International know-how a must-have

Alison Kemp and Alison Kemp

So you’ve fallen in love with life outside America and have decided you want to spend the rest of your life working overseas, but you don’t know where to start.

Jean-Marc Hachey is on campus to help.

He spoke last night in the Union’s Multi Purpose Room to a group of approximately 100 students and faculty members interested in international jobs. He speaks again today from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Union Theater. Both programs were sponsored by the University’s international studies program, the Career Center and Continuing and Extended Education.

International experience is something that Hachey has lots of. He’s fluent in English and French. He’s worked in Ghana and Nigeria. And he’s always asking international employers what traits they look for in candidates for international jobs.

Hachey said the answer has not changed since he started asking in the late ’80s; ‘They hire based on personality.’

He means international job candidates need an international personality. Employers want candidates who can ‘mold to the country’ they are stationed in.

This means that someone working in Korea will know that the amount of personal space shrinks immensely compared to the amount given in the United States, or that other countries do not have the ‘alone time’ Americans have.

By experiencing issues like this, each person working internationally learns more about his or her own self and native culture, Hachey said.

‘You learn so much about yourself when you go over [seas],’ said Monica Schneiderman, a senior international studies and math education major.

She said she loved being in a country other than her own when she studied abroad in Spain, which is when she realized she wanted to work internationally.

When Hachey wanted to begin searching for an international job, his professors told him an entry-level position would not be available to him. But he found opportunities and said, ‘There are tons and tons of international opportunities.’

Most of these jobs are through American companies that have international counterparts.

In order to get these jobs, previous international experience is necessary. Studying, interning or volunteering abroad and interacting with international students at your home university are good ways to learn about a different country, he said.

A ‘high international IQ’ is also a necessity, Hachey said. An international IQ consits of knowledge of the world, knowledge of international aspects of your field, cross-cultural knowledge and skills, and personal coping and adapting skills.

Michelle Bologna, a sophomore international studies and Spanish major, said hearing Hachey speak about how he got involved with international jobs was encouraging because he was from a small town, too.

‘It gives me motivation that if I work hard enough, I can do it, too,’ she said.