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Weaving a Web: Linking Education Abroad with Career Exploration

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Education abroad can serve as an effective laboratory for developing flexible analytical, collaborative, and communication skills sought by employers. As education abroad professionals, have we made broad-based skill development a key outcome for education abroad? Should career development be an important priority for every student going abroad? What are effective ways to help study abroad students integrate thinking about educational and career development trajectories? This session will start a conversation about collaborations and initiatives that engage this increasingly relevant and educationally rich sector of our work.

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Weaving a Web: Linking Education Abroad with Career Exploration

  1. 1. Weaving a Web: Linking education abroad with career exploration CIEE 2014 Andrew Law, Ph.D. Director, Off-Campus Study, Denison University Eleanor Lucas Public Health Studies Major, Johns Hopkins University Mieka Smart, MHS Public Health Studies Program, Johns Hopkins University Director, Uganda: Childhood Health & Safety Malene Torp Executive Director, Danish Institute for Study Abroad
  2. 2. “Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous .... For once a story is told, it cannot be called back. Once told, it is loose in the world .... So you have to be careful with the stories you tell. And you have to watch out for the stories you are told.” Thomas King, author, scholar & broadcaster
  3. 3. “Change happens; transformation is intentional” Higher education is not, per se, about mastery. This is because neither liberal nor professional education is a magical elixir that, once ingested, guarantees a student success in navigating social and cultural difference, in engaging professional roles and responsibilities, or in living a morally and ethically informed life.
  4. 4. The recent book How College Works, a longitudinal study of Hamilton College, makes the simple but crucial points that “personal relationships are the prerequisite for learning,” and that “personal cennections are often the central mechanism and daily motiviators of the student experience.” In short, learning is a relational activity, dependent on teaching, advising, and mentoring.
  5. 5. Listening to Learn and Learning to Listen “The Duke” “Mumbles”
  6. 6. Weaving the Web – at DIS • Pedagogical Philosophy – Experiential learning – Problem-based learning – Interdisciplinary approach – Teamwork • Faculty – teach what they do • Career resources • Alumni research
  7. 7. Combining Theory, Practice, & Reflection
  8. 8. Student Video – Faculty Teach What They Do
  9. 9. Making Study Abroad a Career Advantage • Workshop 1: Resume building, work culture, job sites • DIS CareerGate: GraduateLand partnership • International Career Night • Workshop 2: Resume building, interviewing, and applying for graduate school
  10. 10. Recognize: What did you do? The Basics - Outside the Comfort Zone: Lived with a homestay,, Adapted to a new academic style, Engaged with a new culture In the Classroom: Learned about European and Danish ways of thinking and acting in a professional context, group projects Outside the Classroom: Presented at Carlsberg to their Head of Marketing, Pitched a start-up idea on study tour, Met key players in Danish industry
  11. 11. Reflect: What Did You Learn? Be Specific! Yes, you lived in Denmark with a Danish Family Yes, you heard key speakers from multinationals Yes, you presented at Carlsberg …but
  12. 12. Workshop Example 3 interviewers and 1 candidate (then roles are swapped) • Help students to articulate the study abroad experience • Students see the interview methods and techniques of their peers • Gets students to think from the employer’s perspective • Feedback round focuses on strengths and weaknesses
  13. 13. DIS Alumni Survey 95% or more of the students “strongly agreed/agreed:” More than 9 of 10 DIS alums “agreed/strongly agreed” with an additional two items:
  14. 14. DIS Alumni Survey – 12 month after study abroad (2013) “There is a certain tenet of the Danish mentality that had a profound impact on my mindset.(...) I think what living in Denmark did for me was allow me to accept the many outcomes of life, knowing that even if they don't seem like a power move up a career ladder, they are all valuable and have much to offer”. DIS Alumni 2013.
  15. 15. ”Preparing business students for the global workplace through study abroad” Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 6 No. 2, 2013 Samantha Brandauer Gettysburg College (now @ Dickinson College) Susanne Hovmand Danish Institute for Study Abroad References
  16. 16. Career Exploration—A Priority in Study Abroad? Mieka Smart, MHS Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Public Health Studies Program Director, Uganda: Childhood Health and Society Eleanor Lucas Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Public Health Studies Major
  17. 17. So, you want to study abroad? • Answers come in various forms • Sometimes loaded with GPA, mental health, financial issues • Can be a perfect opportunity/springboard for otherwise dreaded conversations about career exploration. © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. What do you want to get out of it? • I want to learn {insert language}. • I want to get out of the “Hopkins bubble”. • I want to figure out whether I really have a future in global © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. health.
  19. 19. What are your competing priorities? • Double major versus study abroad • Go away for summer versus during semester • Study an extracurricular interest versus completing major © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. requirements • Study somewhere completely foreign versus pursuing deeper exploration of established interest
  20. 20. © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. Problems • Study abroad is increasingly becoming the standard. Students who are financially disadvantaged are left out of the picture. • Pre-requisites for post-bac goals leave little time for study abroad. • The sometimes paralyzing “Paradox of Choice”. • Students see study abroad as either social/cultural, sometimes career-building; rarely do they see both.
  21. 21. QUESTIONS: What are the perceived career benefits of study abroad for your students? What are the biggest obstacles to students gaining valuable career-building skills while abroad? © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Benefits Eleanor Lucas Senior Public Health Major c/o Dec 2014 Working in Drug Safety/Effectiveness at JHSPH © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Faculty outside of academia Professor worked for a pharmaceutical company discussed advertising and patient engagement Able to ask “what education did you need to get where you are?” Met the woman who works to negotiate what doctors in Denmark are paid. New fields were introduced Municipality research thru case studies Health systems research thru site visits © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. Where do I want to work? Location Colleagues Atmosphere Subject/content area © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  25. 25. Exposure to various agencies and people from different cultures. ● Interface with professionals; came face to face with potential future professions. ● Learning aspects of several career possibilities. ● Homestay with family in rural Uganda & 4 months in © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. Denmark ● Cultural immersion--helps to make decisions about what aspect of Public Health is best & location for future career.
  26. 26. Recalling course material and seeing it in the real world Global PH Since WW II Learned about welfare states. I saw one in Denmark. Study abroad corroborated what I was taught and filled in the gaps about why it could work there but not in the US. Exposure to several models/systems: © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. US Uganda Denmark Latvia Finland
  27. 27. QUESTION: On which do you and your students focus? Building career-targeted credentials? © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. OR Gaining social/cultural experience? BOTH?
  28. 28. © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved. Afterwards Vison/Storytelling Memories Job Internship Coursework Independent Study Fellowships/Scholarships
  29. 29. Outcomes: Critical Thinking © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  30. 30. Outcomes: Sustained Service/ Engagement © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Outcomes: Touchstones for related future endeavors © 2014, Johns Hopkins University. All rights reserved.
  32. 32. Weaving a Web: Linking education abroad with career exploration CIEE 2014 As education abroad professionals, have we prioritized consideration of broad-based skill development as a key outcome for education abroad? Should career development be an important priority for every student going abroad? What are effective ways to help study abroad students integrate their thinking about their educational and career development trajectories?

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