Monthly Archives: January 2010

International Experience Explored: Teaching English Abroad

Photo courtesy of Lucas Franchi

Photo courtesy of Lucas Franchi

One of the biggest lessons that we have learned from our guests, Erin Bream (Fulbright Scholar in Colombia), James Norris (Young Professional in Singapore), Michael Pearsun (Winner of a Study Abroad in Korea) and Alan Perlman (Cost-of-living surveyor) is that there is no such thing as a cookie-cutter international experience.

So what happens when you decide to take ‘the road less traveled’? You open yourself to a world of possibilities, literally. That is our lesson from our guest this week, Lucas Franchi. He decided rather than to follow the normal trajectory for a recent college grad, he was going to explore his ‘road less traveled’. He ventured out to combine his love for languages and culture as an ESL teacher in Asia. His one-year adventure has turned into a three-year career that he hopes to continue building in other countries as well. Continue reading

Must Do Mondays – Go Abroad Now! Write Your Resume

Photo attribution to TheGoogly on Flickr

Photo attribution to TheGoogly on Flickr

The time has officially come. It’s resume time. Writing a resume is often correlated to a painful and dreadful experience. You know you have to but it takes so much time! Well not to fear. It doesn’t have to be that way. Your resume is the single most important document that you will ever write in your career. That being said, it doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. You will go through many, many iterations of your resume.

The goal for this week is to start and complete your first resume. If you already have a resume, spend this week polishing it up. Remember to include any relevant experience that has to do with international topics. That encompasses language abilities, international clubs, international volunteering, gap year travel, etc. Your resume is your international calling card and must convey your international aptitudes.

Generally in our Must Do Monday posts, we give a 5-day breakdown of how to achieve the goal for the week. This week we are going to tweak that slightly. Continue reading

Must Do Mondays – Go Abroad Now! Build Your LinkedIn Profile

Photo Attribution to 99zeros on Flickr

Photo Attribution to 99zeros on Flickr

Last week our Must Do Monday was a call to action to start building your professional network. One of the networks that continually proves itself to be an excellent stepping stone for building a professional network and helping to find jobs is LinkedIn. LinkedIn has become the internet version of a resume and business card all in one. According to Susan Joyce, editor of Job-Hunt.Org, a site offering online job search tips “The LinkedIn Profile is really the resume of the future,” Joyce said. “The ‘resume’ on LinkedIn is really the standard LinkedIn Profile, but it’s very popular with recruiters looking for good candidates” (“PluggedIn:Looking for a job? Try LinkedIn or Twitter”)

Regardless of whether you are looking to work abroad or simply volunteer abroad, your LinkedIn profile provides prospective employers and organizations a glimpse of who you are as a professional. The key to remember is that you don’t have to have all the experience in the world to stand out on LinkedIn. It has more to do with how you describe yourself and your experiences. Guy Kawasaki, notable entrepreneur and Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, provides a visual makeover for writing an excellent LinkedIn profile. Use this model as you start building your profile. Remember, LinkedIn is an extension of who you are from a paper resume to an online resume. The point is to showcase your personality and have fun!
Here is a break down of how you can build your LinkedIn profile in 1 week and start promoting yourself with your new online resume. Continue reading

Why More Young Professionals Are Looking For Work Abroad

Photo Attribution to TheQuiltedLion on Flickr

Photo Attribution to TheQuiltedLion on Flickr

The current global economic climate and work force instability has been no stranger to the US job market. Workforce dynamics are shifting as the Baby Boomers start retiring and Gen Y continues to join the ranks of corporate America. The nation’s unemployment rate has risen to a 26-year-high of 10.2%. Everyday there are more cases of people struggling to find jobs, cope with layoffs and find professional clarity in this brutal job market. How does one respond to this uncertainty? Here’s one way to cope: Leave the country.

Pursuing overseas work has a fresh appeal to Americans in this current job market. The pool of American globe-trotting professionals is still relatively small in comparison to previous years, however there are notable changes taking place.

Working abroad versus working within the US has largely impacted the younger generations that are still in college or about to graduate. “Charles Wang, an industrial engineering major at Georgia Institute of Technology, worked as a project manager for the United Parcel Service in Dubai after his junior year from July 2008 until last May.” “Because of … my inability to find good jobs in the U.S.,” says Wang, 22, he plans to return to Dubai for a permanent job after graduating next month and stay until the U.S. job market is “back to normal.” (More U.S. job hunters look for work in other countries, USA Today)

This global shift of the US graduating workforce offers this younger generation huge benefits for their long-term professional careers. Robbie Falconer, a junior at the University of California-Berkeley, interned with Morningstar Financial in Madrid, Spain. “The investment banking industry is ultra competitive,” explains Falconer. “There are more sharp people graduating from top schools that are looking for jobs than there are positions. International experience with the world’s leading provider of financial data gives me a demonstrable advantage over other job seekers” (Intrax Internships Abroad Secures Record Number of Prestigious International Internships, PR NewsWire).

These international work opportunities provide the growing number of young professionals the advantage of distinguishing themselves from the pool of equally qualified candidates. While the job market shift has hit this country hard, it also has opened the doors to a more global and mobile workforce.

Do you have experience as a young professional drive to work abroad because of the US economy? How do you think that this will affect the US economy in the long run? We would love to hear your insights.

Must Do Mondays – Go Abroad Now! Start Building Your Network

Photo Attribution to rossjamesparker on Flickr

Photo Attribution to rossjamesparker on Flickr

The excitement of going abroad is something that starts long before you leave. A huge part of that thrill is when you surround yourself with people who have already had that experience. Those people will be the ones that will keep you motivated before you leave, that may open other opportunities to you while abroad and that may serve as contacts in the countries that you may live or visit. Building your global network will serve your before, during and after your trip. The best time to start building it is now!

This week focus on finding where those future contacts meet so that you can connect with them. Think of building your network like picking players for a team. Each of your ‘players’ brings their own strengths and capabilities to make that team the best there is. The same thing goes for your network. Having a balanced global network with people from different industries and interests will help you as you build your international career or pursue an international experience. Dedicate 1 hour a day for the next 4 days to find at least 5 people that you want to add to your network. After you have identified those people, learn about their background and reach out to them for a meeting. Here are four places to start looking this week.

International Programs Office:

The advantage of being on campus is the availability of resources at your disposal. The people at the international programs office will be able to connect you with other students or professors that have had international experiences. If you do not have that option available to you, seek out the international development office of your local town. Larger cities will have resources of international businesses that have satellite offices where you can reach out to one of the professionals there.

Alumni Office:

Building a good relationship with the Alumni of your school is always a good thing to do for your future prospects. They may be the gatekeepers to international opportunities and have the advantage of foresight. By demonstrating your enthusiasm for an international experience, there is the potential to create a strong bond where they can help motivate you to achieve your dreams.

LinkedIn and Facebook:

There is a huge potential on both LinkedIn and Facebook to build a global network regardless of where you live. LinkedIn offers you resources like ‘Groups’ to find like-minded individuals on various subjects. Facebook offers a similar resource through ‘Fan Pages’. Goinglobal has both a LinkedIn Group and a Facebook Group page to bring together people that are interested in pusuing international opportunities. Here are some other great groups to join on LinkedIn and Facebook:

LinkedIn:

Expat Network
Expat Web

Facebook:

International Higher Education Consulting Blog
Aspire by API – High School and Gap Year Study Abroad

(Remember that in order to join these groups, you must already be a member of either network. Need help building your LinkedIn profile? Check this article out by Chris Brogan for some great pointers)

Meetup:

This is by far an amazing resource for anyone looking to meet people that share similar interests. Meetup is a worldwide directory of groups that meet based on spectrum of topics like traveling, working abroad, studying abroad, being an expat, etc. Check out different groups that you would like to join and start attending the events.

Do you have any suggestions for other ways to build your global network? Please let us know and we will add them to this post.