Monday, September 12, 2011

A Worldwide Marketplace

Last Friday I was manning a booth for the CSC at the Study Abroad Fair. This wasn't anything new for us; we've been attending these events for years now. You may be wondering, as many of the attendees did, why exactly Career Services would be at such an event. It's a fair question. We certainly are not sending students abroad (at least not directly. Plenty of students get help from us for service projects overseas). It would be nice, but we don't have those kinds of resources (although if you're an employer, we have EXCELLENT corporate sponsorship opportunities).

What we were there to focus on was simply spreading the word that, just because you aren't here on campus or even in the USA, you can still use the experience to your advantage. More and more students are studying abroad each semester (22% of Marquette graduating students last year), which has given them invaluable skills and experiences for their job search and career. I think we have all heard many times about how employers want multicultural competence. We've heard it because it is true. What better way to be able to gain some of that competence than actually going to another culture? We hear time and time again that employers love students who challenge themselves, and while you won't get a position just because you studied abroad, it certainly is not going to hurt your chances of getting an interview.

Studying abroad is going to help you long term, but even in the short run you can still complete an effective job search. Technology is an amazing thing, and something you should take advantage of while you are in random country X. Use our Career Manager system to explore jobs and internships. You might need to send the recruiter a message to let them know that you are overseas and possibly not on the normal timeline for contact, but otherwise there is no discernible difference in the process. Even interviewing isn't a barrier anymore. In fact, we hired one of our amazing interns (who you can meet with for walk in hours daily from 12-2) after a Skype interview since she was in Rome last spring.

I would encourage each of you to look into the possibility of going abroad during your college experience. Not only is it a great opportunity to experience living in another culture, but you can truly further your prospects for landing that dream job in the future.

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