7 Networking Tips For International Business Students

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On this blog I write to inspire professionals in the trenches of international business. But this blog also attracts a high number of international business students, and yesterday I received this message on Facebook:

I’m a recent university graduate with a major in marketing I came across ur blog and found it very interesting. I have not found a job yet but my main focus is international marketing maybe in research. I really enjoy studying other cultures. Any advice on where to look for job openings or what my next step should be?

It’s obviously the season for questions from graduates looking for work.

graduated 7 Networking Tips For International Business Students

Many international business graduates want to know how to begin their career.

Unfortunately I don’t have time to answer the high volume of questions that come in. So here are some networking tips for international business students looking for help in directing their life towards an international career.

#1: Don’t Be Vague

Most of the questions I get from university students are vague about what they want. They tell me what they have done in detail, but not what they want to do. And because of this they seem to want a career counselor. No personality comes through.

Show people your passion online. You’ll eventually find the right circles to hang out in. Follow your interests. Let your passion show. When you network online people like to see who you are.

#2: Don’t Make Everything About You

The more adventurous students phone me to tell me they’ve just finished this degree and are looking for a job. I’ll be honest, this is not of interest to me.

Develop strong professional social networking skills. Social media networking is a great way to develop relationships with people. But you must first connect person-to-person in some way.

#3: Don’t Show Disrespect

Unfortunately most of these phone calls are usually very late in the evening or on weekends, times I prefer to spend with my family and friends. That’s a huge turn-off.

Study the people you want to connect with. Find out what time zone they’re on and respect their business hours. Find out what communication methods they prefer. I use Skype daily… but only for my business contacts and people I’m interested in getting to know better.

#4: Don’t Go After The Wrong People

All of the messages I receive from university students are not directed to the right person, because:

  • I’m not a career counselor
  • I don’t have a list of job openings tucked away somewhere
  • I don’t keep their vague messages on file
  • My interests are not focused on university students

Get clear about who your future hiring manager is and do the research. Research requires work. You may need to spend several weeks to:

  • Find out exactly what you want to do: get specific
  • Network to find out where the right people are located
  • Find out what they are interested in talking about online
  • Figure out how to grab their attention

#5: Don’t Use Boring Tactics

The truth is that all of the communications I get from university graduates are boring. They are a waste of my time. They are a waste of everyone’s time. Boring messages from people you don’t know quickly get deleted and labeled as spam because no one has time for that today.

Develop unique ways to grab attention. Have a look at this example:

Social media is a great way to connect with people who may hire you. But you have to do your research and get your communication style right.

And of course social media can connect you with the right people in different countries too. Why not become familiar with the social networks popular in the countries you want to target? Get on them and network with the right people.

#6: Don’t Stay Stuck

Do you want to continue living in the comfort of the environment you are used to and still say you want an international career? There are two conflicting desires and might be the reason why you are stuck.

People like to help others who are clearly passionate about something and take action to achieve their goals. People don’t like to help others who appear to want too much and not do anything about it.

Adopt guerilla tactics: change country and hustle. If you really want to start an international career and feel stuck: change country. This is what I did. And this is how many people who are in international business started years ago.

Changing country can be a great way to start an international career. Be warned though: you’ll have to get used to being out of your comfort zone.

#7: Change Your Focus

The best advice I can give university graduates is to stop talking about their studies and to start taking action.

Take responsibility for your life and become an international business professional. Now. Connect with people, get to know them and give them the opportunity of getting to know you, BEFORE asking for job help.

The focus of my blog is to give business professionals practical inspiration to get unstuck so they get more international clients faster. I love deep discussions on topics related to this. So, if this is also something that resonates with you then please start by leaving a comment below.

  • How did you start your international business career?
  • How do you network online to find international jobs?
  • What’s your best tip for international business students?
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ralphandjenny/4612732045/

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cindy King
My name is Cindy King and I help businesses with cross-cultural marketing, international sales and strategic international social media networking.

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