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Developing global mindsets: Dundee's international internships

With UK employers now seeking employees with an international perspective and awareness of global business cultures, it is becoming more important for graduates to possess skills to help drive companies forward and compete in a global market. To help students gain these skills and the confidence in working across many cultures, the University of Dundee provides the Internship Graduate Certificate - Global.

Outward mobility

The programme was designed to enhance the outward mobility of students, augment their skills, develop their international mindset and improve their success in gaining graduate-level employability on their return to the UK. The programme provides students with a five-month internship and, in addition, students learn how to plan their career and make the most of their internship when seeking a graduate job back in the UK or abroad through the career management module. After the programme, we would expect students to be well-placed to pursue international careers – to the economic and cultural benefit of themselves and the UK. The programme also supports the wider development of links between the UK and overseas economies.   

Positive graduate destinations

This programme was initially funded for one year by the United Kingdom India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) and saw 11 students undertake the programme and complete a five-month internship in Delhi, India. Three students were offered positions with their internship providers in India: one participant is now working in their internship provider's office in London; the other two declined and returned to the UK to progress their careers. The majority of the other students have now secured positive graduate destinations through employment or further study, with one student launching his own business a few months ago.

Diverse and vibrant cultures

The Internship Graduate Certificate - Global received excellent feedback from internship providers who were very impressed with the calibre of the interns and the students on the programme. One student on the India programme commented:

"My experience on this programme so far has been fantastic. Not only has it provided me with valuable international work experience in one of the world’s fastest growing economies, but it has allowed me to gain a real insight into India’s wonderfully diverse and eclectic culture. The organisations associated with the programme have provided excellent support. To top it off, I have been offered a job with my company on return to London. A golden opportunity that truly can’t be missed."

This year saw the launch of a new route, offering placements in China. With help from the Scottish Government Outward Mobility Fund, and working in partnership with InternChina, students have undertaken internships in Zhu Hai, China, for five months. Students are not only experiencing an international business environment but are also embracing the vibrant culture of China, all of which will help them to stand out from the crowd when they return to the UK.  Students on this programme have just recently returned from China and are starting to reflect on their experience and their future prospects.

One student on the China programme commented:

"Team role exercises allowed me to better understand my strengths and weakness when working as part of a team. I am also finding it extremely useful to have done a personality test and a sector report, which proved to be very valuable in understanding the unique methodology involved in conceptualizing a project in China. It’s a great opportunity to improve your professionalism and enhance your employability, plus you have the opportunity to develop your skills in the context of a foreign country, which can be incredibly beneficial on your future projects in the UK."

Further information

The next intake for the Internship Graduate Certificate - China is January 2015. More information about this programme can be found on the University of Dundee's website.

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