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Communicating Across Cultures: My Global Marketing Internship Experience

Alex Williams_Purdue Krannert MBAWhen most people think of Indiana, global experience and diversity are not the first thoughts that come to mind. Before pursuing my MBA at Krannert, I too was one of these people. I had no idea of the broad, international culture and community that Krannert had to offer. From the start, I was interacting with people from all around the world, not only in the classroom, but in networking events, intramural sports, country highlights, social activities - you name it. I soon realized that the global experience at Krannert extended well beyond the classroom, but this should not have been a surprise to me.

Purdue's Krannert School of Management has one of the most diverse student populations of any business school in the country that includes a 40 percent international population. I’ve had the opportunity to interact and spend extensive time with people from around the world this past year (inside and outside of the classroom). This has enabled me to succeed as an intern in Global Marketing at Shire Pharmaceuticals.

"After spending the past year at Krannert, I am comfortable in communicating with individuals from foreign countries because of the exposure I have received here."

At Shire, I work on a core brand team of a new therapy which will launch at the end of this year. As a Global Marketer, I work extensively with not only my team in Chicago, but also our counterparts in Europe. One of the greatest challenges I have experienced in terms of international teams is learning how to effectively communicate across cultures. Almost daily, I find myself talking with my colleagues in foreign countries. Prior to my MBA, I had not conducted business internationally, and I would have been overwhelmed if I was faced with such a task. Now, after spending the past year at Krannert, I am comfortable in communicating with individuals from foreign countries because of the exposure I have received during my time here. In my short time at Krannert thus far, I believe I have learned what it takes to be an effective communicator and leader cross-culturally because of the personal relationships I have built. The close friendships I have developed with my international peers has not only enriched my MBA experience, but also taught me the skills necessary to cultivate relationships with global colleagues in the workforce as well.

At the end of July, I have the opportunity to attend a conference in Zürich, Switzerland with Shire team members from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. A year ago, if someone would have told me that I would be travelling to Europe for business, I would have been overwhelmed and unprepared. Today, I feel confident that I can excel in this endeavor because of my enhanced skillset and communicative abilities thanks to the global experience Krannert has provided me. As they say in Switzerland “wünsch mir Glückor wish me luck!

 

Alex Williams

2nd Yeay MBA