International internships can open many doors to a brighter future

You hear people say it a lot and it’s not exactly a surprise. Mostly this refers to the fact that once you’ve worked abroad, even if just for a short time, you tend to be more open towards the idea of finding work abroad on a more permanent basis. Some do it as soon as they finish their apprenticeship or vocational school, others want to collect more experience in their home country before taking the next step. Either way is ok and there is no right or wrong that fits all. There is however one common problem most people underestimate: The application process.

It is one thing to apply for an internship and another to apply for a permanent job with the appropriate salary attached to it. So naturally, the interview process will be much tougher for a permanent role and this can put a nerve wrecking spin on the excitement of getting the job you really want. But there are ways to outsmart this and I’d encourage you to make the most of it. It’s called “Collecting Gold Dust”.

Collecting Gold Dust is all about figuring out what companies look for in their employees

Whilst you may have some or plenty of experience with this in your own country, bear in mind that every country and culture has its own rules and regulations, topped off with varying degrees of personal preferences. As a simple example to this, think of your CV. In most mid European countries it is quite normal and actually desirable to put a portrait photo of yourself at the top of the page. In the UK however, photos can make a CV inadmissable as it COULD be classed as “discrimination” if a company chooses not to invite someone for an interview who doesn’t look the part. There is no way of proofing for what reason a company really did decide not to give someone a chance and so most managers take the safer option and decide not to accept CVs with photos on them. 

So how do you collect this “Gold Dust” and what is it actually?

The answer is simple. “Gold Dust” is the insider knowledge that only staff with hiring powers ie. managers and bosses can give you. They can tell you things that you cannot find on Google. This includes but is not limited to:

  • What do they consider a good CV?

  • How many pages max?

  • Photo or no photo?

  • Any personal favourites on formatting?

  • What would stand out to them on a CV that definitely gets you invited to an interview?

  • What is a completely unacceptable CV and why?

  • During the interview, what do they look for in a person’s behaviour?

  • What type of behaviour is completely unacceptable to them?

  • How do they identify someone’s enthusiasm for the job or things like a person’s creative thinking and problem solving skills?

  • Do they always hire the person that fits the exact profile of what they’re looking for or would they consider someone “less suitable” if their other traits exceeded expectations?

  • Can they give you real examples of past interviews that went really well or really badly?

  • If by sheer luck they are in the process of interviewing for a new role, would they allow you to sit-in quietly to observe?

Basically all you need to do is ask your supervisor or manager if, at some point during your internship, they could spare you some time to talk about their hiring policies and strategies. Be clear from the beginning that you would like to set aside enough time to take notes and prepare plenty of questions so that you can really learn from the top people around you (it will complement their ego at the same time). 

Happy Gold Dust Collecting!

ADC College organises Internship Programmes in London and Dublin, eligible for funding from Erasmus+. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or send a message to