Sunday, December 5, 2010

A bit of advice for college bound students---it is free and worth what you pay for it...maybe even a little more!!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider spending a semester (or two) in a foreign country when you are in college.  The experience will stay with you forever on a  personal level, but it WILL help you in your career/profession.  In today's marketplace you never know where opportunities may lead you.  Having this kind of exposure increases your value to an employer, EVEN if they don't send you overseas.

NYTIMES: When a Career Path Leads Abroad

Choosing the wrong person for an overseas job is costly, for both companies and workers. “The failure rate with international assignments is quite high,” Professor Teagarden said — people come home before their contracted time or they don’t achieve their goals. Business is lost, and professional and personal relationships can be damaged, she said.

That is why she and her colleagues at Thunderbird have identified a “global mind-set” — attributes of a successful overseas employee. For one thing, people who thrive overseas are drawn to variety and novelty, she said. For example, ask someone what types of food or television programs they like, she said. If their answers cover a wide range, she said, these are likely to be better candidates for an international assignment.

They also show resiliency and are willing to take risks, she said. “They may be a black sheep or the outlier at home,” she said, and the international assignment fills a professional void in their lives.
Her book focuses on women; she and Ms. Yeatman found that the women they surveyed who worked abroad (the typical assignment was three to five years) advanced professionally at a much faster pace than women who stayed in their home countries.
Like Ms. Berdan, Mr. Wall says overseas experience tends to help people’s careers — especially in the new, more global economy. “We really encourage international exposure and experience,” Mr. Wall said. “It creates a more well-rounded professional.”
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