How Do I Gain International Business Experience?
Many large corporations or businesses prefer job candidates who have international business experience. To get such experience, you can enroll in a college program that will prepare you for a career in international business; many programs will offer an elective course that will send you to various countries throughout the world to study the culture and inner workings of business in these areas. Other ways to get international business experience are less structured; you may simply get hired by a company with global dealings, or you may act as an assistant to a more experienced business person on a trip to a foreign country.
You can prepare yourself for international business experience by studying various cultures as well as common business practices in the global community. If you already work for a global company, find out which countries your company will deal with on a regular basis and learn as much as possible about these countries, both in terms of culture and business practice. Whenever an opportunity arises to work with other businessmen in international settings, offer your services. This may be as simple as doing a phone conference with a company in another country or actually getting on an airplane to attend a conference or business meeting.
International business conferences are also great ways to gain international business experience, and your employer may even be willing to pay you to attend such conferences. Be prepared, however, to front some of your own money to attend at first. These conferences can take place anywhere in the world and will cover a wide variety of topics; try to choose a conference that directly relates to your job or your company's primary business, as this will make you a more valuable candidate for future international business experience within your own company or within another company.
College students can get international business experience before they enter the workforce by taking part in college coursework that addresses such experience. Some courses will help a student prepare for a trip to a foreign country to attend business conferences, educational seminars, or even job fairs. The student will then travel to that country and learn more about the culture and business practices. This is a very structured way to get foreign experience, which means less planning and investment of time and energy into getting foreign experience. A student can also participate in a semester abroad; while this is not directly foreign business experience, it will give the student a sense of global cultures and structures.
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