by on 2016-08-19 17:37:13
How your study abroad semester can earn you the big bucks？Your advisor, your resident director, different websites, your parents, they're all telling you that study abroad is good for your career. But what does that actually mean? What useful professional skills did you actually pick up while you were studying in China? If you're having difficulty communicating the nitty gritty versus a more lofty response, read on and take notes from our helpful advice.
1. Identify Your Skills
Since we rarely take inventory of the skills that we do have, it is no wonder that study abroad students return with an overwhelming sense of, "Well, I know I learned some stuff. I'm just not quite sure how to articulate it..."
While your technical skills may get your foot in the door, your skills are what often lead you to those doors. The development of your work ethic, attitude, self-awareness, and a whole host of other personal attributes, are crucial for career success.
In today’s workplace, leaders must develop a global mindset. As business efforts cease to acknowledge borders, young professionals must be prepared to work with a variety of people across multiple contexts. However, global workers are only able to function in diverse environments if they have adequately developed cross-cultural minded knowledge, skills, and abilities.
Communication is the heart of every working environment; everything you do in the workplace results from it. Therefore, solid communication skills are essential for career success.
2. Add Some Meat to it
First, choose a handful of skills that you feel are related to your career move and particularly connected to your personal travel experiences. Create a separate list of these skills, and flesh out each by connecting them with specific stories, instances, or memories where you recognized you were exercising that skill.
This step is key. If you claim that you are now inspired to "read more news sources," you should have a story to back it up and probably a good grasp of current world events. By being organized, highlighting your most important skills, and having stories "at the ready," you will put yourself in a good position to impress future employers. Whether you put your stuff in an interview, on a resume, at a career fair, or during a more casual networking event, you'll be study abroad game strong.
3. Be a Star Candidate.
If you really want to "wow" a company and blow the competition out of the water, your life choices should resonate deeply with your experience abroad. How did your overseas experience affect your life back home? Did you get involved in a wider variety of clubs, did you start committing a significant amount of time to a certain cause that you are passionate about? Do not let your semester of study abroad be an isolated experience. Connect it with your university communities and your life back home by seeking and seizing opportunities that keep the world at your fingertips.
4. Go Get ‘em Tiger.
Now you’re ready to take your study abroad experience and connect it directly with the decisions you want to take in your future. Keep building on the skills that you identified within yourself, and zero-in on a couple that you want to be a master of. With hard work, dedication, and kindness, you’ll be more than ready to rock an internship, job interview, scholarship application, or whatever exciting opportunity life throws your way!