J1 intern story: “Without my experience abroad, I wouldn’t have gotten my current job.”

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Here’s another J1 intern story. Meet Kristina.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from, what do you do for a living?

I’m from Belarus, and I’m currently part of the communications team at the British Embassy in Minsk.

Why did you decide to take part in the J1 training program?

I was fresh out of university and I wanted to get some experience working in online marketing, and the US was the best place to do that.

What was the biggest challenge for you when you became an intern?

The biggest challenge for me was living on a budget, so I had to learn to prioritise. Luckily, there are a lot of great things to do in New York, and many of them are free: like open lectures and conferences, meet up groups and open air events. You can always find something you fancy.

If you could turn back time, what would you have done differently during your internship program?

I would have been more proactive and negotiated more. Things like my salary, job description, working hours, etc. It’s easy to get things if you ask, so if you are about to start your internship, get a clear idea about what you want to get out of it first, and then make sure you communicate that to your host company.

Best internship memory?

I was part of a great team at work, so my whole experience is my best memory. I’ve made some great friends during my time in the US.

Reflecting on your entire program, was it worth it?

Definitely! It was one of the best things I’ve done.

Did your internship experience influence your professional growth? How?

I started working in social media marketing when the field was very new, and without my experience abroad, I would not have gotten my current job.

Word of advice to future interns.

“Stay hungry, stay foolish” :)

Thanks to Kristina for sharing her internship story. We invite you to join us on IIUSA adventure. Become a J1 intern today!

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International education will change the world! J1 visas, F1 visas, OPT - been there, done that. Worked for a J1 sponsor, owned a technology business. Trail runner. Love search engines and Soviet history. Have a question about internship programs? Let's connect!

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