Bob Weichler.
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International internship adventure in New York City

As a last-year student at the Thomas More University College in Belgium, it is a requirement that every student does an internship. The internship lasts three months and can be in Belgium or in another country. I wanted to do an international internship and the school has a flyer with suggested international destinations and companies, but none of them really caught my attention. In the field of web design & development is English a very important skill. Therefore I was aiming for an internship in the USA or the United Kingdom. My priority went to the USA and I started looking for suitable companies in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley.

New York

First things first, New York

I’ve visited New York twice in my life and I really loved the city. This is why I wanted to search for an internship in New York first, before looking in other cities. But because I know that finding an internship company isn’t easy, I didn’t wait for an answer from any company in New York before I started looking in Los Angeles and San Francisco as well.

Because I’m already active as a freelance web developer during my studies, I wanted to aim for the highest-ranked companies first. My internship will be hard, but I know it will be absolutely worth it! So I’ve started googling the top 10 best web design companies of NYC, LA, and San Francisco. I’ve also searched on the top 10 best web design companies and the top 10 best digital agencies. I’ve contacted them all and then I dropped the top 10, so I just searched the best of everything again. After that, I’ve started searching after startup companies. Eventually, I’ve contacted over 60 companies in April 2016. While my internship was starting in February 2017.

Dear internship companies, please reply…

As I thought, only five or six companies answered on my first emails. And they all answered that I was too early. So they couldn’t confirm if they had internship opportunities for me. When my school started again in September I’ve contacted them all again for a second time. A few companies replied to my requests. Some told me they don’t have internship opportunities and some told me they were actually interested in me.

I’ve sent my resume and more details of my internship to the companies that were interested and emailed all of the other companies for a third time. The company that I was interested in the most also replied positively to my internship request. To them, I’ve sent a more specific motivation letter and they invited me for a Skype call.

Start my international internship!

From all the companies I’ve contacted, only three invited me for a preliminary Skype call. But only the Skype calls from Night Owl Interactive were important to me. Because that was the company I really wanted! The Skype calls went very well and they invited me for a Skype video call. They told me that they wanted to send me a small test, to see what I was capable of. What is the point of going on a six months internship if you can’t do anything anyway… So I received the test which consisted of a .psd file that I needed to convert to an HTML template. I built the assignment that night and send it back as a .zip folder. They were quite impressed and congratulated me on my new internship!

So let my international internship begin… But first, let’s fix all the paperwork…

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