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Study Abroad and Career Development

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Maria Wentworth

on 18 April 2014

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Transcript of Study Abroad and Career Development

Where do you see opportunities to create "developmental speedbumps"?
Communicating to External Constituents
graduate schools/employers, parents
Global Networking Strategy
Communicating to Relevant Constituents
Communicating to Internal Constituents
career services, faculty, students
* Increase the number of students studying abroad
We as International Educators
clearly articulate the value of study abroad and its connection to career development, so that our students purposefully approach studying abroad, and have the language to articulate their experience to employers.
Selling Study Abroad to Students and Employers
Print Materials
"Your ability to interpret the value of an education abroad experience to an employer will be easier if your decision to go abroad is linked to your career goals."

Key Resource:
University of Minnesota, Resources for Career Integration
*Student Recruiting: Marketing Language to both promote & prepare.
Maria Wentworth, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Study Abroad Coordinator

*Nurturing the Experience: Program planning and implementation.
Jenni Kim, Miami University
Assistant Director, Farmer School of Business International Programs

*After the Program: Articulating the experience to employers.
Nick Cattin, Miami University
Director of Career Education, Farmer School of Business
A Marketable Experience
China Business Certificate Program
Why apply to the China Business Program?

China is home to 1/4 of the world's population, and has the world's largest-growing economy
Develop valuable skills that employers are looking for
Understand China's role in today's global economy
Learn Chinese business practices
Develop Chinese language proficiency
Students are exposed to this career-oriented message early
Program Requirements
1) LANGUAGE: 2 years of Chinese
2) CULTURE: Minor or "Thematic Sequence" related to China
3) OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE: Study or Intern in China
4) BUSINESS COURSEWORK: 2 seminar courses
these courses are in the process of being re-developed to "encase" the study abroad experience

#1 Pre- Study Abroad
Historical, geographical, cultural and religious environment and challenges as they relate to business in China
#2 Post- Study Abroad
Apply knowledge and skills gained in China to compare, contrast, and negotiate different cultures in a case-based course
Utilize the structure of the program requirements to create "developmental speedbumps" for your students
Nurturing the Experience
Structured PRE-reflection and goal-setting

Encourage reflection DURING the study abroad experience

Guided POST-reflection upon return
Questions asked to students:
Top skills that employers want:
Which skills are your strengths; which would you like to improve?
How might you develop these skills during your study abroad experience?

Reflection While Studying Abroad
Questions to Ask Students:
What is surprising/unexpected to you?
How can you relate your experience to your understanding of business on a global scale?
What are some challenges that you've overcome, and what skills did you use to overcome them?
Send an email to students 1/2 way through program

-This could be facilitated with StudioAbroad or other auto email system that you might use
-Not every student will do it, but at least it's on their radar!
Post Reflection
Questions Asked to Students:
Choose one skill (from list) that you developed during your experience
Give a SPECIFIC example
Make a 2 minute "elevator speech" video
This reflection may be in the form of a paper/discussion/presentation/video clip

The product of this exercise can be used for future recruitment/promotion and pre-reflection

Students can also use this example in interviews!
Encourage students to connect with alumni in the city/region where they are studying

-Utilize Linked In
-Make personal connections and ask how they ended up living or working internationally
In All of your marketing -
Link to career development
Clearly articulate utilitarian skills
The First Steps

Marketing the Experience the Right Way
"...incoming freshman perceive professional preparation as one of the leading drivers of a college's educational value."
Thus, coming away better prepared to sell their experience to employers.
Career Minded Marketing
Collaboration with
Faculty & Administration
Major specific content
General statements
Specific skills
major specific content
general statements
general statements
specific skills
major specific content

& Info
specific skills
general statements
U.S. employers are looking for well-rounded candidates with strong communication and initiative, such as; self-motivation, time management, critical thinking, and the ability to work in teams and improvise. International education offers these skills by providing a global perspective and awareness, as well as by making students self-reliant and self-confident.
... a UW-Stout Business Administration student was hired at 3m specifically because he had international study and travel experience. They felt they could trust him with international expansion and collaboration.
Large, multinational firms collaborate with and hire employees from all over the world.
general statements
specific skills
Ability to Understand Diverse Points of View
Today's global marketplace demands increased adaptability, cross-cultural collaboration, political awareness, and the ability to execute risky tasks.
...in the form of:
Major specific content
General statements
Specific skills

"We're moving from the idea that study abroad is inherently a good thing--which it is, to thinking more about the utilitarian benefits of going overseas."
Clearly communicate the benefits of Studying abroad

Collaboration with Career Services:
Events, Career Fair, Presentations, etc.

Institutional Events:
Study Abroad Fair, Campus Preview Days, etc.
Student Recruiting
**Maximize the potential value of study abroad.
(so they can eventually sell it to employers)
-Martin Tillman, AIFS Student Guide to Study Abroad & Career Development
Ability to Work Independently
Ability to Collaborate with Diverse Teams
Capable of accomplishing Unfamiliar Tasks
Self-reliance and resourcefulness
Ability to Adapt to Change & Improvise
Confident Decision Making Skills
Economic and political awareness
Deductive Reasoning Skills
Strong Communication & Initiative
Capacity to be creative and Innovative
-Sheila Curran, The Career Value of Education Abroad
-Martin Tillman, The Chronicle of Higher Education: Study Abroad's New Focus on Job Skills
University of Wisconsin - Stout,
Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
97% job placement rate
Miami University - Farmer School of Business
87% full-time employment
11% full-time graduate school
"To Maximize the potential value of study abroad, it is essential for students to make the decision to study abroad with a sense of purposefulness."
-Martin Tillman
AIFS Guide to Study Abroad & Career Development
Students will then approach study abroad more purposefully, associating it with career development.
Internal Constituents: career services, faculty, students
External Constituents: graduate schools, employers, parents
What do your constituents think of your SPECIFIC programs?
Accurate or inaccurate?
With whom do you need to partner?
Tolerance for ambiguity
NACE 2013 Report: Rating of Attributes
Has held leadership position
Major/Area of Study
High GPA (3.0 or above)
Has been involved in extracurr. activities
School attended
Has done volunteer work
Is fluent in a foreign language
Has studied abroad


1- No influence at all 2- Not much influence 3- Somewhat of an influence
4- Very much influence 5- Extreme influence
NACE 2013 Report:
Attributes Employers Seek
Problem-solving Skills
Communication Skills (Written)
Ability to work in a team
Analytical/Quantitative Skills
Strong work ethic
Communication Skills (Verbal)
Computer Skills
Technical Skills
Moreover, the responses from the employers that do recruit for positions outside the United States shows the ratings only increase minimally. The rating for “fluency in a foreign language” bumps up from 2.4 to 2.7, while that for “studying abroad” increases slightly from 2.3 to 2.6.
 "Acquire an understanding of international strategies to hotel, restaurant and tourism management, while immersed in the global market."
"Gain an understanding of global retailing trends while experiencing the international fashion industry."
"Major American businesses have made it clear that the skills needed in today's increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas and viewpoints." - Sandra Day O'Connor
... An Interior Design student documented her study abroad experience through photos of interior spaces. She then utilized this in her portfolio and inspiration for her senior showcase.
"Students often document and complete apparel projects for London Fashion Week, which they utilize in their portfolio once they return to the US."
What do your constituents think of your SPECIFIC programs? Accurate or inaccurate?
Meet with Career Services.
Meet with "Bottleneck" faculty.
Meet with students.
With whom do you need to partner elsewhere?

Provide CS Staff with information, materials.
Empower CS staff to talk with employers.
Learn from them...resumes!
Build a partnership with annual meetings.
Be a "listener" first.
Go beyond just 10 minute presentations.
Empower the faculty.
Career Services
How do they see Study Abroad and Vocation?
Pre test, post test
Prime their minds BEFORE they go, WHILE they are there, and one they RETURN
Provide them with samples of resumes, grad school applications, and interview answers which effectively use Study Abroad.
What do they think?
What needs "corrected"?
How can you change the perception?
Educate employers and "match" the skills. Meet with/contact top employers.
Table/flyer at Career Fair.
Highlight specific programs of interest.
Provide examples of successes, both from students and employers who hired them.
Provide data...
97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period.
25% had higher starting salaries: that's how much more study abroad students earn than those college graduates who do not study abroad. This equates to $7,000 annually.
90% of study abroad alumni who applied got into their 1st or 2nd choice grad school.

Questions to Ask Students:
Which skills are your strengths? Which would you like to improve?

How might you develop those skills when you study abroad?

Problem-solving Skills
Ability to work in a team
Analytical/Quantitative Skills
Strong Work Ethic
Communication Skills (Verbal)
Problem-solving Skills
Ability to work in a team
Analytical/Quantitative Skills
Strong Work Ethic
Communication Skills (Verbal)
Questions to Ask Students:
Choose one skill that you developed during your study abroad experience.

Make a 1-2 minute video explaining a SPECIFIC example of when you developed this skill.
You can use the videos for promo and pre-departure materials in the future.

Could take the form of discussion, reflection paper, etc.
-pre-departure session
-pre- and post- study abroad courses
-faculty-led programs
-scholarship requirements
The early bird gets the worm
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