News at Smith

Smith School Alumni Discuss Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace

Feb 21, 2019
Experiential / Reality-based Learning


Full-time MBA student Ha Le, class of 2020, writes about the Distinguished Speakers Series event “Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace,” held on February 11, 2019, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

On February 11, 2019, the Center for Global Business (CGB) hosted three Smith School alumni to discuss Global Competencies for the 21st Century Workplace as part of its Distinguished Speakers Series (DSS) in International Business. The conversation was moderated by CGB’s executive director, Rebecca Bellinger, who addressed questions to the alumni on the importance of a global mindset in today’s business environment. DSS is a series of thought leadership events that present the latest trends in international business and provokes conversation among students, policy experts, and business executives.

The alumni who took part in the panel were Rocio Holub ’04, Senior Manager, Global Operations at DAI; Rashida Petersen ’03, Founder and CEO at 1847 Philanthropic and the DIA Fund; and Jason Siesko ’98, Head of Education Consulting Delivery Americas at SAP. Each alumnus shared how their unique path got them to where they are in their international career. They also shared common appreciation for the seven global mindset competencies.

Bellinger asked the alumni about several topics including AI in the workplace, the definition of global diversity for business, and the trending “island-ization” of the global economy. Referencing the importance of technology and the role it plays within global diversity, Siesko said, “Technology has changed rapidly and enabled organizations to perform more effectively, from communicating seamlessly in different languages to conducting risk evaluations on local non-profits. As technology helps bring people from different cultures and backgrounds closer, diversity of ideas is crucial to a business’ success. It is huge for SAP.”

The panelists also recommended that students find opportunities to interact with people in different cultures both in the USA and abroad, and not just follow the media, so they could develop a better understanding of culture, people, and current events.

The engaged student audience asked many practical questions on how to develop a global mindset to be better prepared for the workplace. Reflecting on their own experiences, the three panelists shared a common emphasis on professional communications, cultural awareness, language development, and proactively working on international projects early on in their career.

To hear more, watch the video on the Smith School's YouTube channel.

Please join us at our next DSS on March 27 as CGB welcomes Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary, Kelly Schulz.

The DSS is supported in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

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 part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty 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.