Monthly Archives

May 2012

Career Tools

Interning Abroad

Pack your bags and get ready to jet set. Here is more incentive to take your job search abroad.    A recent Wall Street Journal article sites that 7 in 10 companies seek international experience in C-suite level candidates.  These companies aren’t just looking for individuals with an appreciation of European travel but instead they want talented managers who have worked multiple stints abroad and are able to oversee product launches in a variety of cultures and countries. 

Be open to global experiences particularly when searching for an internship.  Starting your MBA career in a new country can be challenging but reap definite rewards in terms of gained experience and resulting opportunities.  Working in a foreign country in a business setting challenges young professionals to use their industry skills while adapting to a new environment with differing customs.  People tend to be more malleable early on in their careers and this trait can serve young MBA’s quite well as they quickly learn and embrace the cultural nuances of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern cultures.  This type of adaptability is exactly what Fortune 500 companies are seeking.

 Here are 3 great ways to take your internship search international:

 *Your B-School’s Graduate Career Center:  Companies increasingly are utilizing the MBA career center staff to promote opportunities locally, nationally and internationally.  Typically 20-25% of MBA students enrolled are international.  Companies know this and therefore look for these same students to intern at their international headquarters.   Whether you are an international student or not, you can still take advantage of these postings and work with your career coach on how to best strategize and link your goals and experiences to this internship opportunity.

 Social Media:  Use LinkedIn, TwitJob Search, TweetmyJob, etc. to identify which companies have international internships available and where.  I just did a simple Twitter search through TwitJobSearch and found international internships with Proctor & Gamble, Coco Cola, and numerous others.

 Company Websites:  Many corporations (small, medium, and large sized) have international internship programs specifically designed for MBA students.  Do you research, check online at the company websites and find out what internships are available, what skills are required/desired, and how to apply.  The best time to start researching is early fall (for an internship the following summer) as many of the larger corporations do their internship hiring in the winter.

 Challenge yourself to be open to global opportunities.  Yes, working as an intern internationally will be more work and present different obstacles (like language, transportation, food etc.) however it will also allow for invaluable opportunities that will expand your global network, give you a unique business perspective, and provide you a chance to truly immerse yourself in a new culture.

Career Tools

The Importance of the LinkedIn Group

We hear it repeatedly, the hoopla about the all importance of LinkedIn as a job seeker.  If you have been at the networking, researching, connecting aspect of the job search for a while now, then you have heard and know the necessity of utilizing LinkedIn as a tool.  You are using it to connect with your peers and recent contacts you make at networking events, you login to read the updates for the day, and you click on the companies tab to research any places you may be applying or would like to apply, right?  All stellar ways to use this social media giant.  However, are you missing out on the value of the LinkedIn Groups?  

If you aren’t yet aware, there are a multitude of LinkedIn Groups.  There is a group for everything and you are bound to find one (or twelve) that appeal to you, where you can contribute and ask meaningful thought provoking questions.  It is a place to learn and be heard in a group of your common peers.  Why is the Groups feature of LinkedIn important? I think the power of story will speak better than any further quips from me.

 Sheila Baker (name changed) was content enough in her position as a marketing analyst at X company.   She liked her job and her coworkers and told herself that it was ok to not feel challenged and she should be grateful to have a job in this economy, you know, the standard adage.  Anyway, while perusing her LinkedIn updates she noticed that a friend of hers had joined a group.  She clicked over to the group’s page and decided to apply for membership as well.  (Quite easy to do and many groups are open to the public).  Every day she checked the group page, started answering questions, and started joining other groups from a variety of areas including marketing experts, professionals in her city, her alma mater etc.  Eventually she started asking questions of her own and met some wonderful professional associates with the same interests and drives as her.  She ended up talking off line with several of them.  One day she received a phone call from a hiring manager at her dream company.  The call was to discuss her interest in a marketing manager role.  Of course Sheila was interested (ecstatic to be specific).  She asked how the hiring manager got her information and learned then the power of the LinkedIn Group.  A group member whom she had connected with referred her for the position!  How does this happy story end?  After 3 interviews, Sheila did not get this job, however 3 months later she was approached and hired for a similar position at the same company. She now reports to being content, engaged with her coworkers, AND challenged each and every day.  She is loving life.

 Moral:  Build your network with professionals easily through LinkedIn Groups.  Answer questions, ask for advice, and join in the conversation.  If done correctly and professionally it can impact your career in positive ways.