International Career Expert Speaks With Students
By Liz Allred
Stacie Berdan spoke with students recently about international careers.
On April 9, Stacie Berdan, international career expert and award-winning author, spoke to a large audience of students about the realities of working in a globalized world—having done so herself in very senior corporate positions.
She stressed that an international career doesn’t necessarily mean that a person has to live in a foreign country. American companies located in American cities very often have global divisions, as well as global clients, the need to outsource production of their products, or the need to export their products. So, whether planning a career within the boundaries of the United States or extending those boundaries to an overseas location, students should prepare themselves with a global mindset.
A global mindset allows individuals to work across cultures, a critical asset according to Berdan. She shared a story about an instance when she didn’t know all the cultural cues, which led to her losing a contract for her company. She refused to be daunted, however, and quickly learned from this lesson and never made that mistake again. Therefore, when considering whether or not an international career is for you, Ms. Berdan encouraged students to ask themselves if they can answer yes to a number of questions, such as:
- Do I thrive on challenges – the more the better?
- Do I enjoy meeting and getting to know new people?
- Do I love new places, new foods, and new cultures?
- Do I get along with many different personalities, including people others find difficult?
- Do I enjoy taking calculated risks?
- Do I mind being alone?
- Am I adaptable?
- Am I a good listener and communicator?
- Can I handle failure and learn from it?
Ms. Berdan shared tips on how students can “enhance their global persona.” She cited a study affirming that one of the best ways to prepare for the global work world is to experience a new country and its culture at a deeper level. She also presented resume building tips and ways a student can utilize an academic global experience to land a job. Finally, Ms. Berdan encouraged students to prepare themselves by “honing their cross-cultural skills, paying attention to world events, and monitoring business trends.”