A well-rounded education may start in the classroom, but global experience proves to be the deciding factor when chasing that dream job. Experience with people of all ages, races, languages, cultures, religions and lifestyles allows students the opportunity to take their classroom education and apply what they’ve learned to the “real world”.
Meanwhile, 21st century employers need a globally trained workforce to compete in the global economy.
The Importance of Study Abroad
According to Transitions Abroad, nearly 90% of study abroad alumni secured a job within the first 6 months after graduation and 97% secured a job after one year (compared to 49% in graduate population). Additionally, over 80% believed that spending time abroad helped them acquire their first position due to valuable professional skills developed overseas such as language knowledge, cultural training, tolerance for ambiguity, and communication.
Those stats are compelling, but what if students could get work experience during their time abroad? What if students who venture out of the country for a semester could then step out of the classroom to work alongside local professionals? The latest numbers from IIE’s Open Doors Report show that .12%—barely a tenth of 1% of all college students—will get global work experience before graduation.
Employers definitely take notice. According to a 2016 report conducted by Mercer, surveyed employers expressed that “Global mindset” was an characteristic they would be looking for when hiring in the near future. “Global mindset” ranks as the number one in-demand skill for companies in Italy, and number two China and Japan and follows an overall trend in 2016 for employees to have “Cultural Literacy.” In the US, “Global mindset” is identified as one of the top five skills employers look for in potential employees. Engaging students in professional development alongside their international studies prepares for this future work-need.
Since 2013, Sage Corps has developed programming to solve this problem. Through its academic curriculum (direct-enrolling students at foreign universities) and meaningful work experience alongside global entrepreneurs at start up companies, Sage Corps “fellows” return to the U.S. with a resume that will rise to the top of any prospective employers’ stack of candidates. Our Fellows walk into subsequent job interviews and tell a compelling professional narrative, statistically unlike any of their peers.
Why Sage Corps?
Sage Corps is a global entrepreneurship program that sends top university students abroad to work with tech startups for a summer or semester. Sage Corps gives students the opportunity to hop on a plane, step out of their comfort zone, and catapult themselves into the top one percent of their peers. Unlike other intern abroad programs, Sage Corps fellows do not spend 12 hours per week sitting in a corporate cubicle. By working with local entrepreneurs, who bet their livelihood on solutions that they build to real problems, Sage Corps fellows get real responsibility. Sitting next to a company CEO, CTO, or CMO, our Fellows are held accountable for their successes, and their failures. This sort of professional experience prepares Fellows to tackle any subsequent professional challenge with relative ease. And subsequent employers take notice.
We asked our alumni (177 at the time) about their subsequent job prospects after finishing Sage Corps.
98% of our alumni said that their Sage Corps global internship experience was a key differentiator that helped them land a job after college, while the same number of students said that Sage Corps helped them to determine their next professional opportunity.
100% of our alumni said they would recommend the Sage Corps program to students looking to study and/or intern abroad.
In an increasingly global economy, experience is the new classroom, and study abroad programs should better prepare students to join the global workforce.