When I first returned from study abroad I assumed employers would ask me all about my international experiences. They didn’t. The only time I was asked about my study abroad experience was when a hiring manager told me about her Italian honeymoon. We talked about gelato. I assumed I’d stand out in my search because of my study abroad experience. I assumed employers would inquire about my newly-developed problem-solving skills or ability to smart decisions in ambiguous situations from seeing my experience on the resume. But I didn’t stand out and employers rarely asked about my time abroad.
The lack of discussion was disappointing but it was not a one-off. I learned early on that I couldn’t assume employers knew the value of study abroad. Instead I learned to weave my global experiences and skills into a narrative that matched what employers wanted to hear and the job I was applying for.
Career Skills for Global Graduates is designed to teach study abroad students and alumni how to communicate their international experiences to future employers. Even better, students also learn how to build a framework towards a global career, one that includes a strong network and strategic evaluation of future global career opportunities.
In the two-part course, students:
- Build a global career path
- Identify employment that meets their academic and career goals
- Build a professional network online and off
- Conduct informational interviews
- Examine future global opportunities ranging from teaching abroad to graduate school abroad to working internationally
- Identify and articulate their international experiences and skills into the framework that employers understand
This course originated in 2011 from a 10 week virtual course I piloted with Foster School of Business undergraduates who were studying abroad. Students learned to network, conduct informational interviews, articulate their international experience, and identify companies that matched their career goals.