Optimising your international experience for career success

Optimising your international experience for career success

Prof Aarti Ramaswami, Academic Director of the ESSEC Global MBA and Associate Professor of Management at ESSEC Business School, talks about how to make the most of international work experiences to boost your career.

It is generally recognised that international work experience has a high impact on the value of your profile and subsequent mobility across organisations and jobs. So, if you're seeking to further your career within a multinational organisation, what types of international experience are beneficial? In today's global economy, there are a variety of relatively cost-effective ways for people to obtain international experience - including study abroad periods, travel and remote teamwork with multinational teams - but do all of them have the same impact on career success?

Studying abroad

It is now possible for organisations to hire employees who are already internationalised: indeed, one form of pre-career international experience might come in the form of pursuing advanced degrees in another country. However, this may offer only limited exposure to a foreign culture. The question to ask here, then, is how can the future employee get the most out of the so-called study abroad experience?

Travelling for work

With globalisation comes the need to travel for business, establish links and foster relationships. Travelling is a great way to build your social capital and just how you can do this can be seen in the video embedded in this article. It may be that even business travel will prove useful if a person approaches it with skill development in mind.

Openness and self-efficacy: Working as an expatriate

Global organisations are increasingly relying on managers who have expatriate experience. However, useful expatriate experience reposes on two key issues that are covered in the video, as is the approach that should be adopted by corporate HR and management when dealing with international mobility.

To sum up, these three key areas - studying abroad, travelling for work and working as an expatriate - provide graduates and employees with a host of ways to boost their careers. However, there is a hierarchy of effectiveness among these three strategies regarding the impact they have in opening the doors to a career move.

Watch Prof. Aarti Ramaswami in the video to find out more.

This article was first published in ESSEC Knowledge.


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