International Careers Course
Since it’s foundation in 2009, the GnM association has worked to facilitate young people’s access into the world of international careers, both through the website www.carriereinternazionali.com and through conferences and events held in major schools and universities.
Thanks to the experience it has gained in this field, GnM has been able to identify various areas of interest which each student or graduate should explore, and acquire a deeper understanding of, in order to compile a successful CV. These same areas are analysed in-depth throughout the Course to accompany the participant on a journey of self-definition of their abilities and the objectives they must create and reach as a result.
Among the competencies required within the international labour market, the knowledge of languages, without a doubt, takes precedence over all other skills. Languages are the main tool for communication in a multicultural environment and a student/graduate who aspires for an international career should be fully aware that the absence of adequate language skills severely limits the range of opportunities.
Furthermore, while an “excellent” knowledge of the English language is definitely an essential requirement to communicate internationally, it is no longer sufficient on its own.
So, what are the other languages that count? What is the level of knowledge required? What are the international certifications necessary to work in abroad? What about in Australia? Canada? The United States of America? The U.K.? And what are the so-called “rare” languages which give you a real competitive advantage?
All these questions and more are explored and answered during the International Careers Course.
Soft skills have a number of different names - soft skills, behavioural skills, meta-competencies - and are also required and requested even for internships and first experiences and continue to develop throughout one's lifetime. These are skills directly related to one's behaviour (personal qualities), to one's attitude in a working environment, and to interpersonal relationship skills. A survey conducted by Forbes highlighted the 10 skills most in demand by the labour market:
- Ability to work in a team structure
- Ability to make decisions and solve problems
- Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization
- Ability to plan, organize and prioritize work
- Ability to obtain and process information
- Ability to analyze quantitative data
- Technical knowledge related to the job
- Proficiency with computer software programs
- Ability to create and/or edit written reports
- Ability to sell and influence others
Participants of the Course acquire and develop these skills through a series of role-playing games, simulations and self-assessment. The YOUTHPASS certificate awarded to them at the end of the conference attests to the acquisition and improvement of these abilities.
Certain careers, especially within international institutions, only allow access after having taken an exam or test.
Diplomatic/Foreign Service Exams
The road to becoming a diplomat is a complex and demanding one. The diplomats exam is divided into 3 fundamental phases: an aptitude test, a written test, and an oral exam which also includes optional language tests. The qualifications required and assessed are: Master's/advanced degrees or diplomas in either political science/international relations, law, or economics (or anything which falls under the scope of those three).
Since 2003 EPSO, the European Personnel Selection Office, has announced competitions to select suitable candidates to work within the European Union - a recruitment process of European students and citizens motivated in pursuing a challenging and large-scale international career. The EPSO exams, organized on an annual basis according to specific institutional needs, are of different levels and divided based on educational qualifications and years of experience. It's the same process as applying to prestigious universities, master's or doctorates degrees, or scholarships. You must pass certain tests or stages, according to the institution, yet they all share key elements such as CVs and cover letters, tests and interviews and, in certain cases, exams such as the GMAT or LSAT.
The Careers Course goes in-depth regarding the exams and competitions in general as well as offering useful, practical advice and suggestions on how to prepare for them.
Working and Studying Abroad
The "Focus" area of the International Careers Course is aimed towards offering participants an in-depth exploration of work and study opportunities abroad, in both well-known and lesser-known countries, as well as interaction with experts, managers, diplomats, and UN officials. These special guests will explain what it means exactly to work within an international organization, NGO, or multinational company/business.
There are more and more students who choose to go abroad for study and/or work experience. The decision to choose one country over another is the result of many different reasons and factors, some of which are external (international environment, university, opportunities and demand for work, cost and quality of life, bureaucratic/administrative practices, climate, etc.) and some of which are internal, and therefore more subjective (language skills, personal interests, financial resources, distance, cultural differences, etc.). In any case, in order to make a well-informed choice, it is important to have a clear idea and weigh the pros and cons of both the internal and external factors. There are certain countries which are always chosen by students due to their reputation and notoriety, yet there are less famous but equally dynamic and young countries full of opportunities that have yet to be discovered.
Focus on NGO and International Institutions
During the Course, there will be a module entirely dedicated to meeting those who work within the sector and will show participants exactly what it means to work: in an international institution or UN agency; working in the field for development and cooperation with an NGO; to volunteer for the non-profit sector; working for a multinational company, etc. The meetings will be to inform participants of the main recruitment procedures, the opportunities these organizations offer to young people, and the skills and competencies required (hard skills, soft skills) by a highly competitive, challenging, and professional market.
Focus on International Companies and Investment Banks
Finding work within an international company or investment bank is not simple. On average it is estimated that these institutions receive 60 applications for each position. In some cases the numbers are much, much higher. In the past, during periods of boom for example, UBS estimated that it received 95 applications for each position while Société Générale indicates to having received 350,000 application from which they considered 2,400 graduates. Furthermore, international consulting companies receive around 500,000 applications per year.
The main points analyzed in the Course regarding this sector are:
- Filling out the application form and writing your CV
- Mathematical abilities test and general assessment tests
- The interview
- The assessment/evaluation centre