I was asked to speak to a group of students for “International Business Day” so they could gain a broader perspective on the diversity of the job market, and learn more than just the traditional careers they may know about. They were an extremely captive and engaged audience, with lots of questions on how they could play video games for a living (That is a question I get very often because what teenager wouldn’t want to get paid for playing the device they spend ample time on!), and how to make an impact on the job market once graduating from school.
My overall sentiment was BE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO! But by now most of them have heard this once or twice. Some admittedly more, but they said “sometimes I block people out”. (Oh really, I couldn’t imagine a teenager doing that at all.) I know I did that at their age as well. But more importantly I wanted to give them a look at my journey and what I have learned from my successes and mistakes. So I focused on what they should personally do and how to relate International views to their professional lives.
Q: ”What advice would you give to a student today to ensure success in their future careers? “
A: Invest in your Personal Development:
Learning more than what is required.
This was one of the most important lessons that I have learned, and frequently express to students. The course work that you encounter in college is designed to teach you what is necessary to complete the curriculum. This does not mean that it follows the current trends and needs of the market. It is essential that if you want to be more than an entry level employee you make the determination to become elite. Once you graduate from school you are competing along side your peers; all of which have a similar foundation (of course varying slightly by the school you attended). Not only your immediate peers will you be competing with, but internationally students will be interested in jobs here as you will be with job possibilities abroad.
“So, what is your point of difference?”
You need to think like you are in marketing. Your schooling should just be the foundation. You should beinvolvedinyour chosen industry from the beginning. I always refer students to Meet Ups. Especially in the NYC area, it gives them a great understanding of those in the industry, what are the relevant topics they discuss and see if this really is a direction they would like to invest in. It is important to be involved at school in your classes, clubs, etc; but it is equally important to remember you will have to market YOURSELF after college! So don’t forget to make the investment in becoming a student that effects the industry as well. Instead of “the best at beer pong, or keg stands” (and as most of us can attest the list can go on, and on); focus on participating in your industry with relevant andimpactresults.
3 Points to keep you focused on being elite when graduating college:
- Add on what real world experience you have. Have you participated in an internship? Or have you worked in a relevant company? It is important to know the skill requirements that your dream job requires and the subsequent jobs that are necessary to get there. This will help you to understand the career path and dedication necessary to get there.
- The programs that are relevant to you industry. If you are use to using them already and have a level of mastery you can bypass most entry level situations. Don’t forget, it is important you can back this up, you need to have examples or results from your work.
- You will be easier to integrate into existing teams if youknow the terminology and the acronyms used; as well as the relevancy to yourpositionand your future team.
Travel can benefit your own growth as well as the growth of your work because you are becoming familiar with cultures around the world. Personally this can be developed into ideas from seeing historical sights, the layouts of towns or cities, individuals and how they interact, their needs. The list is endless.
It is about getting out of your “bubble” and experiencing what the world has to offer. Let it effect how you think, how you act… solutions and innovation are open to those who think outside of the box. It can impact how you see business solutions, or negotiate contracts. Interacting with the culture first hand allows you to practice and hone your interactions so when it is time to apply it in the business world you are a seasoned pro!
Q: ” What opportunities in your field are out there for today’s young person who will be entering the world of work soon? “
A: Understand the International Scope:
Content of marketing and interactive work changes based on the market it is being placed in; this is referred to as localization, or globalization. I explained Localization to them as understanding of cultural views and norms, and the effect it has on the content you are releasing into that defined market. This can be print ads, character design in games, clothing worn, etc. The realization that the way the United States view what is socially acceptable may not be how other countries view that same content. This can include
- Dialoguecan change how directions are given. Even the content in some countries may have different contexts.
- Websitesare a mix of Promotional, community reviews and boards, and technical requirements that can vary for the user base and hardware/software.
- Packaging changes can includeLegal requirements, technical specs, promotional copy as well as the space in where it will be sold.
- Advertising campaigns, materials, and events can vary for each region.For example in the middle east women are dressed differently. Bicycling shorts and a sports bra in a fitness campaign may not be appropriate.
- Graphic Artneeds to be adjusted to fit the toleranceandtastein order not to hurt sensibilities.
- User Interfacevaries for different markets. For example Asia reads right to left as well ashorizontalorientation. InEurope cars are generally driven from the right side, asapposedto the U.S. being on the left.
The concept of Localization is important for them to understand when entering into the workforce and deciding on their careers because chances are they will be working in a company who has a global impact or working with people from different countries. Knowing that other cultures do things differently in business and personally helps them to navigate abroad or in the board room!