American University of Sharjah

5 steps towards a successful international business career

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How do you stand out from the legions of job candidates in today's global job market? Here are five helpful ways. [Contributed by American University of Sharjah]

With the predominantly rising cost of education and with undergraduate degrees becoming a more common credential in the job market, it has become extremely important for students and graduates alike to find ways to distinguish themselves from the competition — especially if they wish to secure a job that will provide them with financial stability and opportunity for long-term growth. Many will choose to enter fields such as government and policy, or business, accounting, and finance, as these tend to be well-paid and secure positions. But there are many other important considerations you should take into account in order to ensure future success.

If you’re looking to build toward a prominent professional future, then here are some important prospects and paths to consider:

American University of Sharjah 1. Earn a degree in an applicable field

Most businesses and organisations hiring in today’s market are looking for candidates that already possess an applicable skillset in the field they will be working in. So this means that you will likely require, at minimum, a related undergraduate degree. Programs such as business (finance, marketing and accounting) teach students the general practices that companies can rely upon, and therefore will place them above other undergraduate degree holders in other fields, or those who do not possess a degree at all.

2. Choose the correct university

This might seem like an obvious point, but it is important to consider more than just a university’s prestige when choosing where to attend. Different universities tend to excel in different fields, and while one institution might have a more recognisable name, another might be considered of higher quality within a specific field of study.

Secondly, it is important to consider where your university is located. Having the opportunity to study in a global market place, such as London, Dubai, New York, or Hong Kong, will immediately put you in closer contact with the world’s leading firms and businesses, allowing for easier access to internship, employment opportunities, and future growth.

3. Acquiring an executive degree or post-graduate qualification

Executive programs have become an increasingly popular route to professional advancement, as businesses are more than happy to provide higher salaries, and occasionally even pay for tuition in order to increase the number of employees with advanced qualifications within their firm. Once again, diversity and specific skillsets are major advantages given to those who have attended executive programs, as they teach both general skills such as management knowledge, research, and practical leadership, and also allow for customisation. Students in executive programs can choose to enter fields such as Dispute Resolution and Negotiation, Strategic Planning, Human Capital Development, Corporate Governance, and more.

American University of Sharjah

4. Diversify your experience

While acquiring a niche professional ability is a great way to advance in your career, diversifying your experience is equally important, as it will not only show your ability to learn and adapt, but will show future employers that you are capable of growing and changing with the market. Things like working and studying abroad will give job candidates major advantages, especially if you pair international experience with a foreign language and policy knowledge.

Doing business in a global economy means navigating barriers such as cultural and language differences, international and domestic laws, and more. Professionals who have thoroughly studied the strategies for overcoming these issues, and who have experience working in foreign and diverse environments will automatically be considered a valuable asset for any business or organisation that operates on a global scale.

5. Work or study in a growing or emerging market

The increased globalisation of economic and governmental policy, and the growth of multinational companies mean that many markets that were recently considered small or insignificant are booming. These markets can range from those less commonly known, to some which are already considered major world hubs such as Dubai.

Dubai is a great example of a city and economy that has excelled at creating opportunity for foreign employment and education, as it is home to a large range of international companies, and is constantly attracting more. It also makes it easy for foreign students to study within close contact of the city’s major firms, through universities like the American University of Sharjah, which embrace international students and are located within a few minutes of downtown Dubai.

These five steps to creating a successful and lasting career are ways in which you can gain great professional opportunities, and perhaps also offer an interesting and exciting lifestyle, one that combines work and studies with international travel. There's more than one route to acquiring important skills and accomplishing your professional goals, but consider some of the above opportunities and research what will work best for you. That way, when it comes time to make a decision on which route you want to take, you will be well informed on how to maximise your personal potential, and be able to utilise those tools to ensure your future career prospects are durable, profitable and fulfilling.


American University of Sharjah is a non-profit university based in the Middle East, and is committed to providing its students with a world-class education.


Contributed by American University of Sharjah

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