Leading Across Cultures: Internship Seminar - 3 Credits

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Course Information
Discipline(s): 
Internship Seminar
Terms offered: 
Summer
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
English
Contact Hours: 
25
Prerequisites: 

None

Description: 

This course provides an introduction to the cultural context for the internship placement by examining cultural issues in the workplace with a particular focus on preparation for entering the work environment. Writing and discussion topics also introduce the concept of skill-building in cross-cultural competencies including cross-cultural communication, teamwork, and conflict mediation. The course consists of two parts: online pre-departure modules that prepare students for culturally appropriate résumé development and interviewing skills to facilitate proper placements, and on-site classroom discussions to enable students to process what they experience at the internship host organizations.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of this course and the internship placement, students will be able to:

  1. Apply written and oral communication skills that are appropriate to the work environment.
  2. Demonstrate career search skills including preparing a résumé and cover letter, conducting Skype interviews, networking and using social media tools such as LinkedIn to create a professional network.
  3. Describe and analyze cultural differences in the workplace based on critical incidents.
  4. Demonstrate ability to analyze personal professional strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and skills required to work on cross-cultural teams.
  6. Synthesize the experiences of the internship placement in a revised résumé.
Method of presentation: 

In both the online and classroom segments, the seminar provides a robust learning environment with active discussion of readings, integration of internship experiences, and field studies. The seminar meets for 45 contact hours. Students spend 176-320 clock hours at the internship placement site, depending on the needs of the host company.

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Active participation in online content - 10%
  • Active participation in seminar based on assigned reading and practical exercises - 10%
  • Weekly Internship journal - 15%
  • Short analytical paper and presentation of the “lessons learned” based on a seminar topic and related to the internship experience - 25%
  • On-site evaluation by work supervisor via midpoint progress meeting and final evaluation utilizing IES Abroad metric - 40%

Internship Journal: Weekly Journal entries track your learning and development at the placement. Entries should include work activities, critical incidents that gave you insight into the work environment, observations of how leadership is exercised, and reading responses. Four of the writing assignments are ‘directed.’ Each entry should be 2-3 typewritten pages, double-spaced (500-750 words).

Analytical Paper: Using the Cultural Analysis Toolkit, conduct an analysis of how one of the topics discussed during the seminar (communication, national economy, labor market, teamwork, conflict negotiation or mediation) was evident in your workplace.

The paper should include a description of your observations, differences noted between your home and host cultures that may have played a role in the situation and what you learned from the experience. The paper should be 8-10 typewritten pages, double-spaced.

content: 
Session Content Assignments
Session 1: Intro to Course Content & Placement Process Introduction to the course content and requirements; introduction to the internship placement requirements and the internship contract. The concept of reciprocity in the internship placement. Reading:
  • How to avoid being the ugly American when doing business abroad. Case study by Andrew Rosenbaum. Harvard Business School

Directed Journal Entry 1: Describe your learning goals for the internship and how you believe the experience may contribute to your future career.

Session 2: Intro to Resume Writing Introduction to résumé writing; international résumé formats; review and feedback of students’ résumés. Reading:
  • Auzenne, M., & Horstman, M. (2005). Your Résumé Stinks! Available: http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/10/your-résumé-stinks Accessed: 30 October, 2012. (podcast).
  • Local résumé guidelines provided by IES Center

Deliverable: Students submit résumés for review and revise as necessary.

Session 3: Interview Coaching & Placement Interviews Overview of preparing for an interview including common interview questions and techniques for online interviews; practice interviews with Center staff; employer interviews in the host city. Professional expectations in the host country (dress, punctuality, office behavior, use of internet & technology). Reading:

Deliverable: Students participate in practice interviews with IES staff and then with potential host companies.

Session 4: Communicating Across Cultures Communicating across cultures: communication styles and how to communicate effectively with supervisors; intellectual property and introduction to networking and the role of social media in developing a professional network. Readings:
  • Adler, N.J. 1991.”Communicating Across Cultural Barriers.” International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: PWS-KENT Publishing Company. pp. 63-91.
  • Early, P. Christopher and Mosakowski, Elaine (2004). Best Practice: Cultural Intelligence in Harvard Business Review: 139-146.
  • Mendez, Deirdre (2013). Cultural Analysis Toolkit: Navigating International Business Culture, The University of Texas at Austin CIBER: 3-44
  • Trompenaars, Fons, & Hapden-Turner, Charles. “How We Manage Time.” Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business. 1997. McGraw-Hill, Second Edition.

Directed Journal Entry 2: Describe your own communication style and what you can do to adapt to the communication style of your supervisor and host culture.

Session 5: Case Discussion Case discussion about the local impact of the recent worldwide economic crisis.  
Session 6: Local Economy

Welcome & Introductions

Syllabus

Overview of the interactions between the national economy and labor market and their combined impact on job opportunities, workplace demographics, and internship placements.

Ethics as an absolute and a cultural construct: identifying ethical positions that are common across cultures and culture-specific views on ethical challenges.

Readings:
  • Materials from Session 5 (available online)
  • Barbanchon, Thomas Le; Malherbet, Franck, An anatomy of the French labour market: country case study on labour market segmentation / Thomas le Barbanchon, Franck Malherbet ; International Labour Office, Employment Sector, Employment Analysis and Research Unit, Economic and Labour Market Analysis Department. - Geneva: ILO, 2013 (available online)
  • Williams, Sandra L. “Engaging Values in International Business Practices.” July 15, 2011. Harvard Business School Publishing, www.hbr.org.
Session 7: Global Leadership Competencies

Examine the research on competencies needed to lead in a global environment.

Deepen your understanding of leadership challenges in the workplace including cognitive complexity, managing diversity, openness, influencing with integrity and ‘asserting with respect.’

Readings:
  • Adler, Nancy J. “Leading Globally.” In International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior: 157-183. Fifth Edition. South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Schneider, Susan C., Barsoux, Jean- Louis, & Stahl, Günter K. (2014). The ‘International Manager’. In Managing Across Cultures: 175-206. Third Edition. Pearson
Session 8: Teamwork The impact of cultural values and beliefs, including leadership styles, on creating a successful team. Readings:
  • Adler, Nancy J. “Managing Multicultural Teams.” In International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior: 126-156. Fifth Edition. South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Schneider, Susan C., Barsoux, Jean- Louis, & Stahl, Günter K. (2014). The ‘Multicultural Team’. In Managing Across Cultures: 207-241. Third Edition. Pearson
Session 9: Networking

Following-up from the introduction presented in Session 4, learn more about how professionals develop their network in the local environment.

Learn the role of social media, personal contacts and professional organizations in one’s network.

Develop an understanding of how networking influences employment opportunities and career development.

Practice introducing yourself or others in a culturally appropriate manner in preparation to attend a professional networking event.

Podcast/Websites:
Session 10: Cultural Assessment Toolkit

Learn how to identify cultural features without falling into the trap of stereotyping.

Understand the impact of stereotypes and cultural differences on judgment and decision-making.

Reading:
  • Mendez, Deirdre. Cultural Analysis Toolkit: Navigating International Business Culture, The University of Texas at Austin CIBER: 3-44. 2013.
  • Cultural Analysis Project for Internships (PowerPoint presentation) – from Session 4
Session 11: Local Environment/Culture Guest speaker Dr. Klaus Grimm (Daimler AG) – Regional Product Tasting  
Session 12: Attend a Professional Networking Event

Attend a networking event where you will have the opportunity to meet local professionals and/or students with similar backgrounds and interests.

Use this event to further develop your own international professional network.

 
Session 13: Stereotypes & Cultural Differences

Discuss the observations you have made at your internship workplace using the Cultural Assessment Toolkit as a framework.

What have you learned from observation, conversation, written materials and/or meetings?

What are your own preferences and what challenges do you face in this new environment?

What strategies are you using to achieve your goals?

Reading:
  • Mendez, Deirdre. Cultural Analysis Toolkit: Navigating International Business Culture, The University of Texas at Austin CIBER: 3-44. 2013.
Session 14: International Careers & Local Job Opportunities Learn about opportunities to internationalize your career, including resources available to job seekers in the local environment. Directed Journal Entry 3:(2-3 typewritten pages, double-spaced, 500-750 words)Describe an ethical challenge you have observed in your internship and differences in the way your home and host culture perceive the situation.

Check instructions at the beginning of the syllabus.
Session 15: Observe & Understand Different Job Contexts Part I

Visit a local work site to observe different job contexts.

Discuss similarities and differences in your own work place and those of your classmates.

 
Session 16: Conflict Negotiation & Mediation Conflict negotiation and mediation in the local cultural environment: role play of mediating a conflict at the workplace, using appropriate communication style and influence. Guest speaker: Philipp Karch, Conflict Trainer Readings:
  • Rupal, J. (2008), Importance of Ethics in Business, Atharva Institute of Management Studies. Mumbai. Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?Importance-of-Ethics-in-Business&id=1212419 Accessed: October 26, 2012.
  • Lewicki, Roy J., Saunders, David M. & Barry, Bruce (2009), Negotiation: Readings, Exercises & Cases, Chapter 5: Negotiation Across Cultures. McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 6 edition
Session 17: Incorporate Your Internship into Your Career Search Workshop on incorporating your internship experience into your résumé and describing it in a job application and during an interview.

Directed Journal entry 4:(2-3 typewritten pages, double-spaced, 500-750 words)What do you think are the three main new skills you have acquired from your internship? Think critically. These may be hard skills such as learning how to use social media for an organization or they may be "soft skills" such as working with people from different cultures.

Check instructions at the beginning of the syllabus.

Deliverable: Submit your revised résumé and practice discussing your internship with the IES Abroad staff and your classmates.

Session 18: Observe & Understand Different Job Contexts Discuss similarities and differences in your own work place and those of your classmates.

Focus on entrepreneurship

 
Session 19: Lessons Learned Part I Students present their “lessons learned” from their internship experiences. This may be based on the analytical paper due at the end of the course and/or the Cultural Analysis Toolkit materials.  
Session 20: Lessons Learned Part II   Deliverable: Final analytical paper due (8-10 typewritten pages, double-spaced)

Check instructions at the beginning of the syllabus.

 

Required readings: 
  • Adler, Nancy J. 1991. Communicating Across Cultural Barriers. International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: PWS-KENT Publishing Company. pp. 63-91.
  • Nancy J. Leading Globally. In International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior: 157-183. Fifth Edition. South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Adler, Nancy J. Managing Multicultural Teams. In International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior: 126-156. Fifth Edition. South-Western Cengage Learning
  • Auzenne, M., & Horstman, M. Your Résumé Stinks! Available: http://www.manager-tools.com/2005/10/your-résumé-stinks Accessed: 30 October, 2012. (podcast). 2005.
  • Auzenne, M., & Horstman, M. Building a Network. Available: http://www.manager-tools.com/2006/05/building-a-network Accessed: 30 October, 2012. (podcast). 2006.
  • Barbanchon, Thomas Le; Malherbet, Franck, An anatomy of the French labour market: country case study on labour market segmentation / Thomas le Barbanchon, Franck Malherbet ; International Labour Office, Employment Sector, Employment Analysis and Research Unit, Economic and Labour Market Analysis Department. - Geneva: ILO, 2013
  • Cross, Rob and Thomas, Robert. Managing Yourself: A Smarter Way to Network, Rob Cross and Robert Thomas (HBR July-August 2011) Available: http://hbr.org/2011/07/managing-yourself-a-smarter-way-to-network
  • Crumpled City: Berlin. Soft city maps for urban jungles: Die cleveren Stadtpläne für Großstadtnomaden.
  • Deane, Neil: Modern Germany: An outsider's view from the inside. – 23 Pro Business; 1 edition, 2014
  • Early, P. Christopher and Elaine Mosakowski. Best Practice: Cultural Intelligence in Harvard Business Review: 139-146, 2004.
  • Lewicki, Roy J., Saunders, David M. & Barry, Bruce. Negotiation: Readings, Exercises & Cases, Chapter 5: Negotiation Across Cultures. McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 6 edition, 2009.
  • Lord, Richard: Culture Shock! Germany. A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette. B&T, 2016
  • Mendez, Deirdre. Cultural Analysis Toolkit: Navigating International Business Culture, The University of Texas at Austin CIBER: 3-44. 2013.
  • Rosenbaum, Andrew. How to avoid being the ugly American when doing business abroad. Harvard Business School.
  • Rupal, J. Importance of Ethics in Business, Atharva Institute of Management Studies. Mumbai, 2008. Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?Importance-of-Ethics-in-Business&id=1212419 Accessed: October 26, 2012.
  • Schneider, Susan C., Barsoux, Jean- Louis, & Stahl, Günter K. (2014). The International Manager. Managing Across Cultures: 175-206. Third Edition. Pearson
  • Schneider, Susan C., Barsoux, Jean- Louis, & Stahl, Günter K. (2014). The ‘Multicultural Team’. In Managing Across Cultures: 207-241. Third Edition. Pearson.
  • Schroll-Machel, Sylvia: Doing Business with Germans: Their Perception, Our Perception. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht; 5 edition, 2013
  • Schulte-Peevers, Andrea: Lonely Planet: Berlin: Pocket Guide. Lonely Planet, 4th edition, 2015.
  • Schulte-Peevers, Andrea [et al]: Lonely Planet: Germany: Pocket Guide, Lonely Planet, 8th edition, 2016.
  • Williams, Sandra L. “Engaging Values in International Business Practices.” July 15, 2011. Harvard Business School Publishing, www.hbr.org.
Notes: 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES:

Students are required to participate in all online and seminar meetings. Students must receive instructor’s prior permission for any excused absence and more than one absence will result in a negative impact on your grade, regardless of the reason for the absence.

Students must submit résumés electronically to the Internship Coordinator at their Center. The Internship Coordinator will provide feedback on the résumé and will also arrange for a practice Skype interview with IES staff. Once the résumé and interview coaching has been completed, the Internship Coordinator will match the student with a possible host organization and arrange a Skype or telephone interview. When the student and the host organization agree to the match, both parties sign an agreement detailing the project(s) to be completed by the student. During the internship, each student will have a supervisor on site at the host organization. Students will submit weekly status reports to their supervisors and to the Internship Coordinator. Internship Coordinators will check in with students regularly and should be contacted by students immediately when issues arise at the placement site.

Students are expected to report to work on time and to be professionally dressed every day they are scheduled to work. Students may not ask employers to change their schedule or to leave work early unless prior permission is received from the IES Internship Coordinator. If a student cannot report to work due to illness, s/he should notify their supervisor and the IES Internship Coordinator immediately. Unexcused absences, extended breaks or lunch hours and leaving the work site early are all causes for Administrative Review, as stipulated in IES Abroad Student Policies.