Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development

Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development

Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development

Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development


Are you looking for a career with professional rewards and personal satisfaction? Perhaps you'd like to find meaningful employment in the field of international relations? Working World is the perfect resource for making sound career choices, and is particularly valuable for those interested in exploring a career in international education, exchange, and development.

Sherry Mueller, head of a large nonprofit organization with an international focus, and Mark Overmann, a young professional on his way up, serve as spirited guidance counselors and offer valuable insight on launching a career, not just landing a job. The two authors -- representing contrasting personalities, levels of experience, and different generations -- engage in an entertaining dialogue designed to highlight alternative approaches to the same destination: making a difference in the world. With a rich mix of anecdotes and advice, the two authors present their individual perspectives on career development: identifying your cause, the art of networking, the value of mentors, and careers as "continuous journeys." Mueller and Overmann push job seekers to challenge assumptions about what it means to pursue a career in international relations and to recognize that the path to career success is rarely straight.

To help the job seeker chart the best course, Working World provides specific resources including annotated lists of selected organizations, websites, and further reading. Profiles of twelve professionals, from promising young associates to presidents and CEOs, illustrate the book's main topics. Each professional provides insight into his or her career choices, distills lessons learned, and offers practical advice about building a career in international affairs. All of these resources were chosen specifically to help job seekers map the next steps toward the internship, job, or other opportunity that will give shape to the career they envision.


Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development is intended to be a resource and a useful tool for job seekers in international affairs, particularly those interested in international education, exchange, and development. It is designed to ease the burden of the initial stages of career research and help you put your job search in broader perspective. The approaches and lessons shared throughout the book have evolved over the course of a rewarding career.

About twenty-five years ago, as a new director at the Institute of International Education (IIE), I was amazed by the many requests for “informational interviews” I received each week from job hunters. In the intervening years, the requests grew exponentially. Motivated originally by a desire to save time and yet provide sufficient help, in 1982 I initiated what became known as Roundtables on Careers in International Education and Exchange. After several years of conducting monthly roundtables at IIE with Alex Pático, in 1986 Archer Brown and Lorenda Schrader at NAFSA: Association of International Educators joined us by hosting the roundtables on alternate months.

Individuals seeking career guidance were invited to the IIE or NAFSA conference room on the third Thursday of each month. At the roundtable, each participant shared his or her educational and professional background and described the types of positions sought. Then the facilitators and fellow participants offered suggestions and contributed ideas for the job search. The roundtables proved much richer than one-on-one interviews because of the synergy that so many perspectives generated. A group of people inevitably has more knowledge of relevant job openings and successful job search tactics than one or two individuals do. Collectively, roundtable participants could recommend more resources to explore and offer contrasting analyses of trends in the field. In addition, the participants did not feel so alone as they interacted with others going through the solitary activity of a job search.

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