This is “Preparing for a Career in International Business”, section 3.6 from the book An Introduction to Business (v. 1.0).
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No matter where your career takes you, you won’t be able to avoid the reality and reach of international business. We’re all involved in it. Some readers may want to venture more seriously into this exciting arena. The career opportunities are exciting and challenging, but taking the best advantage of them requires some early planning. Here are some hints.
Many colleges and universities offer strong majors in international business, and this course of study can be good preparation for a global career. In planning your education, remember the following:
Take advantage of study-abroad opportunities, whether offered on your campus or by another college. There are literally hundreds of such opportunities, and your interest in international business will be received much more seriously if you’ve spent some time abroad. (As a bonus, you’ll probably find it an enjoyable, horizon-expanding experience, as well.)
Finally, whenever you can, learn about the habits and traits of other cultures, and practice interacting with the people to whom they belong. Go to the trouble to meet international students on your campus and get to know them. Learn about their cultures and values, and tell them about yours. You may initially be uncomfortable or confused in such intercultural exchanges, but you’ll find them great learning experiences. By picking up on the details, you’ll avoid embarrassing mistakes later and even earn the approval of acquaintances from abroad.
Whether you’re committed to a career in global business, curious about the international scene, or simply a consumer of worldwide products and services, you can’t avoid the effects of globalization. Granted, the experience can be frustrating, maybe even troubling at times. More often, however, it’s likely to be stimulating and full of opportunities.
To prepare for a global career, you might want to consider doing some of the following while a student:
If you had an opportunity to spend a summer working as an intern in a foreign country, which country would you select? Why? In what ways would the internship be valuable to your future career in business? How would you prepare for the internship?