Quick Global Pro Institute update for any of you who are considering joining GPI during fall 2017. You now have 2 different options for the class and can pick the one that best fits your personality and career needs.
GPI 101: Self Study
This is exactly what it sounds like. You get the core content of the program without the coaching or GPI community. This works great if you are fairly self-directed or are already in the field. Learn more or register
GPI Masterclass: Coached
This option includes weekly group coaching from Brooke for the 4-week program, access to a private Facebook group for support, and 1-on-1 coaching from Brooke. If you are new to international education, this option is great because of the networking aspect. Learn more or register
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 (8 pm EST/5 pm PST) Brooke will be holding a free Fireside Chat: The Biggest Mistakes I've Made in My IE Career (so far). If you just want to get a free teaser and see what kind of advice you can expect from GPI, this is a great start. Register for free online
And if you are wondering why GPI, be sure to check out this post where I lay it all out.
Have a great #IEW17 Everyone!
- Kelly K.
Networking is a critical part of the study abroad job search process. We've all heard the saying, "It's not what you know, it's who you know". Well, it's often true. You obviously need the skills to do the job, but first you need an interview or personal connection where you can communicate your potential. A referral from an insider, who will personally vouch for your work quality and motivation, can help you get a second look or open doors to future opportunities. This is true for newbies and those of you looking to move up/on from an exisiting position.
I get that you already know this stuff. I'm not telling you anything new. But I mention it because what I do find is that how to request help and what to do after recieving help isn't as well understood. Your actions at these two points can make the difference between a professional contact actively supporting your job search or just providing the perfunctory recommendation letter. To be honest, if you really miss the mark you could jeopardize future requests for help.. Yikes!
So here are 3 tips, based on my experiences on the referral side of things --
First, say "Please"
This may seem rather basic, but ask before you list someone as a reference. Even if you are 100% certain the individual will serve and say wonderful things about you, ASK. Even if they said, "thanks for being a kickass intern this summer, feel free to use me as a reference", ASK. Ask nicely and give the person an "out" (you don't want someone who is less than enthusiastic or rushed filling this role). Ask for each and every job posting.
Why? If I get an unexpected phone call from an employer who is interested to hear about your work performance and I don't know: 1) which institution or organization 2) what position it is for 3) your current resume details or 4) why you want this job, how am I supposed to knock it out of the park for you? I need to know some basics before I can answer their questions and serve as a positive reference. It's also basic professional courtesy.
I get that you might be applying on a short timetable and it is 3 AM, but at the very least, send an email to fill them in. If you have already spoken to the person and they have agreed to be a reference, you should repeat "the ask" for each position, providing updated information about the new job postings as you apply.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES:
I once got a call about a wonderful former employee but had to bumble my way through because I wasn't sure if the position was in study abroad or for a residence life position. There is a huge difference in what I'd say, and how I'd say it, based on which position was at stake.
I've also received a call for someone who did not provide a current resume and although I had glowing things to say, the most basic question, "Tell me how long you have know candidate X" was met with an awkward pause as I tried to do mental math and figure out when she last worked in my office. When you have been in a position for a while and take on multiple graduate assistants, practicum students, student employees, and volunteers it can blend together. I don't always have the best memory about these things and I presume other supervisors experience the same "brain blur". Help us out. We don't want a conflict with your resume details.
Stay in touch
Try your best to not just ask and run. If someone agrees to serve as a reference for a job and you have updated information about where you are in the search, take a minute and give them an update too. Let them know if you have landed an in-person interview. Or if you have changed your mind and are no longer searching for positions in study abroad, but are now applying to jobs working with international admissions, let them know. If your geographic target shifts, let them know. You never know when the contact can send along new leads. It also shows you are professional and organized. You don't need to give them a full play by play, but help them feel engaged and invested in your search process with a quick message when it counts.
Remember to say "Thank You"
If you get the job, let them know and send a thank you! Email is the most basic way to say thanks, but a handwritten note is far better. Your reference is now a professional colleague upon whom you might need to call for advice or services. I can tell you it makes a HUGE impression if you do it right. See this adorable bamboo plant to the left...
I received it from an individual I was informally coaching for several years. When she told me she finally "broke in" we were both in a celebratory mood. But I was totally surprised when such a kind, symbolic, and thoughtful gesture showed up at my office the next week. This study abroad pro has a lifelong fan. There may have been a small tear involved that day.
On the other hand, I've had indviduals contact me for references, never provide an update about the job or their search process, then contact me again out of the blue. Their only communication is when they reach out because they want something from me again. It's usually along the lines of, "Hey, Kelly, I need a letter for X by Friday. Thanks!" That doesn't feel very professional and certainly doesn't make me feel like going out of my way for them. You don't need to bribe anyone, Just show some basic appreciation for their role in the process. The person writing you a letter or agreeing to have that 10 minute phone conversation with your future employer is busy .
It can feel like the "list 3 references" is just another field to fill out on an application, but reference input usually comes at the crucial time when the employer is deciding if you get the job or not. In some ways this is more important than the resume. So remember to make the right impression everywhere it counts.
Emerging Educator Spotlight Series
These short interviews feature Study Abroad Careers readers, allowing YOU to share your own career experiences with the community, whether it's a job search, graduate school, or an entrepreneurial journey.
Q. What’s Culture Deep, Inc.?
A. We're a digital education company--which means all/most of our resources are available online and in digital form. That's how we work. What we do is... we create tools to help students translate their study abroad experiences into lifelong, concrete skills.
Q. How about you? Could you share a little about your background and connection to intercultural work?
A. I grew up in an intercultural family, so that's naturally always been my lens.
For example, my mom has incredible cultural intelligence. So, we grew up around a lot of cultures and had to learn early how to adapt and apply nuance to everything. Now, I just automatically assume all of my interactions are intercultural, even when the differences aren't immediately apparent.
And then, because my dad is from Liberia, I spent a big part of my childhood in the U.S. organizing with immigrants and exilees to end the Liberian civil war. That experience taught me that you can do a lot of what we typically think of as "internationally focused work" without even using your passport.
Q. What about your passport? What overseas experiences have you had?
A. I've had some really meaningful experiences abroad. The most life changing ones have been:
Q. So what prompted you to launch Culture Deep, Inc.?
A. There were two big pulls to starting Culture Deep, Inc. and focusing on after study abroad work, specifically.
The first was that I had been really involved in youth rights advocacy since I was a teenager. And at some point, I started noticing how much adults would parade us [young people] around as having all of this potential--but then they never really gave us the tools or education we needed to live out that potential. That observation became an obsession and I did tons of research--even a dissertation--trying to imagine new tools and systems and resources to change that.
The second was coming back from living and working abroad in non-heritage countries. I really wanted to bring parts of the culture back with me, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it respectfully and not consumptively. So, I started writing and researching and having all of these conversations and--because my brain works in flow charts and lists--I created a bunch of tools for myself. When I started sharing those tools with friends, they responded pretty positively.
Then, of course, I started making the connections between how much we talk about study abroad as this amazing educational / skill-rich experience on one hand, but--on the other hand--how few tools students actually have to really tap into the full potential of study abroad. So, things just came full circle.
Q. What do you hope returned students take away from your website?
A. The website is always evolving. But in an ideal world, it would be incredible if it were the first place all students went after coming back from abroad--because they still have work to do.
One thing that's always frustrated me is that sometimes we talk about study abroad as an end in and of itself. But it's not. It's just a means to a certain set of skills, experiences, relationships, and so on. As a student--after you get back from abroad--you have to find ways to make your skills a habit, to keep having new experiences that challenge you, to keep building on your relationships with folks from other cultures, and a few other things. Our goal is to make tools that help students do all of those things and more.
Q. How can study abroad advisors benefit from After Study Abroad?
A. One of our biggest goals is to take the pressure off of advisors who genuinely want to offer great after study abroad support, but can't because they're stretched too thin to actually design the full curriculum.
Not to mention how powerful it is to create an environment where prospective students can see their peers articulate the exact skills they got from study abroad or their specific plan for integrating their experiences into their everyday lives. For students and parents that's inspiring--and pretty recruitment worthy!
Here's how you can engage and get the most out of our tools:
Q. What's on the horizon?
A. Our big picture plan is to expand beyond just after study abroad and create tools for the whole process--before, during, and after--so students can really make all of the connections they need. That's a ways away though. Right now, it's all about creating more resources, talking to people so we can understand where the gaps are, educating folks about why it's so important to do this work after they get back, collaborating with really smart people, and a bunch of other things.
The coolest thing that I'm most excited about, though, is that we've decided to create an internship program for anyone in the Chicago area who's starting to explore the idea of a study abroad career. You can learn more at: https://afterstudyabroad.com/internship/
If you’re reading this blog, you likely have a passion for higher education and foreign travel, and for good reason- ask anyone who has worked or studied abroad and they will tell you the experience changed their lives in the best possible way. Countless studies have shown the positive impact of experiences abroad to a student’s academic career, as well as their personal lives and future professional endeavors. However, even with all of the noted benefits of studying abroad, the percentage of students who actually participate is very small (but growing!). As important as study abroad experiences are, there are definitely challenges students must overcome in order to participate. These challenges can end up being too daunting and can prevent student participation.
One group that faces its own unique set of challenges are students in science fields. Research has shown that students in the sciences are less likely to participate in study abroad programs. While common inhibiting factors such as cost, language barriers, and personal safety are relevant to science students as well, they also face specific roadblocks. By determining and understanding these, higher education professionals can begin to address and eliminate them.
1. Science Faculty and Admin Support
Students in the sciences face pressure from faculty and administration to meet the strict course requirements and deadlines for science majors. These staff members might see study abroad as unimportant in comparison to other strict requirements, or may be unaware of options and opportunities for students in these fields. They also might struggle with how to support students before and during study abroad programs.
2. Sequence Classes
Many science courses are taken in series that require one to be taken in order to take subsequent classes. These courses are often impacted and only offered in certain semesters. If a student skips a sequence course in one semester for any reason, they may have to wait until the same semester in the following year to take it again. This can seriously affect when the student graduates. This is probably one of the most difficult challenges these students face, because it can seem like there really is no way around it. It is much easier for students who take these courses to plan ahead. For example, EA staff can reach out to science students in their freshman year, explain the benefits of study abroad, and encourage students to plan out their courses with their academic advisors, including their time abroad.
3. Lack of Options
The majority of students who participate in a study abroad program are from the social sciences. It seems like so many of the programs that the typical school offers include courses in these fields. While it is entirely possible for science students to take these classes to satisfy elective or general education requirements, it would be ideal to offer major requirements abroad as well. EA staff can seek out partnerships with schools and programs that offer science courses. Further, staff can consider partnering with science faculty to create faculty-led programs in specific fields. UC Riverside is encouraging more science student participation by offering faculty led summer programs in the sciences, such as biology in Panama and computer science, electrical engineering, and computer engineering in Switzerland. Another way staff can help science students navigate their options is by creating a way to search programs by major on their website, which is another step UC Riverside has taken to better help students choose their own program.
4. Simply Unaware
EA staff should be more proactive about working with science students, because many times these students will simply assume there isn’t time to study abroad, or there aren’t any programs for them, or they will not have the support they need. Just like any student who briefly considers going abroad before forgetting the idea, students in the sciences might be interested but ultimately think the process is too much work. EA staff, as well as staff and faculty in the sciences, must reach out to these students to give them the information and support needed to make the decision.
Every school’s landscape is different. Above all, it is important for higher education professionals within education abroad to get a feel for the needs of the students on their campus. Society is becoming increasingly interconnected, and it is imperative for students to experience cultures other than their own. The sciences are becoming more globalized every day. In order to be successful in their fields, science students must be culturally competent and globally minded. While studying abroad is certainly not for everyone, participating in a program has benefits that can enrich the academic, personal, and professional lives of everyone. It is our responsibility to make studying abroad a possibility for anyone who wants to go. Further, higher education professionals should do their best to create opportunities abroad for students in the sciences. Perhaps the best way to begin creating such opportunities is to foster collaboration between administration in science and education abroad departments.
Resources: http://www.nafsa.org/Policy_and_Advocacy/Policy_Resources/Policy_Trends_and_Data/Trends _in_U_S__Study_Abroad/
When I first started Study Abroad Careers, my intended audience was the true newcomer - someone who was trying to break in but didn't have the support or resources to fully understand the field. It didn't take long before I realized a significant portion of the blog readers were current education abroad professionals. These people are secretly lurking because they are engaged in an incognito job search or just seeing what is out there.
(Hello, friend! Your secret is safe with me.)
In a recent conversation with Missy Gluckmann, from Melibee Global, I learned they also work with international educators who are well-established in the field. These job-seekers understand the value and benefit of coaching and professional development. They also need to remain anonymous as they reach out for this type of help.
It then dawned on me that while breaking in feels really hard, job 2 onward can be equally challenging. You have the skills and experience down, but you can't really shout "hire me" from the rooftops like you could before. Networking for your next position, while still employed in your current role, takes delicate maneuvering and time. There's another thing...During early to mid-career, you aren't just looking for a job. You are developing a resume storyline. Each subsequent position matters a bit more.
Given all this, in the middle part of your career it's common to feel a bit "stuck". That's why I want to share some information about two career resources that should be of interest to mid-career professionals:
This is ideal for anyone who needs a strategic sounding board, but is particularly useful for current education abroad professionals. Missy provides one-on-one private coaching, tailored to your career development needs. Learn more.
Webinar: International Educators Coping with Stress: Striking a Balance
If you work in study abroad you are no stranger to work-related stress. From managing health and safety, to working in an understaffed office, sometimes we forget to put on our own oxygen mask first. This affordable webinar will help you restore your balance. The LIVE webinar will be held on Thursday, October 27th at 3 pm (EST). All contributions for the session will be donated to the Jane Gluckmann and Carol Rausch Go Global Scholarship (administered by the Fund for Education Abroad). Learn more.
As time goes on, I'll continue to share resources like these and perspectives for mid-career professionals alongside the "breaking in" posts. Just know I realize you are here. Please stick around. And be sure to drop me a line if there is something I can do to better address topics of interest to you as a mid-career professional.
You might remember over the summer I announced how super excited I was to (finally) share the Global Pro Institute with readers because everyone wants ways to break in without grad school. Then I gave you just a short window of time to jump on board with GPI before the enrollment door slammed shut.
Maybe you checked it out, then and thought it sounded cool, but you never pulled the trigger because: Life. That's okay.
Today I received the awesome news that Brooke is enrolling for the Fall 2016 GPI Cohort that begins October 3rd. You have until October 2nd (@ 11 pm CST) to check it out and jump onboard.
What's The Global Pro Institute?
GPI is a 6-week online class designed to teach you about the inner workings of the study abroad field, including how the job search process works from the other side. It's not just resume and cover letter stuff, you'll get the chance to hear from experienced professionals who are working in the field, some in jobs you probably didn't know existed. You'll network with other GPI cohort members (like Simon did). These are the same folks who will one day be your colleagues in the field (!!!) And you will get personalized coaching and feedback from Brooke Roberts, of Inside Study Abroad. The other great thing is that GPI is not just for newcomers. The program is versatile enough for those of you looking to find a better fit within international education.
Here is where I'm gonna be super real with you. This practical (vs. theoretical) foundation is something you will not learn in grad school. No college has a class where you are taught the lingo you need, or understand the difference between a 3rd Party Provider and a university study abroad office, or why you might be better suited to work in one and not the other. To be 100% honest, even if you were to get a study abroad graduate assistantship like I did, it would still take a year (or more) to really truly take it all in.
This is because no one's going to sit you down and really tell it like it is. As a grad student you are likely shielded from some of the political realities of the work. Heck, I was ending the first full year of employment in a professional study abroad advising job before I really truly *got* the full international education ecosystem. Why? Because I did not have anyone like Brooke coaching me.
Ready to become a #GlobalPro?
Whether you want to take your job search to a new level, or you are just curious about the program, explore GPI in more detail and decide if this is the right move for you. The next cohort won't start until February 2017 and this round is expected to fill. So here's where you begin...
Want a FREE preview of the kinds of things Brooke teaches in her Global Pro Institute? You are in luck. She is offering a live webinar this Wednesday (9/28/16 at 8 PM CST) on the Biggest Mistakes in the International Education Job Search. All you have to do is sign up. The first 50 people who sign up can join live. But no worries, the webinar will be recorded so anyone who wants a peek can get it. Just sign up using the button below.
Forget March, this September came in like a lion. The back to school energy on my campus meant busy days filled with heaps of excited students asking questions about study abroad. There were two new peer advisors to train (using some of Abbie's awesome training advice). Then I had a bit of regional travel for a few study abroad meetings.
Just because I was busy tending to "the day job" doesn't mean I've stopped cultivating study abroad job search nuggets for all of you here on the blog. It might be mid-September, but better late than never is my new motto.
Last week, while making that 10-hour roundtrip drive to my meeting destination, I had the chance to take in a new audiobook that fired me up: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (yes, the Liz Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame). I highly recommend the book, even if you don't consider yourself "a maker". Check it out. Seriously. Do it!
In the book, Gilbert shares a great career advice tidbit from Mark Manson's blog where he talks about finding your life purpose. She explains that all jobs -- even what you perceive as the "dream jobs" have a part that sucks. It is 100% true. Every job requires some level of sacrifice So finding the right fit is less about "your passion" and more about what negative things you are willing to tolerate to chase your dream. Or as Mason says,
"What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat?"
Wowza! How many ways do I love that?!
Isn't it the truth, though? The downside is ever so important to consider as you pursue a job-- whether it is your first job or your fourteenth. What kinds of sacrifices you are willing to make? Would you take low pay, an undesirable location, a cross-country move, horrible long hours, a title demotion, zero flexibility, abysmal benefits, no travel, too much travel, responsibility levels that induce stress? You get the idea...
Considering the not-so-glam side of a job is a great way to stay grounded in your search.
Our natural tendency is to read a job description and immediately start dreaming about our new life in that perfect position. (This is particularly true if you are already in a job you feel has let you down.) Think about it -- if you are in a job now, surely at some point that job seemed like a perfect opportunity. And it likely was fab. You learned. You grew. You paid those student loans. But here you sit, looking through job postings, hoping to find something your current position cannot provide-- things you need to nurture your "you-ness".
In this process of searching and dreaming it is easy to lose sight of reality. Every job has something that is less than ideal. You probably just don't have the inside information to see it yet. This is an important truth to accept. It doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for growth and possibility in a new role. Not at all. It just means that maybe choosing your next move involves looking at the benefits and drawbacks before you leap. It means you ask more questions of yourself. Know your dreams but also come to terms with what kind of "shit sandwich" you can stomach.
So how about it? What are you willing to put up with to fulfill your ultimate career goals?
Pre-departure orientation for study abroad is one of the most exciting parts of my job. The possibilities are endless. Orientation is an area of my work where I can interject creativity and get to teach fun content that makes a difference in the lives of students. Of course it is also challenging to provide appropriate orientation to hundreds of students going to hundreds of different locations with a tiny staff.
When I debrief with students during re-entry they always have criticism of orientation. It used to bother me, but I've come to realize it has less to do with orientation and more to do with how much they have grown and changed during their study abroad program.
Hindsight is 20/20. Students will simultaneously tell me that orientation was overwhelming with information overload AND say that we did not give them enough information to foresee exactly what would happen through each step of the overseas experience.
This is 100% understandable when you think about it. First-time study abroad is scary. Going to someplace new (alone) provokes anxiety. If I give them all of the details in an attempt to reduce their fear of the unknown, I also create information overload. But if I stick to broad topics they panic that they don't know what is ahead.
There is no perfect orientation. This is something I have come to learn, but it took time. When I first started my study abroad career I tried to create the orientation I wished I had, only to find that it still didn't meet the needs of my students. And as I have interviewed a variety of peer advisors and study abroad career hopefuls, this is a reoccurring theme. Nearly every newcomer says something negative about their study abroad preparation and how it sparked their desire to contribute to the field. [ INTERVIEW TIP: Tread carefully here-- it makes you seem judgemental vs. motivated if you rag on your advisors]
While I've resigned to the fact that pre-departure orientation will never be all that I hope, I have not given up on improving student engagement with the content. My favorite way to do this is through multimedia. You might be thinking, "Wait didn't you say you already have a tiny office?" Yep! There are 3 of us. And I have zero budget. Zero movie-making skills. Limited time...you get the picture...
This brings me to my favorite (free) orientation hack -- YouTube.
I use YouTube videos in orientation to bring things to life and keep the attention of students. There's tons of great content already out there that can be used in orientation. You just have to look.
Sometimes it takes a bit of work to frame the content. For example, I use this video by a study abroad student in Japan to demonstrate the W-Curve model of culture shock and re-entry but always explain that it doesn't matter where the video takes place -- there is commonality in the experience.
I'll show the video first and follow it up with the more technical chart, showing the W curve model (Gullahorn & Gullahorn, 1963) and requisite disclaimers. Then I'll refer back to points in her video where I suspect she was experience the different peaks and valleys of adjustment.
Another example is this video by UCSB I used to use for discussions on cultural stereotypes. It grabs their attention and provokes reflection to hear international students (and returnees) speak about Americans on study abroad. Many of my students haven't considered themselves as "having culture" and only think of study abroad from a position of self fulfillment. Using the clip is a good fun way to provoke dialogue on the ugly American stereotype.
Those are just two examples of easy free ways I spice up orientation with zero time or money resources available. I'm curious to hear from other education professionals on this topic. Surely I'm not alone in using this hack.
Do you ever use YouTube in your orientation?
Are there videos you recommend?
Has anyone found good content on Vimeo? Other sites?
Share your ideas and links in the comments below.
Resumes are hard work.
No one I know actually likes creating and updating a resume. If you are trying to get a job in study abroad, whether that is straight from university or as a career-changer, you might not even know where to start with one. Most people just customize a template or churn out whatever your campus career center taught you, without regard for the specific industry.
The resume you used for your college internship is likely unsuitable for a study abroad position. And the resume you created for a university study abroad advisor position should definitely be tweaked before sending it off to a study abroad program provider.
If you are mid-career, it is just as important to give your resume the attention it deserves. It is probably more painful too! You still need to do it. This is true even if you don't want to leave your job. Once you are working it is fairly easy to let awesome experiences and skills accumulate without writing your accomplishments down. As much as you think you will not forget that killer project you rocked, you will. I promise. You will.
How do you know? Because mine is outdated. Sooooo outdated. I have a publication coming out this month I haven't added. I've been on at least 3 committees that are not listed. I've applied for 4 grants and I'd have to dig to find the names so I can add them. I also need to create a CV version of the resume, just in case. Yes, this is all totally embarrassing for someone who writes about career development. So use this as a cautionary example.
Why keep a resume updated if you are not job searching? Because you never know when you may need to provide a resume with little to no notice. I've had to include a resume with grant applications, my Fulbright application, for a colleague to see an example of an IE resume, and a few times when a "dream job" popped up and I wanted to toss it out there.
Don't go at it alone.
Getting help with your resume can speed your pathway to a job and make it less painful. Seeing different industry examples is vital. International education has buzzwords which signal you are "in the know" (and also words to avoid). If you already have an education abroad career mentor, reach out for a resume critique. Don't be afraid or take it personal. Just do it!
If you don't have someone available to help, or if you are just starting, consider getting your hands on a resume toolkit designed for international educators. Missy Gluckmann over at Melibee Global has an in-depth resource guide that targets resume design/re-design. She gives you a 100-minute webinar, 35 pages of before & after real resumes (my favorite), a resume resource guide, and tips. And it is actually affordable for unemployed folks. Here's the link:
>>>Resume Tips for International Education
There are also a few general tips available on this site in the Jobs section and you can find some resume content pinned to the Study Abroad Careers Pinterest Board.
But whatever you do, don't put it off or time will slip away. Your resume deserves better!
:: off to update my resume ::
When I talk with people who want my job, there are two questions I always get:
What master's degree do I need for a job in study abroad?
How do I get experience when no one will hire me?
To be honest, I struggle to answer that first question. I have a master's degree (and a doctorate) in student affairs & higher education administration. My graduate assistantship paid for my education while providing hands-on work in a study abroad office. Then my assistantship magically turned in to a full-time study abroad job when my boss quit and I got hired. I was a lucky rainbow unicorn. Okay, there was a lot of hard work and strategic networking in there. But still-- to assume you can just roll on up and do the same is not fair. Things were easier 14 years ago.
I know that grad school is expensive. I also know competition for entry-level study abroad positions is fierce. And in case you didn't hear, study abroad jobs don't pay much. Starting annual salary is typically less than the masters program price tag.
So it is problematic for me to make a blanket referral to grad school without also mentioning:
I hate it when I see aspiring educators who paid 40-50k for a masters still struggling to nab a job interview. It is deflating to their spirit-- not to mention frightening when the student loan statements start coming. Sometimes it works out great, but there is no guarantee.
Similarly, I feel bad when someone spends a year (or more) busting tail to break in, only to succeed then hate their job 3 months later. Just because you love to travel doesn't mean you'll love being tied to a desk 12 months/year sending others off on the adventures you long to have.
The work experience question is more challenging. The easiest way to get work experience is while you are still a student, whether that be undergraduate peer advisor or graduate assistant / practicum student. Part-time work and training are more accessible when you are in a university setting.
Yet most of the people I talk to already graduated from university. They have full-time jobs to pay the bills. Or they are unemployed and need something fast. They might have time to volunteer, but they don't have the right connections to get set up with a volunteer position. So while it's easy for me to spout off, "hey, go volunteer to get experience", truth be told, even unpaid work can be difficult to secure on your own.
These 2 frequently asked questions were key motivators for the creation of this website. I wanted to provide a resource to demonstrate there's no one right pathway to a study abroad career. And I wanted to be really upfront about what it means to have a study abroad career. Working in these jobs is not always the dream it seems when you are a program participant. I'll be the first to tell you it is not for everyone or every stage of life.
Why I am telling you all this? Because I want you to know you have options.
Early on in the creation of Study Abroad Careers I knew I wanted to help others find ways around the common roadblocks. I had a few brainstorms and made some notes. But as is true so many times in life, I set it aside and it remained "just an idea". I was busy raising a kiddo, finishing my doctorate, working my day job, and building this website to share with you.
Fast forward to fall 2015...someone else beat me to the punch. Brooke Roberts, from Inside Study Abroad, built and launched Global Pro Institute (GPI). After kicking myself for my lack of action, I quickly got over it and my regret turned to complete and total excitement. Why? Because here's the thing -- it's better than anything I could have created. Honest.
The Global Pro Institute directly addresses 2 common roadblocks: education & experience
I (cautiously) connected with former GPI program participants, saw their progress, and checked out what all was involved. My initial fear was that GPI was just selling "the rockstar dream". But those fears went out the door when I explored the content of the classes and saw how people were inspired to move from dreams to actionable steps.
In mid-April I reached out to Brooke by Skype to see if Study Abroad Careers could partner to provide the class to readers. During that conversation, I realized we are on the same page, working for the same goal. We may have different approaches, but she is exactly the cheerleader job seekers need.
GPI provides everything I don't have time to give you right now. Study Abroad Careers is a major labor of love. And I want each and every one of you to grow and bloom in your careers, regardless of how that happens. I decided my only option was to share information about GPI with readers and let you decide.
Global Pro Institute (GPI)
The 3rd cohort of Global Pro Institute is about to close soon, but there's still time to sign up for this round. Registration ends on Sunday, July 10, 2016.
Here are some things you might want to know about GPI:
Who is the Global Pro Institute for?
Anyone who has a sincere desire to work (or grow) in the field of education abroad. I say sincere because it is a commitment. It is a real class. Brooke has a student affairs background and knows how to design a learning program that is also fun and energizing. The course lasts 6 weeks and is designed to jumpstart you. As with anything, you get out what you put in. So you have to be ready to reflect, listen, and LEARN.
What is included in the GPI package?
And after you complete the GPI class (this part is new):
You can find out all the details on the website HERE And a good way to preview what that really looks like is to search social media for #GlobalPro
How Do I Sign Up?
If you feel like this is something you could benefit from, here is where you can go to sign up:
Click Here to Enroll in the Global Pro Institute
Disclosure: Study Abroad Careers is a GPI Ambassador, if you use our links we get funds to contribute toward our web hosting fees (but, sadly, it's not enough for a pony).
Is GPI for me?
Only you can answer that. It depends on what you want to accomplish, what you already tried, and what you are willing to put into your career development. What I can tell you, is that you won't get any of the same content or experiences in a graduate program, regardless of what you study. It is practical stuff vs. theoretical.
I support GPI because I feel like this is the content and approach I recommend to people through Study Abroad Careers. Do I wish I'd created GPI. Heck, yeah! But I'm also the first to admit I just don't have the time to put together such a comprehensive resource right now. That doesn't change the fact that I still want you to know it is available and to take advantage if this kind of program suits you.