International environment and global focus – Why I like my new job!

It has been calm on my blog since December, when I started my new position at a German business school. Actually it is my alma mater and I studied there for my bachelor and my master. Now I decided to come back in order to join the Study Advisory Service Team. It is still lot of learning and for sure stressful. Not growing into the position as team-lead for the first time, but also to adapt to the new target group and contents. But it is as I have imagined! In one of my final discussions with one of my former direct reports, he mentioned one (if not the only) concern he would see occurring with my new position. He predicted the position would not be “international” enough for me. Uhm … what do you mean?

It is not about countries you visit, the mindset matters!

I mean, of course it is nice to work in a truly global (but virtual) team. To regular travel abroad and meet colleagues. To explore foreign cultures. However, by having a closer look in your surroundings, you might find places like my new work-place. Small urban campuses, where student and staff from dozen of nationalities come together to life, learn and research – true melting pots.

Of course, as with almost every university, a major focus in our study programs is on international mobility. We all do love measurable, quantifiable outcome variables. But there is one thing being more important and going beyond working in an international environment. These melting pots are growing and educating future global citizens. And in the end, internationalization is not about mobility, it’s about mindset. This mindset will and already does distinguish between successful managers and not as successful managers. At least this is my true believe!

Future talent need to have intercultural as well as citizenship competencies

Recently I was asked by parents, why I decided to stay in Germany while having pursued studies in International Management. Let me explain: Especially in business schools the focus is (and probably should be) on educating successful future managers. In many instances, internationalization has the simple meaning to provide cross-cultural competences and knowledge. Hence, to develop tomorrow’s leaders. Major learning objective: persuade other people in a globalized work environment.

Some argue this education still has a very narrow view on capitalism. But from my own experience, more and more often, ethics, responsibility and sustainability aspects start to rise in importance in higher education (as it is also asked for by prospect students). A study on the Impact of the Erasmus Student Exchange published in 2014 showed: “Internationalization brings benefits to employability. It has an impact on transversal skills that employers value, such as curiosity, ability to solve problems, resilience, teamwork and openness.”So what should we take away from this?

Education of future managers needs to incorporate ethics, sustainability and responsibility in a globalized context as core competencies. Content and courses and hence context and experience in this area should further increase employability. Meaning innovation, creativity and global solutions will be leveraged – and this is what this world will need in the future.

And on a personal note: Hey, I love to travel a bit less, and explore less cultures on my own, if I have the chance to be part of an international team; on a global campus; educate tomorrow’s global citizens.

Hope to see you around, folks!



P.S.: I work hard to find some more time again to post on a more regular basis!