The Residence Life Around the World Academic Success Communities organized a program led by the International Center and Center for Career and Civic Engagement in which students learned how to utilize their international experience both on their resumes and in their careers.
According to Angie Edwards, international center director, this was the second of five free GLI events held to celebrate International Education Week, which takes place every third week in November and was entitled How to Make Your International Experience Work for You.
Fred Wolf, incentive and recognition design manager for Bank of America in Charlotte, spoke a bit about how his experiences in different countries helped to make him more marketable to employers.
His ability to participate and his competitive advantage grew as he gained experiences; he was able to easily develop working relationships and therefore increased his confidence and credibility with both colleagues and employers. Additionally, he has gained the ability to adapt cultural thoughts and ideas into his work projects. “In the marketplace the employers are looking for a well rounded employee. This will differentiate you,” Wolf said.
Amy Sullivan, director for Center of Career and Civic Engagement talked about what college students have to offer as a result of international experiences. These include increased self-confidence, independence, adaptability and flexibility. The awareness of different values and language skills only adds to these acquired skills.
Sullivan also explained that the top five “soft skills” employers look for are the ability to work in teams, leadership qualities, good writing and communication skills, problem solving skills and a strong work ethic. In fact, employers spend roughly ten seconds looking at a resume for these qualities before deciding whether to add it to the “yes/ maybe” pile or the “no” pile.
Therefore, students will want to be sure they showcase these qualities early on in the resume.
Edwards discussed faculty-led programs that students could take advantage of. Some of these programs occur during the summer and others are a part of a specific course.
She additionally informed students about the upcoming study abroad fair that will be held early February, due to increased popularity of the study abroad programs available. If students want to increase their marketability and they are able to afford the cost, study abroad may be something to consider.