I have to be honest – I’ve never worked or studied abroad. Neither in undergrad nor while earning my MBA at Kellstadt. Do I regret it? All the time. Have I traveled internationally for fun? Of course. Would it be strange to put these trips on my resume (other than listing “travel” in my Skills and Interests section)? Probably.
I don’t mean to negate or devalue the experiences a person can have backpacking after college or on a family vacation, because I’ve had some amazing ones. But since starting my work in the field of international education, I finally understand the value of studying and/or interning abroad.
I have the privilege of working for an organization that puts an emphasis on research and sharing information. We learn from the experiences of our past students and interns. With this insight, IES Abroad developed a 50-year Alumni Survey, as well as Recent Graduate Survey results which was the basis for an outlook on the career benefits of studying and interning abroad.
Among these benefits, we found that, on average, IES Abroad alumni earn $6,000 more in starting salaries than students who didn’t study abroad. What’s more is that 97% of IES Abroad alumni secured a job within one year of graduation as compared to only 49% of the general college population. While these ‘benefits’ focus on undergraduate students, it’s easy to believe that they would apply to MBAs, as well.
Another thing to consider: when are you going to be able to study abroad again? Pretty much never. While opportunities to work abroad may present themselves in the future, these opportunities will be much easier to come by if you have some form of international experience already on your resume. Even if living abroad full-time is not your goal, multi-national organizations also seek candidates with international experience and cultural sensitivity. Employers want to be confident that, if someone needs to visit the office overseas, you can handle it. According to the RAND Study of HR Managers, “80% of companies report they would be more competitive internationally if they had a more globally competent staff.” Wouldn’t you like to be one of those ‘globally competent’ staff members?
Keep in mind that Kellstadt and DePaul’s Study Abroad Office offer international study programs varying in length and credits so you can find something that fits your course schedule and path to graduation.
About the author:
Kellstadt Alum Shaina Moran started her career working in outdoor retail as a manager and Marketing Coordinator while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and MBA in Marketing Management from Kellstadt. In the summer of 2011, she joined the Office of Career Advancement at the University of Chicago as a Program Coordinator for the UChicago Careers in Business (UCIB) program and then the Assistant Director-Marketing for UCIB. In this role, she advised students on internship and full-time job opportunities in marketing among other fields. She also planned weekly large-scale workshops, treks, and site visits and produced marketing communications and collateral for the group. Most recently, Shaina worked as a College Relations Manager and Berlin and Sydney advisor for the IES Internships program at IES Abroad, a Chicago-based and internationally-focused, not-for-profit study abroad provider. Shaina now works as the Marketing Specialist at IES Abroad and is happy to share information about the organization and IES Internships programming.