Career diplomat speaks on jobs in globalized economy

Christian Marnon, WKU Herald, Sep 26, 2013

The effortless convenience of modern technology has drawn the world tighter, but with that diminished cultural distance comes responsibility.

Thursday night in Gary A. Ransdell Hall auditorium, career diplomat Michael McClellan discussed self-awareness in a globalized world while also encouraging attendees to construct their own international framework.

In his presentation, “Successful Careers in the Age of Globalization: Expert Advice From a Career Diplomat” [link added], McClellan advised students how to become marketable to employers in a culturally compressed world.

Transactions with different cultures are, and will remain inevitable in the future, McClellan said.

“You’re going to be encountering a lot of people from other countries who have different sets of cultural values,” he said. “Basically, any person now who’s going into the workforce needs to have a very strong international consciousness.”

Whether overseas or on our native soil, McClellan said the success of intercultural encounters can be influenced by versatility in 13 skill sets, which were outlined during the presentation. Examples of these skill sets included composure, cultural adaptability, objectivity, and oral communication.

“If you have all 13 of these dimensions in your skill kit and if they’re part of your professional persona, you’re going to be in pretty good shape to get hired,” McClellan said.

Gatton Academy student and Bowling Green native Saralinda Schell said McClellan’s advice to construct an international framework is “essential.”

“Even in Bowling Green you cannot go down the street and not see someone who isn’t from another culture,” Schell said. “Expecting them to mold to what you expect them to be doesn’t work. You can’t work with people if you expect them to be something that they’re not.”

Intellectual curiosity and cultural openness often trumps credentialism in the current job market, McClellan said.

“Having credentials does not mean that you are truly prepared for a particular job or task that is right in front of you,” he said. “A good student is always looking for opportunities to learn; a good student is always exploring; a good student is intellectually curious. If you think all of your education is what you get in the classroom, I have news for you-that’s not the way it is.”

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