International Career Positions
Marketing and Sales Positions
Product Management: Product Managers (sometimes called Product Directors or Brand Managers) manage a specific product or product line. This would include managing the advertising program, the product development, the distribution system, and setting the prices of the product. In many firms, especially high tech firms, a Product Manager has global responsibility.
Advertising: As multinational companies expand their product lines overseas, advertising agencies have followed them. Many global companies use advertising agencies which have overseas offices so that they can tailor promotional programs to the local market. Positions in an advertising agency include account executive, creative manager, media specialist, and production manager.
Sales: There are more and more opportunities for sales people to become involved in international business. In many industrial sales companies, as well as high tech sales, sales representatives and managers are expected to travel abroad and to find customers and negotiate business deals.
Customer Service Positions
Travel and Tourism: Travel and tourism has always been a highly international field. Careers in travel and tourism can include Hotel Management, Restaurant Management, and Travel Agency Management, all of which require a knowledge of international business and languages.
Airlines: There are many opportunities within the airline industry to become involved in international business. As a customer service representative, sales personnel, or even as a flight attendant, a knowledge of international business and foreign language is expected and valued.
Cruise Ships: Similar to airlines, cruise ships are in need of professionals who are trained in languages and in customer service.
Retail Buying: Retail buyers are in charge of acquiring merchandise for their employer, a retail chain. Often, they must source special merchandise at manufacturing plants abroad.
Finance and Accounting Positions
Banking: A fast growing field in international business is international banking. Many large banks have become global and initiate thousands of international transactions. Some banks -- such as the World Bank -- lend money to foreign governments. A knowledge of international business and foreign exchange is required.
Accounting: There are many areas of accounting which may require dealing with international issues. Auditing, financial accounting, and managerial accounting of multinational companies would require an understanding of foreign exchange rates, inflation rates, different tax systems, and language.
Production Specialist: As companies expand their production abroad, there is a greater need for Production Specialists with an international background. Production Specialists arrange for goods to be produced in other countries and locate foreign producers for these goods.
Human Resources: Human Resource managers are involved with hiring, training, compensating, motivating, evaluating, and promoting employees. International Human Resource managers work with foreign nationals employed by a firm’s subsidiary abroad and employees who have international assignments. An understanding of other cultures and business is needed for this field.
Strategic Planning: As multinational corporations expand abroad, long-range strategic plans must reflect this. Strategic Planners operate at a high level in the company and put together the company’s long-run strategic objectives and plans, including accompanying sales forecasts and industry outlook. An understanding of international economics and markets is needed for this career.
International Business Law: Many law firms have multinational corporate clients and must understand their specific legal needs in the countries where they operate. In addition, multinational corporations may have their own legal staff to aid in the understanding of legal issues abroad. A law degree (JD) and an understanding of international business are needed to be an international lawyer.
Importer: Importers bring goods into a country. This requires specialized knowledge in transportation and the customs and regulations of the country into which goods are imported. A knowledge of international business, as well as languages, is needed in this field.
Exporter: Exporters send goods to other countries. This requires specialized knowledge in transportation and the markets where the goods are to be exported. A knowledge of international business, as well as languages, is needed in this field.
Global Logistics and Transportation Positions
Freight Forwarding and Customhouse Brokers: Freight forwarders and customhouse brokers are agents who facilitate export and import shipments. Freight forwarders specialize in transportation and inventory storage, while customhouse brokers handle import shipments for compensation. A knowledge of international business, as well as transportation systems, is necessary.
International Trade Administration: The ITA is the primary U.S. government agency that helps exporters. Its activities include export counseling, development of marketing opportunities, analysis of overseas markets, and impediments to market entry. Types of positions available at the ITA include international trade specialist, international economist, economist, and import compliance specialist.
Foreign Service: The Foreign Service is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and places people in overseas posts. Operating in 67 countries around the world, Foreign Service personnel advise U.S. firms on export markets, carry out trade promotions, do market research, and provide representation to foreign governments on behalf of American companies.
Reprinted courtesy of Scotsdale Community College, Scottsdale, AZ
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