Much of the draw for attending an IBS seminar stems from the idea of making connections with international business executives. I can tell you from personal experience that there are so many networking opportunities. During the Summer Europe program, we met with the CEO of a (successful) startup, were in the same building as the Swarovski family, and met with amazing managers at a dozen other companies.
Connecting with Executives
You do not just walk into a business, hear a presentation, then leave. There is an opportunity to talk and connect with the business leaders. Many of the students on my seminar felt a strong bond with certain presenters at specific companies. They took the time to talk with the presenter after each seminar – since that is allotted into your schedule.
A firm handshake is a good start to making connections with an executive! Ask for a business card if you feel a connection with the company, then make a follow-up question regarding making a connection on LinkedIn. Also, build up your LinkedIn profile BEFORE going abroad. All of the people I asked for their LinkedIn information are current connections for me. Even though I may not go abroad to work immediately, it is still a good resource to have in your portfolio.
Connecting with Professors
There were multiple professors on our seminar that I had no affiliation with prior to the program. But now, we are all connected on LinkedIn and one of the professors offered to proof everyone’s final paper before we turned it in for our grade. The professor at my home school has become an invaluable asset in my progressing academic career. I’ve never taken one of his classes but because of our connection through IBS, he wrote a letter of recommendation for my MBA application.
Connecting with your peers
The thought of making connections with fellow students on my seminar didn’t even cross my mind until we were at our first destination. You are traveling with students from all over the world! On my trip, we had a student who was on exchange from China, and she came with us all over Europe! Your fellow peers could possibly be the key to your future job one day. All of the students on my seminar were very diverse, but now we have connections ranging from California to Alabama, Louisiana, Illinois, to Germany, France, Italy, and England.
Connecting with IBS Employees
IBS Alumni have the opportunity to apply for an internship with IBS. I look forward to my monthly calls for my alumni ambassadorship. Every time International Business Seminars comes to my college campus, I am excited to see their friendly and familiar faces.
Participating in a seminar will, no doubt, help your future job search thanks to all of the incredible connections you will make. If you want to work internationally, having connections with IBS can be a huge asset.