International Career Panel
On April 2, 2014,The Magellan Society hosted an international career panel and networking event at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus. The panel consisted of four young professionals employed in international fields. Angie Wright, Lead Advisor with the Office of Education Abroad at UNC Charlotte, moderated the discussion and panel. The four panelists were Cheli Bleda, Arthur Freudiger, Alexis Gordon and David Lynn.
Cheli Bleda is a graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law. She practices Corporate Finance law and Mergers and Acquisitions at K&L Gates’ Charlotte office. K&L Gates has more than 48 offices around the world. This enables Bleda to use her fluency in Mandarin. Proficiency in another language is a sought after skill. Employers find it to be a valuable resource when doing business overseas.
Bleda was an asset to K&L Gates early on due to her ability to communicate across cultures. Her proficiency in Mandarin contributes to the international success of her firm. Foreign language enables her to make primary connections with Chinese clients of K&L Gates. The use of a customer’s language conveys respect of their culture. Even learning basic words and phrases will impress foreign business representatives.
Arthur Freudiger is a Category Manager at Procure4 in Charlotte. Procure4 is an international team of procurement, sourcing and supply chain management specialists. He is a French native with international work experience ranging from the UK to the US. He will be travelling to Brisbane, Australia in the summer for a new job.
Many undergraduate students weigh the advantages and disadvantages of attaining their master’s degrees immediately following graduation. Freudiger spoke to the value of gaining practical experience before attending graduate school.
In frequently changing markets, employers look for candidates who are able to bring immediate solutions through up-to-date knowledge and experience. Holding off on graduate school can provide different opportunities or open new doors for young professionals. Field experience will also aid in the reassessment of career goals.
Alexis Gordon is the International Relations Manager for the City of Charlotte. She advises the city’s elected officials on culturally sensitive issues in the community.
Networking is one the most effective ways of connecting with career professionals to explore new opportunities. Gordon believes networking extends beyond collecting cards or setting up a Linkedin account. Effective networking is actively meeting people to build upon the connections she makes. She uses those connections to grow her own network by connecting others to those they may be useful to. Employers look for employees who possess effective networking skills to contribute to the expansion of a company.
David Lynn is the Director of International Studies at Charlotte Country Day School. He has orchestrated study abroad experiences for students to more than 20 countries. Lynn holds a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Young professionals and college graduates are faced with a competitive job market. There are many skills, qualities and experiences that will set a candidate apart. Lynn believes international travel experiences are among those.
Global experiences provide someone with a fresh global perspective. They are more likely to be more accepting of different viewpoints. A strong candidate is someone who can use their travel experience to assist a company reach international goals. It also demonstrates a candidate’s openness to new experiences and opportunities for professional and personal growth.
International Career Panel Summarized by: LauraLane Osborne, UNC Charlotte, WACC Intern, Spring 2014