There is saying that goes somewhere along the lines of: you need to find a place to call home that can be your Paris. What this means is that you need to find a location to live and work that is as awesome to you as Paris is to the rest of the world. But there is one problem, what do you do when people can’t make a mid-sized town with a booming industrial plant their Paris? What if some people can only make Paris, their own “Paris”? I fear I might be one of those people.
Ever since studying abroad, I realized that I wanted to work abroad. I love the idea of being in a place where I am constantly challenged. Living in a place with a culture different from your own always keeps you on your toes. And I believe that helps make life exciting. Besides that, I want to live in a place that has beautiful scenery and a rich history that permeates the city. And for me, all of that culminates in the city of love: Paris.
This past weekend I was on a company field trip looking at consulting firms. The first thing I learned on these trips is that consulting is not the life for me. But more importantly, I learned that it is very difficult as an American to work abroad. From what I have seen, there are two problems that come up. The first is that an international company does not want to hire you when they can hire someone from their own country that has no difference in culture. The second is that American firms want to keep you on domestic shores and hire people internationally if need be.
Here comes my question- how do I even get to Paris? While I don’t have any answers that can get you a job or an internship, I can say some things that I plan on doing to try and alleviate my situation. First is mastery of a language. And that can best be obtained by studying abroad. That is great because it gets you to an awesome place while teaching you a language in the most efficient and useful manner possible. The other is majoring in something that gives you global flexibility.
What I mean by that is that you need a major that does not define you locally. So look for majors with an international or global perspective. The best way for you to determine if a major is globally orientated is to look at the specific course requirements. I also plan on looking to recruit at companies that are not centered in one location in particular. That way the firm does not have an inclination to hire from one nationality or another.
Hopefully by doing those things, I will actually be able to get to my Paris. And I hope that each of you will be able to find your Paris too. Even if it is in the town that you are in now. Together we can all get to Paris. Above you will see the view from one of the consulting firms I went to. Look closely and you will see inside the ball that the skyline is upside down. I think symbolizes that we world is changing. and if we are part of that change, then we can go where we want to go.