From Real Madrid to UC Irvine: The right internship can launch your career
Promoted by University of California Irvine

From Real Madrid to UC Irvine: The right internship can launch your career

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of internships when an elite athlete tells you how much he owes to one.

When Sergio Carrallo, then a starting player for Spain’s iconic Real Madrid FC, was making plans for his future post-football, he was looking to switch to a career in digital marketing. When he asked his father which university would be best to jumpstart this new ambition, his answer was the University of California, Irvine.

Carrallo got the ball rolling by signing up for two accelerated certificate programs at University of California, Irvine – Division of Continuing Education (UCI DCE) in marketing and communications. Classes covered a wide range of topics: search engine optimization, content marketing, data analytics, advertising, and more. Thanks to his education at UCI DCE, Carrallo now understands the key points for designing a successful digital marketing plan, not to mention the enviable networking opportunities with people working at Facebook, Google, and other high-profile companies.

Through his stints and internships with some of the world’s biggest brands, he truly made the leap from professional footballer to practicing digital marketer.

Source: UCI Division of Continuing Education

“My background has been in professional soccer, but I’ve also had great experiences working with Nike, Instagram, and some other companies, trying to prepare for my new career in digital marketing and global communications,” he said.

Internships are now an absolute must in today’s employment market. If time and expenses permit, all students and professional job seekers should pursue one. As career advisers will tell you, it’s the best way to maximise your marketability to get the hottest job with the highest possible salary.

Employers favour internships over more traditional recruiting methods, too. According to the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University, employers today go on to hire about 50 percent of their interns as full-time workers. Through internships, employers get to ‘try before they buy’ a potential employee, making internships the new, smart way to recruit.

At UCI DCE, students and professionals can apply for a three-month professional internship within the local Southern California business community. The 10-week unpaid internship program (20-35 hours per week) lets students earn academic credit while gaining experience in a real-world business setting at companies that meet the U.S. Department of Labor’s requirements for unpaid internships.

Source: UCI Division of Continuing Education

Like Carrallo, this will let you apply the skills and concepts learned in the university’s Accelerated Certificate Programs (ACP) – specialized three-month postgraduate programs that balance theory with practice.

Drawing on the considerable talents and resources of UCI DCE, internships here arm students with the tools to succeed in today’s crowded and competitive labor market. Among these expertises sit interview and communication skills, valuable professional experience, the ability to write an American-style résumé and cover letter, as well as cultivate educationally-enhancing relationships.

Students must successfully complete an ACP Program to be eligible for an International Internship program in a field directly related to the most recently completed ACP.

Ilke Tunali from Turkey landed an internship at global pharmaceutical company Allergan’s headquarters in Irvine.

“The key to successfully facing the challenges of today’s global business environment is a top-quality education – this is why I came to UCI. In my courses and internship, I found the opportunity to interact with local and international marketing professionals, all of which created great value for my future,” Ilke explained. She is now a product manager for Allergan in Istanbul.

Source: UCI Division of Continuing Education

Beyond marketing, the specialized TEFL Internships provide a tailored program for aspiring educators. For the unique TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language program, students get to work as teachers in a real-world setting, learning to manage a class, create and present effective lessons, and make professional contacts.

A Master Teacher guides TEFL interns through the entire 10-week ESL program, while an Internship Instructor provides weekly debriefings. It’s a great way to explore and develop career options, and interns get to create a digital video portfolio of internship experiences to aid in future teacher job placement, too.

For Swedish student, Sandra Loren, the TEFL program at UCI enabled her “to fulfill my dream to travel and teach.”

“During the program I was coached and guided by talented and experienced teachers who made me realize how important teachers are in our lives. I also learned a lot about other cultures and I’ve come to understand how important culture is when learning a second language.”

Whether you are a student looking to progress to further study or a professional seeking the most up-to-date knowledge in your field, UCI DCE’s internships and accelerated certificate programs are the first step to success in today’s competitive economic environment.

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