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The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows. ~Sydney J. Harris


Education authorities and global businesses agree that employees that have had experience of working in foriegn lands are far more valuable than "home grown" employees.

Press Releases

  • Ernst & Young

    Dan Black, Ernst & Young’s director of campus recruiting for the Americas, says that as far as he is concerned, young applicants who have served in the Peace Corps or worked overseas in an internship or other job have a leg up on everyone else.

    “We definitely see overseas experience as an advantage,” he says. He directs campus hiring for the London-based accounting and consulting giant, which has 140,000 employees worldwide. “Our clients are demanding more of us these days,” he explains. “They want diversity of thought and diversity of values, and many of our clients are multinationals.”

    Among the most attractive places for foreign experience, from Ernst & Young’s perspective: China and Brazil, two emerging markets where growth is strong. “We can’t get enough hiring done for our Brazil practice,” Black notes. Russia is also big, he adds.

    Not only new hires but mid-career professionals, too, can get a boost from a foreign posting. One of Black’s friends in Ernst & Young’s financial services practice did a three-year stint in Tokyo, returned to New York and was promoted to partner. The Japanese sojourn probably shaved a year or two off the man’s promotion track, Black says.


  • International companies
    Becoming a valuable employee

    Their global perspective on their field of work and their cultural awareness make employees with overseas work experience valuable for international companies. Employers with multicultural teams, or brands and products with a multinational focus also prefer employees with this kind of experience.

    In today’s globalized world, it is essential to work with people – be they colleagues, clients, or business partners – from all kinds of national, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. International work experience will therefore make you a real asset for every employer and pave your way towards further international assignments.

    While it may take you some time to adjust to your new company environment, you’ll almost certainly gain and improve some essential soft skills such as patience, perseverance, flexibility, and communication skills. These qualities are just as important for your employer as any of your hard skills, professional knowledge, and academic qualifications.

    The latter are, of course, essential as well. After all, the head of an international petroleum company will not hire you if you are a Music and Theatre major and lack any significant qualifications. If that is the case, it doesn’t matter how well you are suited for international assignments. Still, soft skills are as important as having a diploma and work experience.