careers

Career opportunities for International and Global Studies majors

In my latest edition of my podcast I talk about careers in International and Global Studies, particularly the four main fields: business, non-governmental organizations, government, and jobs for which more education may be required. I also interview Chiara Nicastro about why MA programs are worthwhile. I also talk about the specific steps -such as internship and meeting with a career counselor- that can help students prepare for the job market.

Shawn Smallman

How to become a Digital Nomad?

I was talking with a student recently who said that they wanted to create a life where they could live in different locations or even nations. When I asked the student if they had ever heard the term Digital Nomad they said no. But when I began to explain the term for this movement, they said that they felt a chill. I’ve talked about digital nomads before, because every year I come to know several of them through my online classes and advising for my department’s online track.

In week ten of my Introduction to International Studies course we focus on careers, using the “Where to Go Next Chapter” in our textbook. But I’ve also added some other content now addressing Digital Nomads; I’ve also created a discussion prompt (its an online class) around this topic. You can see both the week’s content and the discussion prompt below:

Week 10, Careers and International Travel

Watch: No videos this week.

Listen:  Podcast on International Careers

View: the PSU Career Center website.

Read:

Chapters Twelve and Thirteen: Where to go from here and Conclusion.

Smallman (2017), “Digital Wanderers.” Blog post, Introduction to International and Global Studies.

Nomad List, website.

Beverly Yuen Thompson. (2018). Digital Nomads: Employment in the Online Gig Economy. Glocalism: Journal of Culture, Politics and Innovation, 2018(1), Glocalism: Journal of Culture, Politics and Innovation, 01 June 2018, Vol.2018(1).

Do: Complete your first discussion post by Wednesday at 11:59, and respond to another student by Friday at 11:59.

Week 10 Discussion Prompt:

This week you read Smallman’s blog post about Digital Wanderers. Could you see yourself as a Digital Wanderer/Nomad? Why or Why not? If you were one, where would you wish to live? Why? Do you know any Digital Wanderers? Or if you are one, do you have any tips?

I’ve also asked my students for the career advice that they’d like to share with their peers. This is what they said:

Don’t let your education get in the way of your learning

Show up when others won’t

Take any experience that you can get

Your major does not determine your career

Be patient. You will find your career.

Stay open to opportunities because the unexpected can happen.

Shawn Smallman, 2019

10 interview tips you’ll need for academic jobs

I have served on many search committees in International and Global Studies over two decades, and I want to give some tips for academics applying for faculty positions. Some of these points are obvious, but they are easy to forget during the pressure of a job interview:

 

  1. Do your research, and know all the faculty members’ work before you arrive. This is a sign of respect, and will be very helpful during the dinner meetings.
  2. Before you come to the campus, you should also look at the department’s courses online, and have a good understanding of how the curriculum works. This step will enable you to better explain how you can contribute to the department’s offerings.
  3. When you are giving a talk based on your research, make sure that you convey the relevance of your work for nonspecialists. Many applicants don’t do this, and no matter how theoretically relevant or innovative, you can lose your audience otherwise, even when they are in the same field.
  4. Maintain your energy throughout the interview process. Yes, the search process is exhausting, but the person having coffee with you on the second afternoon should still see you as someone who will be dynamic in the classroom.
  5. Think about how you would teach online. Increasingly departments expect faculty to be willing to do some online teaching, and they often just assume that younger faculty will know how to do this. While you may not have had a chance to work with a class in an online format, spend a little time talking with someone who has, and convey enthusiasm about the opportunity to do so. This may set you apart from the other applicants.
  6. Be flexible in what courses you would be willing to offer. Do not be too modest, and say that it would take you a lot of work to develop a course, or that you’re not sure if you have the expertise. That is not how you wish to present yourself during an interview.
  7. Often candidates will have a lunch meeting with students. Search committees take student input seriously, so treat their questions with respect, and make an effort to engage with everyone. Try to learn student names, and to address students by them, even during a brief meeting. If a student has a question, get their email, and send them some follow-up information.
  8. After you have a campus interview, always send a thank you email to the head of the search committee, as well as the committee members. This conveys enthusiasm for the job, and people will remember it.
  9. Don’t bring up spousal hires, moving expenses, and related issues until you’ve been offered the job. All those questions should be addressed during the negotiations after you’ve been offered the position. Remember, once you have been offered the job the power shifts to you, because departments are very reluctant to move to their second choice.
  10. Never, ever complain about your adviser or your graduate program. You were invited to campus in part based on the strength of that program or that adviser’s reputation, so such complaints undermine you as a candidate. They also may paint you as a difficult person. You’ll have lots of time for this after you get the job.

Have You Ever Thought About Teaching English Overseas?

Guest blog by Rosa David

If you have an undergraduate degree, are a native or native-like English speaker and have the desire to live abroad, there are countless opportunities to make this dream a reality. With the rise of globalization, English has become a lingua franca. The English language plays a leading role in international business, trade, academics and even is the language of the sky (aviation). Because of this growing need for English speakers, the prospect of teaching English is now better than ever. This article will highlight some possible teaching opportunities.

Many people who are thinking about teaching English overseas often choose to get some kind of teaching certification. Although it is not impossible to find a job as an English teacher without any kind of formal training, your chances of finding secure position with better benefits increases when you have some kind of English teaching certification. There are four certifications that you may consider: TESOL, TESL, TEFL and CELTA. These certificates range in cost, instruction, time commitment, location, curriculum, evaluation and job placement assistance. The British Council has written a nice article about the different certificate (http://www.oxfordseminars.com/blog/tesol-tesl-tefl-or-celta-which-is-right-for-you/), though please take into account that the British Council offers the CELTA and therefore paints a better picture of the CELTA. Take the time to think about your personal investment and choose wisely.   

Careers in the Foreign Service

When Kim and I were writing the textbook, one concern that some external reviewers had was that the final chapter on careers was “too vocational.” I’ve never believed that there was a contradiction between educating students for careers, and educating them for citizenship. Kim and I argued that the chapter was important, and it has remained. Students have often thanked me after the class for having included material on careers in the text. I think that -especially as a greater burden has fallen on students to pay for their own education- we have a responsibility to educate them about the different career pathways open to them, so I always like to share information related to jobs. Here is a link to a great article by Gareth Evans on “How to build a career in foreign relations.”

Shawn Smallman, 2016

Careers for International and Global Studies Majors

When Kim Brown and I were working on the book, we were particularly committed to writing the final chapter on careers. We had both spent many years advising students, and we know the questions that they had about employment, and that students couldn’t find the answers in existing textbooks. We tried to map out the career paths that students could take, and the choices that these paths entailed. But something strange happened. As the book went through different iterations, some external reviewers of the text had a strong reaction to that chapter, which they viewed as too “vocational.” Yet Kim and I held fast, because we believed that this chapter was critical for students. Having taught with this text now, I can attest that this is the chapter that students most value, as students have even come up to me to thank me for including that section in the text. …

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