This presentation explains what students need to do to get a career advantage from their study abroad experience.
Enhancing the Career Value of Study AbroadSheila J Curran, Curran Consulting, April 5, 2011Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comThe International Careers Consortium Annual Conference, 2011Sheila J CurranCareer and organizational strategy consultant to colleges and universitiesFormer executive director, Duke Career Center, and director, Brown Career ServicesCoauthor, Smart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career, Ten Speed Press, 2006Website: curranoncareers.comCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comServices includeEnhancing international programs and careers offices through organizational development initiativesStrategic planningBenchmarking
OUR TOPIC TODAY IS THE CAREER VALUE OF STUDY ABROAD, AND ITS A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT ONE FOR TWO REASONS:
2Why a career advantage is necessaryCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comThis is the worst year in recent memory for college grads to find workCollege students need every advantage they can get to set themselves apart from their peersBEFORE WE GO INTO HOW TO GET THAT CAREER ADVANTAGE, WANT TO STEP BACK FOR A MOMENT AND ASK YOU WHY STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
POLL3Why students go abroad: what they sayCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comBroaden horizonsUnderstand different cultureExploreGain language skillsI THINK THERE ARE SOME OTHER REASONS THAT TYPICALLY STUDENTS DONT TELL ADMINISTRATORS4Why students go abroad: what they thinkCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comGet away from collegeFigure out who they areCareer boostTHESE DAYS, PARENTS ALSO HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH THE DECISION5Parent PerspectiveCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSee a different part of the worldpreferably somewhere they would like to visitBuild new friendshipsExplorein safe environmentAND.Have something to put on the resumeTHERE ARE PARTICULAR REASONS WHY PARENTS ARE INTERESTED IN THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTERS GETTING A CAREER BOOST FROM STUDY ABROAD6Why a career advantage is necessaryParents want a return on their tuition investment and they wont get that if their kids are unemployed or underemployed!Their worry:College is expensiveCollege grad salaries havent kept up with inflationEven the best colleges dont guarantee top jobs Unemployment rates continue to riseCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comA colleges success in getting its graduates good jobs is considered very important in college selection by 56.5% of entering freshmen
Average cost of private 4 year college in 2010 was almost 40K; college costs increased 2.9% above rate of inflation between FY98 and FY08
Average salary for new grads between 2004 and 2008 rose only 2.6% a year
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES CONTINUE TO RISE, AND EVEN THESE DONT TELL THE WHOLE STORY BECAUSE A HUGE NUMBER OF RECENT GRADS ARE UNDEREMPLOYED.
LETS PUT THE UNEMPLOYMENT STATS IN PERSPECTIVE
7The Real Deal for Young GraduatesUnemployment Rate for Bachelors graduates 20-24:
March, 2011: 8.5%March, 2010:7.2%150% increase over 3 yearsMarch, 2009: 7.6%March, 2008:3.4%
Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, March, 2011: Unpublished Table 10 dataTHREE YEARS AGO THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR GRADS UNDER 25 WAS 3.4%. NOW ITS 150% HIGHER
THAT PUTS THE RATE AT APPROXIMATELY THE OVERALL RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT FOR THE WHOLE COUNTRYINCLUDING THOSE WITH NO EDUCATION AT ALL.
SO, CAN STUDY ABROAD MAKE A DIFFERENCE?8The truth about careers and study abroadCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comCareer impact of study abroad can be:
PositiveMANY PARENTS AND STUDENTS JUST ASSUME STUDY ABROAD IS A POSITIVE ON A RESUME.
VAST MAJORITY HAVE WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE. BUT HAVING A GREAT TIME DOESNT NECESSARILY MEAN YOUD ADD VALUE TO A POTENTIAL EMPLOYER
IN MY EXPERIENCE, CAREER IMPACT CAN BE NEGATIVE, NEUTRAL OR POSITIVE
POLL: THINK ABOUT YOUR STUDENTS
HOPE BY END OF THIS PRESENTATION, YOULL BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY WAYS TO DOUBLE THE NUMBERS OF YOUR STUDENTS WHO GET A CAREER ADVANTAGE
9What employers needGlobal perspectiveGreater maturityCultural understandingLinguistic proficiencyAnd maybe evenunderstanding of global business issuesCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSPEND A COUPLE OF MINUTES THINKING ABOUT HOW EMPLOYERS VIEW STUDENTS WITH STUDY ABROAD ON THEIR RESUME
SAD FACT: MOST DONT THINK ABOUT IT AT ALL
THOSE WHO DO HAVE AN OPINION EXPECT ..
YOU MIGHT FIND IT STRANGE THAT MOST HIRING MANAGERS DONT REALLY PAY ATTENTION TO STUDY ABROAD, BUT THINK: THOSE INTERVIEWING GRADS ARE OFTEN IN LOWEST LEVEL POSITIONS
10Sad factsThose hiring for entry-level positions rarely check for these attributes
and if they did, theyd findFew of those who study abroad are able to demonstrate these attributes any more than students who remain on campusCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comFACT IS: STUDY ABROAD ADVANTAGE OFTEN ONLY COMES INTO PLAY LATER IN ONES CAREER.
FOR EXPERIENCE TO BE MEANINGFUL TO CAREER, IT HAS TO BE ENGAGED EXPERIENCE. 11The Engaged ExperienceLive with local families; participate in local customsDrink mint tea; go to the local hammamMake efforts to communicate in language of countryWork, volunteer or intern as well as study and travelOperate out of comfort zone
DONT HAVE AN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE ABROAD
Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comWHAT CHARACTERIZES THE ENGAGED SA EXPERIENCE?12Study abroad isnt what it used to be
Number of students going abroad increased every year until FY10More students have American experience abroadParents dont want students to take risksFew students go abroad for a whole year Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comA look back 25 years
Its no longer an unusual experienceIn FY10, numbers went down by .8%
THREE BIG CHANGES HAVE HAD ADVERSE IMPACT ON CAREER IMPACT OF SA
AS MORE STUDENTS GO ABROAD, MORE WANT TO GO WITH THEIR FRIENDS; AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (TALK ABOUT ITALY)
PARENTS CODDLE KIDS; BLAME UNIVERSITIES IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG
HARD TO HAVE AN ENGAGED EXPERIENCE IN A SEMESTER OR LESS
LUCKILY, THERE ARE PLENTY OF WAYS YOU CAN GET AN ADVANTAGE OUT OF SA; THEY JUST ARENT AS OBVIOUS.
THE WAY TO THINK ABOUT THIS IS TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE EMPLOYERS SHOES
13Skills Required for EmploymentVerbal communication skillsStrong work ethicTeamworkAnalytical skillsInitiativeProblem-solving skillsWritten communication skillsInterpersonal skillsComputer skillsFlexibility/adaptability
Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comAccording to NACE, here are top ten general skill sets EMPLOYERS REQUIRE OF NEW COLLEGE GRADS
EMPLOYERS CONSISTENTLY SAY THEY CANT GET ENOUGH STUDENTS WITH RIGHT SKILL-SETSMarked in red where most students do not have the skills that are required of employers
WHERE THERE IS A PROBLEM, THERE IS OPPORTUNITY
Almost all of these skills can be demonstrated through SA
AND145 key skills from study abroad Verbal communication skillsInitiativeProblem-solving skillsInterpersonal skillsAdaptability
Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSA PROVIDES PLENTY OF OPPS TO DEMONSTRATE 5 OF THE TOP TEN SKILLS
RECENT TRENDS MAY BE HELPFUL TO STUDENTS AS THEY GATHER EXAMPLES OF THESE SKILLS 15Recent trendsNumbers of students going to Europe are down 4%, while numbers going to South America and Africa are up 13% and 16% respectively
Big increases in number of students going to South Korea and PeruCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comRecent trends over the last year
South Korea and Peru which were up 29% and 32%
ANY TIME YOU GO TO A LOCATION THAT IS UNUSUAL, YOU SET YOURSELF APART FROM OTHERS
HOW DO YOU DO THAT?
BY ACING THE 2AM IN JAPAN TEST
ALL EMPLOYERS ASK IT IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
MEANING; WOULD I WANT TO BE STUCK IN AN AIRPORT IN JAPAN AT 2AM
ARE YOU AN INTERESTING PERSON; DO YOU HAVE A PASSION? DO YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING STORY?
16Importance of languagesLanguages can provide a competitive advantage in the job searchFew students go to countries where difficult languages are spoken (Chinese, Russian, Arabic)
Curran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSOMETIMES YOU DONT KNOW HOW THE LANGUAGE WILL BE HELPFUL: LONDON I-BANKERS WANT GERMAN SPEAKERS
ABERCROMBIE HIRED GRACE BECAUSE SHE KNEW MANDARIN SPEAKERTHEN SENT HER TO SINGAPORE
SOMETIMES, THE FACILITY TO LEARN LANGUAGES AND TO BE GEOGRAPHICALLY MOBILE IS MOST IMPORTANT SKILL
TOO BAD: FEW STUDENTS STUDY THE LANGUAGES MOST IN DEMAND.
SOMETIMES KNOWLEDGE OF A LANGUAGE CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. IN CHRIS CASE, HE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ABLE TO GET INTO STATE DEPARTMENT IF HE HADNT BEEN FLUENT IN ARABIC17Keys to making study abroad a career advantageUnderstand what employers valuePlan in advance, meeting with career advisorHave an engaged experienceDe-brief transferable skills upon returnCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.comSO LETS RECAP.
NOW I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SPECIFICS: WHAT DO STUDENTS NEED TO DO BEFORE LEAVING CAMPUS, WHILE THEYRE AWAY, AND WHEN THEY RETURN18Before leavingTake advanced classes in the language of the host country
Take courses in history, political science, sociology, or other disciplines with a focus on the region of the world the student wants to study
Read newspapers from the foreign country
Identify an intellectual interest that can be developed in a particular programCurran Consulting, April, 2011: www.curranoncareers.