Marc Hachey
Want to Have the Same Experience?
10 Global Competencies
Take control of your career with this ESSENTIAL model!
Virtual Internships in 2022!
Remote work is the way of the future! Start planning YOUR virtual international internship now.
The 1-Year & 4-Year Global Mindset Maps!
Don't miss your blueprint for success! Set goals & take action to build the Global You.
The Global You
What skills, knowledge and experiences can change your life? Find out with this NEW model!
The Culture Tree
EXPLORE the three levels of culture!
Quizzes & Scorecard
Take these simple quizzes to assess your international skills, experiences & job search readiness!
16387
- # of # Filtered -
  • 102
102
16392
Building International Career Skills Online
1
16382
Making the Most of Lockdown with a Virtual Internship
2
16320
Independent, International, Virtual! A UN Internship Online
3
16312
Virtual Internship for a Cross-cultural Future
4
16157
Zoom Zoom! A Virtual Internship with Central America
5
9775
A Year Of Feeling French
6
10153
China, South Africa And Beyond!
7
9776
Soaking Up Japanese Culture
8
9764
Do It Yourself! A Proactive Intern in Rome
9
15631
An International Career in the Making: Asia, Africa and Beyond
10
15405
From Daydream to Reality: Teaching Abroad
11
10923
Insight And Education In Korea
12
15401
From Korea to Oman: Teaching English Around the World!
13
9761
Communicating Creatively In Spain
14
9773
Independent In India
15
9791
Making Contacts Count In The UK
16
9740
Sports, Study And Fun In France
17
9743
Hooked On Volunteering!
18
16316
Exploring the Sights, Sounds & Tastes of Mexico City
19
16387
An Epic Internship in Malaysia
20
9756
Springtime In Spain
21
9763
A Professional Visit To Vietnam
22
9780
A Year In Marvelous Mexico!
23
9751
A Canadian Globe-Trotter Visits The US
24
9768
Going Solo In Spain!
25
10188
Now Or Never In Colombia
26
9792
Rolling With The Punches In Seoul
27
9745
An Unforgettable Adventure In Nanjing
28
9774
Gaga For Ghana!
29
9783
Off The Beaten Path In Africa
30
9755
People, Places And Passionate Volunteering In Peru
31
9778
Study And Adventure In New Zealand
32
9777
Into The Wild In Alaska
33
9754
Building Memories In India
34
9750
Host Hospitality In Morocco
35
9747
Fun And Friends In The Netherlands
36
9748
Adventure In The Alps
37
9786
Kids And Culture In Korea
38
9772
Learning To Go With The Flow In France
39
9762
American Freshman In London
40
9771
Learning To Love London
41
9742
Take-Charge Travel: Germany And Beyond!
42
9746
A Cross-Cultural Co-Op In West Africa
43
9760
Getting In Sync In Nairobi
44
9759
From Cold Feet To Confidence In Germany
45
9779
One Summer, Two Internships!
46
9785
Motivated In Madagascar
47
9741
Adapting to Work In Peru
48
9784
Skill-building in Bonn
49
9753
A Season in Sweden
50
9765
Simpatico in Florence
51
9782
Making The Most Of Milano
52
9737
Passionate About Panama
53
9766
Short-Term Trips For Long-Term Gain
54
9781
A Hospital Helper In Costa Rica
55
9789
Loving Life In Lyon
56
9790
Design And Dining In Korea
57
9770
Contributing To Change In Ghana
58
9757
Teaching And Learning In Tanzania
59
9738
Living For The Moment In Valencia
60
9767
Beyond The Call Of Duty In Africa
61
16174
An Empowering Virtual Internship in Nicaragua
62
9744
Food, Fun And Festivals In Germany
63
16161
A Bright & Friendly Cross-cultural Workspace
64
16017
A Globally-minded Visit to Qatar
65
10204
Across Europe In A Caravan!
66
9758
Learning The Local Ways Of Addis Ababa
67
11645
A Love Affair with Shanghai
68
11996
Daring to Go Solo in Ireland
69
12058
Architectural Adventures in Australia
70
11845
Hospitality and Hosting in the DCR
71
15333
A Literary Education in the UK
72
14088
An Eye-opening Experience Teaching in South Korea
73
14483
Finding Home, By Teaching Abroad
74
14594
Growing Abroad: Hong Kong & South Korea
75
15347
12 Months, 12 Countries!
76
15383
Hustle and Bustle in Vietnam
77
15327
An Open Mind & Open Arms in Spain
78
15387
Bliss on a Budget in Brazil
79
15644
Discovering the World on Campus: International Skills at Home
80
11467
Stepping Outside the Box in Sweden!
81
9752
Giving In Guatemala
82
9769
Getting Sporty In Switzerland!
83
9788
Business And Pleasure In Australia
84
9787
A Spring Semester in London
85
9807
Fast Friendship in Korea
86
11557
Un stage au Cambodge (Français)
87
10230
Getting Caffeinated In Bolivia
88
11468
Learning While Teaching in Beijing
89
10145
Real Stories And Real People In Mexico
90
9803
Ten Years Teaching In Seoul
91
10851
Tips From Tasmania
92
9799
Getting Settled In Seoul
93
10258
Encountering Cultures Across Europe
94
10218
Adaptation And Appreciation In Japan
95
9812
Caring And Career Skills In Belize
96
10157
Changing Course In China
97
11850
The Warmest Welcome in Guatemala
98
11904
Enthusiasm, Education and Experience in Greece
99
10163
English Teaching In Eastern Europe
100
10192
Out And About In Paris
101
10143
A Warm Welcome In Mexico
102
16387
All Job Boards
460
All NGOs
1434
Au Pair Resources
40
Awards And Grants Resources
60
Business Directories
22
Canadian Federal, Provincial And Territorial Government Profiles
60
Canadian Government Resources
32
Children And Families Abroad
18
Consulting, Economic And Finance Job Boards
63
Country Guides
101
Cross-cultural Skills
83
Engineering Job Boards
62
Engineering Resources
79
Expatriate Networking Sites
36
Foreign Students Working in the US
9
Freelancing Abroad
27
General Job Search Books
17
Global Education And Social Action
64
Health And Medicine Job Boards
52
Health Career Resources
71
International Associations With Clubs on Campus
43
International Development Career Resources
84
International Internship Organizations
314
International Internships And Student Programs With Canadian Governments
35
International Internships With The US Government
38
International Job Hunting Resources
17
International Law Careers Resources
114
International Law Job Boards
28
International Studies In The US And Canada
11
International Trade Resources
23
International Volunteer Organizations
497
Internship Directories And Advice
51
Internships With The UN And Other IGOs
159
Language Careers
34
Learn A Language
114
Licensed Teacher Abroad Job Boards
36
Licensed Teacher Abroad Resources
40
Loans for Studying Abroad
18
Low-cost Travel
72
NGO Directories
34
NGO Job Boards
51
Re-entry
12
Regional Job Boards
110
Relocating Abroad
29
Resources For International Students Studying In Canada
17
Resources For International Students Studying In The US
48
Stories From Abroad
102
Study Abroad Resources
195
Teach English Abroad Job Boards
104
Teach English Abroad Resources
78
Tools for Travelers
94
Top International Blogs & Podcasts
86
Travel Health And Safety
56
UN and Other IGOs
271
UN And Other IGOs Job Boards
27
UN And Other IGOs Resources
75
US Government Profiles
76
US Government Resources
45
Virtual International Internship Organizations
93
Volunteer Directories And Advice
63
Women Living And Working Overseas
19
Working Holiday Resources
79