Last Thursday the CISB program (Certificate of International Studies in Business) hosted an international business career panel featuring four exciting individuals from across the global career spectrum. Panelists discussed their professional backgrounds and international experience as well as provided valuable advice to participants.
Susana Murillo, VP and Country Manager for Latin America, Canada, Spain and Portugal, US Bank
Susana provided a wealth of advice for students. First and foremost–follow your passion! Even if you can’t achieve your dream job right away, invest the time to learn as much as you can. Susana suggests conducting informational interviews to discover how people sitting in your ideal career got to where they are. Also, be persistent. You can be turned away from a hundred jobs, but it only takes one offer to get you on your way. Concerning international business, she says it is much more than travel. Globalization is about experiencing new people, cultures, and business. Business has the power to do good things—Susana originally was interested in the Peace Corps.
Eric Hsu, Commercial Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce
Eric brought a unique set of experiences to the panel as the only member from the public sector. After a start in the banking industry, he made a move into the Department of Commerce as a Foreign Commercial officer. He has lived all over Asia including Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and New Delhi. He illuminated the fact that despite popular thought, the government actually provides ample overseas opportunities. Most of these are available as a Foreign Service Officer for the USDA, State Department, or Commerce Department. His other guidance included having a focus but remaining flexible. You might not be able to get from point A to B in one step, but be patient and adaptable. If you take the time to develop a skill-set, opportunities will come to you.
Coletta Vigh, MBA student
Coletta is one of our very own Husky alumna and Foster MBA candidates. After graduating from the UW with a degree in Japanese language and literature, she moved to Japan for two years to cement her language skills. She says foreign language can be key to gaining access to certain industries—she was able to land a technology related position with no tech experience! It also provides you visibility with people that not might not otherwise be possible and can lead to expedited promotions.
How can an upcoming graduate handle this tough economy? Volunteer! Volunteer positions can open doors….Colletta was offered a position based on her work with a salmon fishery.
Stephen Svinth, CISB Chinese track alumnus, New Product Buyer, Fire Mountain Gems
Carpe diem! Stephen found his first job by calling up a company he saw on a box at Home Depot. He then landed his current position by chatting with the company CEO on an airplane—now that’s networking. For whatever position you end up in, Stephen recommends being analytic and able to build a strong argument.
-Elizabeth Comley (Senior, Marketing & International Business)