On October 28, the CISB program invited five distinguished professionals from the international business community to speak about working globally and to give advice on how to make an internationally oriented career.
Melissa Peabody, a graduate of the Foster School and CISB, spoke about her time at Bryant Christie Inc. and how starting at a smaller firm gave her the confidence and the network to go after larger challenges when she moved to Starbucks in June of 2006. She said that in order to work internationally, one must be flexible: there will be conference calls at odd hours and there will be times where clear communication is key.
Pedro Piedra described his motivation for pursuing an international career starting when working next to the foreign exchange desk at one of his first jobs. He saw the huge amount of activity and extremely active nature of the foreign exchange department and decided that is where he needed to be. Years later, Pedro has worked for many international firms in New York, Tokyo, and London. Currently he works as the Vice President of International Foreign Exchange at Key Bank.
June Chino grew up in both the United States and Japan and so working internationally felt like the obvious choice for her. This made her pursue a job at the Washington State Japan Office, a perfect fit for someone with familiarity of both Seattle and Japan. As the sole representative of the public sector at the career panel, June said focusing more on the people and what you are doing, rather than the salary makes jobs in government extremely rewarding.
Steven Grimmer is the Vice President of Account Management at Expeditors International of Washington. Steven talked a lot about the importance of networking and making a name for yourself in the community where you want to seek a career. He said that, when interviewing job candidates, the one thing that puts people over the top in his book is writing a personalized, hand written card after the interview to follow up and thank the potential employer for the opportunity. He said the personal touch can sometimes make all the difference.
Last, but certainly not least, Jess Estrada, a fellow UW graduate, talked about her career in marketing and the importance of social networking. She said that if an employer can look you up on Google and find a blog you’ve written, or even just posts on Twitter about things that interest you and get a feel for what you are all about, it adds a whole other dimension to your application. In 2008, Jess started a blog about local events, business, fashion, music, and other things that interest her.
All of the panelists acknowledged the importance of getting involved and networking when pursuing a career in international business. It never hurts to at least introduce yourself.
–Brian James, Senior, Finance and CISB (Custom Russian Track)