By Zach Buckley:
Globalization is one of the biggest buzzwords in higher education these days, and it’s helpful to be aware of how it could affect your future. You probably hear about lots of overseas companies recruiting professionals from the United States, who bring great education and a global perspective to companies around the world. Colleges and universities are helping prepare students in many ways, from requiring that students take courses on global issues to encouraging travel and exploration abroad. As a student today, you need to consider how globalization could affect your future career.
Strong Global Economy
While the economy in the United States and in Europe has been lagging, many other countries have actually been growing quite steadily. One of the keys to growth is the ability to harness resources to export to large countries, including the United States and China. Countries like Mongolia are stepping up to the plate with huge expansions of their exports of coal, copper, gold and uranium. Other top global economies include those in Qatar, Ghana, Iraq and Turkmenistan.
Preparing During College
Getting ready for working internationally begins in college. Global companies generally aren’t looking for students who have never been abroad and don’t have the experience and skills to relate with others on a global level. There are several things you can do during college to prepare:
– Take a language course in one of the major languages, or if you know specifically where you want to work, study the primary language spoken there. Although English is sometimes the standard in business, it’s culturally sensitive to learn the local language as well.
– Travel, ideally spending several months abroad to get experience in global cultures. You can do this by enrolling in a study abroad program or by applying for summer internships or fellowships abroad.
– Take courses on globalization, global business, anthropology, cultural differences and anything else that will give you a strong foundation to interact with others well on an international level.
Networking with Business-people
What you’ve learned about networking generally applies to global professions as well, but you’ll also have to add some extra skills when dealing on an international level. In particular, educate yourself about the etiquette in other countries to ensure that you handle yourself in a professional manner. In addition, follow some general rules:
– Use formal language in emails, ensuring that you address people with “Dear…” preceding their title and name. In addition, use a formal closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Yours Sincerely,” to ensure that your email is seen as professional.
– Prepare for a conference call session as you would for a business meeting, being careful to get on the line at the right time, given the time zone differences. Avoid greetings like “good morning” that don’t travel well across time zones.
– Wear formal attire to interviews and meetings, paying special attention to modesty so as not to offend people from more conservative cultures.
Technology has made it easy for businesses around the world to communicate with graduates and professionals. As a result, United States citizens are increasingly finding themselves moving abroad to get great jobs in growing industries. Knowing how to prepare and behave will increase your chance of finding a great job when you graduate and having a positive cross-cultural experience.
[box bg=”#fdf78c” color=”#000″]About the author: Â Zach Buckley is a freelance writer based in the Midwest.Â He enjoys exploring developing trends in education, technology and culture.Â When he isn’t reading or writing blogs, he enjoys sampling good music and good food. Follow him on Twitter! @Zach_buckley[/box]