The International Business program here at USU is very popular. I have met many individuals who are excited about their business classes that emphasize international relationships. This is a great indicator for our future, because different countries have natural resources, products, services, and ideas that can benefit our own. Likewise, the United States has much that can benefit the world. We have already exported our culture and our philosophies all around the globe, but is there more that can be done to develop successful and profitable relationships with other countries? I’d like to know what some of the students in the international business program think about that question.
In my time here at USU, I have spoken with a few international business students who are unsure of what they want to do exactly with their degree. I would be open for anything overseas, or in South America, but they don’t have a real game plan for their future. I can relate to that, because I also have difficulty trying to specialize or focus on just one area in the field of technical communication. Well, while I work on that, I figure I would share a few ideas for some of the students who are considering international business, or even thinking about dealing with people from other countries in the workplace.
Cindy King, an international relations guru, recently wrote an article that offered tips for people interested in the field. In it, she offered the following advice:
# 1 Don’t be vague. She advises that students ought to be explicit about what they want to do in the future, and should let their passion show
#2 Don’t make everything about you. She says that developing relationships with potential employers is more important than asking for a job.
#3 Don’t show disrespect. This is obvious, and an easy way to avoid this is to do your research, and find out what might offend others.
#4 Don’t waste time going after the wrong people.
#5 Don’t use boring tactics. Many companies that work internationally are looking for creativity, so instead of just sending an email, think about making a video.
#6 Don’t stay stuck. Don’t be afraid to study abroad or move to a different country in order to show your interest in international business!
#7 Change your focus. Cindy believes that many students think too much about their studies, and they don’t take action.
These tips are good to think about now, and while they are general enough to apply to many field, I think they specifically apply to students interested in the future of international business and relations. USU has a great study abroad program, and there are several clubs that can provide us with exposure to cultural diversity. The Access and Diversity center is a great place to start. These kinds of experiences can help students develop a concrete plan for the future that they can explicitly communicate to future employers. They will be able to develop relationships with people from other countries. Who knows, maybe their parents own a business there? Most of all, it will help students develop cross-cultural communication skills that will be valuable in any workplace.