careers

What you didn’t know about finding an international career

Over the last year I’ve been enjoying a series of podcast interviews on global topics. One aspect my podcast that makes it more fun for me is that many episodes focus on topics of interest to students and people in their twenties. For this reason, I’ve recorded a number of episodes on careers. If you are curious as to what you might do after you graduate, or want to explore a career shift, here are some episodes that might help you.

What you didn’t know about federal jobs. Joyce Hamilla is the executive director at the Oregon Federal Executive Board. She’s also had a fascinating career in multiple intelligence and security agencies, as well as academia. Many students don’t think that they would have any interest in federal jobs. Many students also know next to nothing about federal jobs, apart from what they have seen on television series like Homecoming and movies. Joyce spoke with such enthusiasm and conviction that by the time I was done listening to this episode, I was ready to apply for federal jobs.

Internships. Regina Navarro Gomez was an energetic speaker, who had done multiple internships as an undergraduate student. She talked about the pros and cons of internships, and why they matter. If you are an undergraduate student who hasn’t yet done an internship, you might find that you have a new perspective after listening to Regina’s interview.

Career Opportunities in Global Studies. In this talk I discuss the four main tracks that most people will follow if they graduate with a degree in International and Global Studies. I also talk about the choices that you should make during your studies in order to prepare yourself for success. The talk was designed to be a practical guide to think about career choices.

Useful Career Websites:

idealist.org This website allows you to search for non-profit job openings based on your location. It’s very popular with my students.

https://www.usajobs.gov/Search/Results? This is the federal government’s jobs website. You should be sure to filter by potential jobs and location or you’ll be overwhelmed

https://careers.state.gov/work/available-jobs/ This website lists available jobs in the foreign service

https://www.macslist.org/ If you are in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Macs list is a great resource to look for jobs.

Indeed.com This job site does not show jobs specifically for international careers or non-profits, but is popular with students.

Pickering Fellowship: “The Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program is a program funded by the U.S. Department of State, administered by Howard University, that attracts and prepares outstanding young people for Foreign Service careers in the U.S. Department of State.” To be clear, I have no ties whatsoever to either the Pickering Fellowship or Howard University.

Shawn Smallman

What you didn’t know about federal jobs

I recently interviewed Joyce Hamilla, the Executive Director at the Oregon Federal Executive Board, about federal jobs. In the podcast, she talked about the many reasons why people should consider applying for federal positions I’ve noticed a clear trend over the last decade in which my students have become increasingly uninterested in working for the federal government. Of course, I think part of that is led to the ugliness of political discourse in the United States. But I also think that students and many other people are poorly informed about the wealth of jobs in federal service, and the opportunities to do work that is truly meaningful.

Joyce spoke to these questions. One of the points that she made is that if you are looking for a work environment that is apolitical, federal service may be the right place for you. She also pointed out that the federal government is hiring accountants, engineers, and people from every other possible background that you can imagine, even a cowboy. She also talked about applying for one of the eighteen different intelligence services in the U.S. government, and why -despite what you’ve seen in the movies- might want to broaden your horizon beyond the CIA. She also spoke about why -contrary to expectations- people often move jobs in federal service, so that’s a great workspace for people who want to explore different jobs. If you’re thinking at all about what do to after graduating, or if you might be interested in a new career, this might be the podcast episode for you.

Shawn Smallman

Internships for International Studies students

I want to thank Regina Navarro-Gomez, whom I interviewed for my recent episode of my podcast, Dispatch 7. Regina has done internships not only in the United States but also abroad, and from the Oregon governor’s office to the Department of State. She spoke about diversity, job descriptions, networking, intern burnout, and many other topics. Most of all, she spoke about the opportunities internships can bring, and the importance of believing in yourself. If you are thinking about doing an internship -or perhaps supervising one- you might enjoy this episode. You can find the podcast here.

Shawn Smallman

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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