Experiential / Reality-based Learning / April 18, 2024

Smith Alumni Share Experiences in Global Business

Navigating Career Treks and Insights for Success

The Center for Global Business continues its mission of global education with the Careers Crossing Borders series. Five Smith School alumni recently returned to Van Munching Hall for a panel discussion. They shared insights on global careers spanning non-profits, government, and corporations, emphasizing Smith's resources.

The Center for Global Business (CGB) is continuing its mission to bring the world to students through its Careers Crossing Borders series. On April 4, the center welcomed five Smith School alumni back to Van Munching Hall for a panel discussion to share key insights about their careers in global industry. Ranging from non-profit organizations, government agencies and large corporations, the panelists talked about their current roles and the Smith resources that helped them get to where they are in a room full of future global leaders. Executive Director of CGB Rebecca Bellinger said thought leadership events like this help to connect students with not just a career opportunity, but a network.

The CGB series is a result of student feedback about what programmatic offerings they would like to see, which is what “makes this series so special” according to associate director of CGB Marina Augoustidis. “Their work ultimately led to a recommendation to offer this tailored career programming which is how Careers Crossing Borders was born.”

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Executive Director of CGB Rebecca Bellinger said thought leadership events like this help to connect students with not just a career opportunity, but a network.

After sharing specifics about each of their roles, the panel highlighted skills that have been beneficial in shaping their careers. Alumna Jasmine Brown ’18 emphasized knowing multiple languages as a key skill for being considered for international positions. “I can firmly and confidently say that I would not be where I am today if I did not have my language abilities.” Brown works in international development at the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) and can speak three languages. Alumnus William Chernicoff, PhD, MBA ’21, a senior manager with Toyota North America, agreed and added that understanding culture is also important to successfully navigating a global career.

During the discussion, panelists shared recommendations and advice to help current students get started on a global career path. Alumna Ja'Nel Edens, MBA ’18, said students are already gaining ground by attending this event. “The fact that you are here, listening and being curious, is the first step.” Edens, a commercial service officer with the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, also encouraged students to leverage all available resources at Smith. “I literally did everything global. If it said global, I was there. The study abroad program to China, I did that. I’m still in touch with the Smith students who joined me on that trip, we still talk to this day.”

Smith Terp Michael Barnett ’16, a global senior product manager at Stanley Black & Decker, encouraged students to join organizations and make connections now. “I made my network through groups I was a part of on campus. Keep those networks.”

“Don’t compare yourself to other people,” offered Dave Hosford, MBA ’13, an 18-year veteran of McCormick & Company, Inc. “The second thing I would say is, believe in yourself and don’t let other people tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t allow other people to put expectations upon you externally. Everyone’s on their own path and you need to recognize that.”

Learn more about CGB events.

The Careers Crossing Borders series is provided in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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