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How business internships can give your career a competitive edge

Article by Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah

Posted: September 22, 2022

 6 min read


GVI’s business internships tick all the boxes; you can travel to incredible destinations. Make an impact. Learn from mentors. Gain qualifications and work experience. All of these things together can give your career a solid foundation.

No matter which direction you want to take, you’ll be able to find an internship program that will help launch your career. Choose from science-focused planet programs, which suit careers in areas such as research or conservation, or people programs which suit a wider range of career paths. If you’re completing a thesis or research paper, you can also take part in a research fellowship

Our business internships range from four to 24 weeks, so you can join a program when it suits you. Whether it’s during your holidays while you’re studying or part of a gap year, there’s a program that can fit into your schedule.

Here’s how a business internship can advance your career. 



Find out what you’re passionate about

An internship can give you the opportunity to focus on your career, by giving you the chance to explore what you’re truly passionate about. The hands-on experience of an internship is a chance to see what kinds of career paths and roles can have an impact, and whether the reality of these options appeals to you. This can help you hone your job search, areas of interest or studies, meaning you can go further faster. 

To thrive in a career within the sustainability sector, you need to be intentional about your direction. Having a plan and preparing can be crucial for your success. As well as getting to try things out in the field, a GVI internship abroad can offer you support from professionals, helping guide you to potential careers and giving you the support you need to find the right path. 


Gain valuable work experience

The hardest part of your career can be getting started. A business internship is an excellent way to gain an edge in competitive fields by giving you the chance to gain work experience. Some of our internship programs include work placements with GVI or one of our stellar partner organisations. 

You could complete a three-month work placement on a teaching and community development internship in South Africa. This is a chance to develop your teaching schools and help run educational programs, learning from partner organisations and the GVI team. 

Or, you could experience a three-month work placement during a conservation internship in Costa Rica, with GVI. You could support research and conservation efforts in the lush Caribbean jungle of Cahuita National Park. 

Alternatively, you could gain work experience in a dive centre in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula as you work toward your PADI Divemaster qualification on a marine conservation internship


There are plenty of internship abroad options depending on your interests and direction – chat with our team for more information on where you can gain work experience. 


Build your professional network

Our professional apprenticeships are perfect for anyone looking to gain experience collaborating on initiatives with global partners. You’ll work with our GVI partners to complete your internship. 

This is a chance to see the inner workings of various projects and increase your professional skills, all while building your professional network. There is huge value in learning from people experienced in their field. 


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Knowing people in organisations around the world can give your career an edge – a strong network is a valuable asset in your career.

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Join an internship


You’ll also be connecting with other interns. The people you meet during your program can become friends for life and might end up in similar fields. Don’t underestimate the strength of these connections in your career.

At the end of your program, your internship supervisor will give you a LinkedIn reference – evidence of the skills you’ve learned, and connections you’ve built during your internship abroad. A reference is a great step forward for your personal brand and career in the sustainability sector. 


Get real qualifications to add to your resume 

Many of our internship abroad programs offer the opportunity to get globally recognised qualifications, such as a PADI Divemaster or TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate. 

GVI offers online courses endorsed by the University of Richmond, including certificates in careers in sustainability, community development, and wildlife conservation

These qualifications look great on your resume and can make you stand out from other applicants in a job hunt.


Develop transferable skills for your resume 

GVI’s business internships are designed to help you learn a range of skills. For example, you could gain experience in communications and social media, project management, workshop design and delivery, and lesson planning, depending on the program you choose. 

Our core internships are perfect for anyone looking to craft a wide range of skills that would suit many career paths. For example, core internships could see you leading surveys, planning workshops, organising fundraising drives or beach cleanups, or providing marketing support. 

If you’re looking to build a versatile skill that will set your resume apart, this is a great place to start. 


Complete your thesis with impactful field research

GVI’s research internships can help you meet the research requirements for your thesis in a supportive learning environment. Our research internships abroad help you collect and analyse relevant field data. 

Our team can give you guidance on which topic to choose that best fits your course of study and future goals, and you’ll benefit from having a remote research internship supervisor. 

You can access existing datasets with comprehensive research data to supplement your insights. This means you won’t be starting data collection from scratch. This can strengthen your findings and save you time, allowing you to launch into other areas of your research. 


Your findings will be used to further contribute to these databases, and toward conservation research in your location.

Join an internship abroad

Completing a thesis with meaningful field research will give you plenty to talk about in future interviews, showcasing your passion and thinking to potential employers. 


Travel the world

What better place to learn than in biodiversity hotspots around the world? Choose from business internships in locations across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Australasia and travel the world while amplifying your career skills. 

Travel experience from an internship abroad can add colour and weight to your CV. Travelling overseas for a business internship will equip you with a range of soft skills that are important in globalised workforces. You might pick up second language skills. You’ll broaden your perspectives and be able to show your cross-cultural communication skills. You’ll make it clear that you have a curious, searching mind. You’ll show passion and commitment to a cause. 

On top of this, you’ll have a fabulous time. Life on base is full of fun, with plenty of time for you to get to know your fellow interns.You can get involved in a range of activities in your chosen location. Your internship abroad could see you hiking to the top of a mountain in Fiji, visiting floating villages in Cambodia, or learning to surf in Ghana. 



Your internship abroad will be packed with unforgettable experiences. This is one of the most exciting ways to learn and expand your career. 

Get an edge in your studies or career and browse GVI’s range of business internships today. 

Some photos by: Thought Catalog



By Petrina Darrah

Petrina Darrah is a freelance writer from New Zealand with a passion for outdoor adventure and sustainable travel. She has been writing about travel for more than five years and her work has appeared in print and digital publications including National Geographic Travel, Conde Nast Travel, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura and more. You can see more of her work at petrinadarrah.com.
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