WHAT BUSINESSWANTS FROMGRADUATES… Mary Risner UF Center for Latin American Studies UF Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) 2011 Southern Business Education Association Orlando, FL
Objectives/Overview Highlight needs of current workforce Share career perspectives of business people and business students Reflect on how educators can better prepare students for their careers
At the Center of 21st Century Skills Interdisciplinary Empathy Connections Digital Competence Technical/Subject Area Expertise Foreign Languages
Value of Liberal Arts Babson College president, Leonard Schlesinger, argues that “concrete business skills tend to expire in five years or so, as technology and organizations change. History and philosophy, on the other hand, provide the kind of contextual knowledge and reasoning skills that are indispensable for business students”.Glen, D. (2011). For Business Majors, Easy Does It. The Chronicle of HigherEducation. LVII (33), A1-A5.
Employers Dissatisfied with InternationalSkills/ Cultural Awareness The CBI’s new Education and Skills Survey 2011 shows that employability skills are the most important factor considered when employers recruit. 4 in 5 employers (82%) value these skills. The survey showed that amongst the poorest performing of the so-called employability skills exhibited by school-leavers were international cultural awareness skills.http://www.think-global.org.uk/news/blog-item.asp?n=12723
Question 1How have cultural knowledge, experiences, and communication skills played a role in your educational background, including coursework, internships, etc.?
Jessica- Microfinance IndustryCultural knowledge and communication skills played acritical role in my educational experience. For example, myfluency in the Spanish language along with my academicinterest in the business environment in Mexico wasessential in my internship with the US Commercial Servicesector in Mexico City. My internship also influenced myacademic experience because it provided a contextualreference to my studies and on the ground experience.
Louise- Public Relations I was born and partially raised in Brazil, and upon moving to Florida, I was exposed to not only English but Spanish as well. The classrooms might as well have been United Nations conference rooms, as there were so many people from different areas of the world. Everyone brought a different perspective to the table, and whether you notice it or not, it broadens your mind. My roommates in college ranged from Haiti to Qatar and Honduras, and that’s exactly how I wanted it.
Question 2What are the daily skills that are needed in the international work in which you currently engage?
Ed-Deloitte Consultant Language is a BIG plus - understanding all of the side conversations, interacting with more senior executives (particularly in Sales functions) who may not speak English as well, or just being able to interpret e-mails as they are forwarded or data as it is sent is all much easier with language understanding. Cultural awareness is also critical. My colleagues who work internationally less frequently tend to become impatient, have unrealistic deadlines, or are otherwise culturally biased when we are working overseas. This can lead to frustration or, worse, misunderstandings with our clients if not corrected.
Jorge, Government Affairs First, understanding the language and culture of a region are very important as it gives you and instant connection to the local population. you are always more welcome when you can communicate in the local language even if they speak your language. They see that as an effort on your part to understand them better. I am a native speaker but I see this even when I travel with non-native speakers that make an effort to communicate with the local population in Spanish. They may not always get it right but its appreciated.
“Halo Effect” First impressions with the international clienthttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2uQYH8tqcM&feature=cha nnel Language, Business, and the “Halo” Effect ( 1.5 minutes)
Question 3What advice would you give to current educators in preparing students with cultural knowledge, experiences, and communication skills?
Chris-CSX LogisticsKeeping weekly to monthly communication withstudents who are from the specific areas thateducators are teaching about, other professors whohave done research, expats, etc. will allow educatorsto have a better and more accurate picture of whatthey are educating their students on. For example:Information coming from a Colombian student or anAmerican expat who has been working in Colombiafor the past 10 years will provide educators with amuch more detailed and accurate picture of theColombian culture than what someone may find froma book or older research.
Carmenza- Economic DevelopmentCouncilThey need to continue preparing students in worldissues, world geography, history, languages such asSpanish, Portuguese, German, Chinese Mandarin andothers so that they can succeed in international businessand be the best in the world. I am a believer that our futuregeneration has to be better prepared and more culturaloriented than our current generation.
Business Student Testimonials Http://dev.warrington.ufl.edu/sb/intlprograms/ Personal development Academic commitment Intercultural development Career development
Class Activities Interview professionals (podcasts) Reflect and compare with US- Hofstede’s Dimensions Visit bi-national chambers and trade office websites for job descriptions
Career Resources http://nble.org/career-spotlight/ http://nble.org/advocacy/ http://www.geert-hofstede.com/ NSEP Flagship- Preparing Global Professionalshttp://nble.org/wpcontent/uploads/2009/12/what_business_wants_report_final_7_09.pdf