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Graduate recruiters say a 'global mindset' can give you the edge

Published: Saturday, 22 March 2014   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Globalisation and rapid strides in communication technology have combined to make the world seem like a smaller place. 

Overseas trading is no longer restricted to multinational corporations and specialist entrepreneurs and a 'global mindset' is increasingly seen as a valuable asset by employers looking to recruit. 

Stephen Isherwood, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters addressed the issue at the Westminster Higher Education Forum (WHEF).   The WHEF is a cross-party forum for discussion on higher education policy in the UK and is attended by various university and college leaders and policy makers.  

He explained that big corporate companies were reshaping their organisations to expand into new and emerging markets and added that many graduate recruiters were looking for talent with cross-cultural experience. 

So what exactly constitutes a global mindset? 

Language skills can certainly be useful as highlighted by a recent report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills into skill shortages in the UK.

 It found that foreign language skills were mentioned in relation to 17% of skill-shortage vacancies across the various sectors of employment. 

Languages are however limited in their usefulness to the language pairs or combinations that you speak. For instance, if you speak business-fluent Spanish then that will be useful in dealings with Spanish companies (not to mention large swathes of Latin America) but it might not be especially useful when reaching out to potential business partners in China.

A truly global mindset is more to do with a way of thinking than specific language skills. 

Mr Isherwood said: “A theme is emerging and that is an aptitude to understand another culture; people who can work with different cultures, take an interest in the geo-political landscape, just understanding that you will be required to have flexibility – this is what employers are looking for.” 

There are plenty of opportunities for UK-based students to study abroad but relatively few take advantage compared to other European countries. Recent studies estimate that approximately 22,000 UK students are currently studying in other countries. 

Taking up the opportunity to study in a foreign university during part of their degree could lead to vital personal development as well as demonstrating a willingness to travel and work abroad.

Grad Plus has plenty of graduate schemes for people in search of a career start

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