Internship Seminar: Intercultural Management and Global Leadership

You are here

Course Information
Program(s): 
Discipline(s): 
Internship Seminar
Terms offered: 
Spring
Credits: 
3
Language of instruction: 
English
Additional student cost: 

Additional costs of $13 for using the online assessment tool Intercultural Effectiveness Scale ($12) and possibly (approx. $13) for the use of an online simulation.

Description: 

This course provides students with an opportunity to integrate their internship experiences with the study of leadership at the organizational level and in a cross-cultural context.  The focus will be on raising awareness of the issues confronting global leaders, working effectively in multi-cultural teams, and developing cross-cultural competencies, communication skills, and leadership potential.  A particular emphasis is placed throughout on the European context.  Students will also reflect on their own capacity for leadership across cultures and develop action plans for continued growth and learning. 

By the end of the internship program, students will not only have been exposed to valuable developmental cross-cultural and leadership experiences but will also have learned how to market these skills to enhance their future professional careers.

Attendance policy: 

All IES Abroad courses require attendance and participation.  Attendance is mandatory per IES Abroad policy.  Any unexcused absence may count against your final grade.  Any student who has more than three (3) unexcused absences will receive an “F” as the final grade in the course.  Absences due to sickness, religious observances, and family emergencies may be excusable at the discretion of the Center Director. In the case of an excused absence, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the Academic Officer of the absence with an Official Excused Absence Form, as well as any other relevant documentation (e.g. a doctor’s note), and to keep a record thereof.  This form must be turned in as soon as possible before the class, in the case of a planned absence, or immediately after the class, in the case of an unplanned absence, in order for the absence to be considered excused. It is also the student’s responsibility to inform the professor of the missed class.

TESTS MISSED DURING UNEXCUSED ABSENCES CANNOT BE MADE UP.

The use of laptop computers during class is not permitted.  Cell phones are to be switched off.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the internship program students will be able to:

  • Apply communication skills appropriate to cultural environment
  • Recognize and appreciate cultural diversity in the workplace
  • Understand leadership in an organizational and cross-cultural context
  • Grasp the differences of working in a European context
  • Demonstrate ability to analyze personal professional strengths and weaknesses
  • Express the internship experience verbally and in a resume
Method of presentation: 

This course is run as a seminar and incorporates lectures, role plays, workshop activities, discussions of readings, and internship experiences. Session readings will be supplemented with local and topical articles as well as current research.

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Active participation in seminar (20%)
  • Weekly internship journal (20%)
  • Final internship paper (20%)
  • Final presentation (10%)
  • On site evaluation by work supervisor (30%)

Active  participation. Students are expected to have completed reading assignments before class and to play an active role in class discussions, simulations, and other activities.  They will be required to give a short presentation profiling their internship placement in terms of its national and organizational culture, as well as main areas of activity.

Internship Journal. Weekly journal entries will track student learning and development at the internship placement.  Entries should include work activities as well as observations of organizational culture, working styles, and how leadership is exercised.  Students should reflect on how this differs to their home culture.  Each entry should be 2-3 typewritten pages, double-spaced (500-750 words).

Final Internship Report. Paper consists of description, analysis, and commentary of placement site.  It should include a description of the company/organization; account of main internship tasks and responsibilities; analysis of working styles, organizational  culture,  and leadership styles observed during the internship; and conclude with personal insights and reflections on their experience. Paper should be 10-12 pages long, Times New Roman 12; double-spaced and is to be submitted in hard copy and electronically.  Due date: Check-in session after completion of internship.

Final Presentation. The final presentation will be based on the academic paper and will be delivered in the final session.  Students should conclude with their personal “take-away” from the internship experience.

The use of laptop computers is permitted in this class.  Cell phones are to be switched off.

content: 
  1.  INTERNSHIP APLICATIONS AND INTERVIEWS (during semester).

Session 1. Applying for an Internship: A European Approach
In this session we look at how written communication patterns differ across cultures while focusing in particular on writing a resume and cover letter in a European context.  Students will be given instructions for completing a Europass (CV) and cover letter as a homework assignment.

Required Reading:
Chaney, Lillian and Martin, Jeanette. Intercultural Business Communication. NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Ch. 7, pp. 139-160.

Website:
http://www.europass-info.de/?id=283

Session 2. Preparing for the Interview: Cultural Differences
Students will explore culturally different approaches to conducting interviews and will learn how to present themselves appropriately for the cultural context of their internship placement. They will also receive feedback on their CVs and cover letters and will work on revisions as a homework assignment.

Required Reading:
Hofstede, Geert, and Gert Jan Hofstede. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005, pp. 115-162.

Recommended Reading:
Bolles, Richard. What Color is your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job Hunters and Career Changers. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2013, Ch. 8 & 9.

Website:
http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewsnetworking/u/jobinterviews.htm

Session 3. Interviews: Testing your Skills
Students will be given the opportunity to test their communication skills and their ability to present themselves effectively in a realistic interview situation.  The most convincing candidates from the EU Parliament internship applicants will be selected for internship positions. For students seeking internship placements in Germany, this session will offer the opportunity of a trial run before the real interview.

Homework assignment:  Practice interviewing and being interviewed with a partner.

  1. INTERNSHIP SEMINAR (after semester & before internship)

Session 4. Setting the Cultural Context: Working in the EU
In this session we look at how working relationships and management styles vary across cultures in general, while focusing on the EU in particular. Students will reflect on their own cultural orientation and values; and will also work on developing culturally appropriate behaviors and communication skills for their internship placements.

Homework assignment : Reflect on your own cultural values. To what degree are they a reflection of the national culture in which you were brought up? (1-2 pages, double-spaced,Times New Roman).

Required Reading:
Adler, Nancy, and Allison Gundersen. International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour. OH: South-Western, 2008. Chapters 1 & 2, Pp. 18-65.

Ganon, Martin, and Rajnandini Pillai (Eds.). “American Football” in Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 29 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity.  CA: Sage, 2010. Pp. 249-272.

Recommended Reading:
Fischer, Roger and Ury, William. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In.  New York: Penguin, 2011.

Kohls, Robert. The Values Americans Live By. Retrieved from: http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/pages/faculty/alee/extra/American_values...

Lewis, Richard. When Teams Collide:Managing the International Team Successfully. UK: Nicholas Brealey, 2012. Ch 7: Communicating in English. Pp. 197-218.

Session 5. Managing Multi-cultural Teams in a European Context
International team leaders, according to Richard Lewis, need to be “experienced in cross-border business, adaptable, unbiased, flexible but fair, a motivator, an HR expert, and something of a psychologist.”  We explore the complexities of international teamwork and focus on the competencies necessary to work effectively with European team members.

Homework assignment:  Reflect on the cultural context of your internship organization.  What are the most important values, behaviors, or attitudes of this culture? What are the potential challenges for you? (1-2 pages, double-spaced,Times New Roman).

Required Reading:
Lewis, Richard. When Teams Collide: Managing the International Team Successfully. UK: Nicholas Brealey, 2012. Ch 4, pp. 77-103, & Ch 5. Pp. 104-184 (skim relevant sections).

Useful websites:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/

Recommended Reading:
Adler, Nancy, and Allison Gundersen. “Managing Multicultural Teams,” in International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. OH: South-Western, 2008. Chapter 5. Pp 126-149.

Hofstede, Geert, and Gert Jan Hofstede. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005, Chapter 7. Pp. 241-278.

Session 6. Leadership and Culture in the Organizational Context
In this session we assess how culture and leadership informs and impacts on international organizations. Students will explore the concept of organizational culture and will apply their learning to describe the specific culture of their internship organizations.

Homework assignment:  Consider your internship organization.  Reflect on your interview experiences and consult the website: what can you discern about the organizational culture? (i.e., mission, core values, behaviors, management & working styles).  (1-2 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman).

Required Reading:
Morgan, Gareth. Images of Organization.  Chapter 5: Creating Social Reality: Organizations as Cultures. 2006. Pp. 115-140.

Recommended Reading:
Hofstede, Geert, and Gert Jan Hofstede. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005, Chapter 8. Pp. 279-315.

Adler, Nancy, and Allison Gundersen. “Managing Multicultural Teams,” in International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. OH: South-Western, 2008. Chapter 6. Pp 157-174.

Session 7.  Representations of National Leadership as a Social Construct
In this session, we will shift our focus to political leadership. In particular, we will analyze selected European leaders within their cultural context and explore to what degree they represent their country’s values, beliefs, and attitudes. 

Homework assignment: Consider your Internship placement.  What is the societal context? How is leadership profiled in this country? (historical, images of leaders, etc). Is the national leader of your internship placement representative of the country's culture?

Outline your ideas in 1-2 pages (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12).

Required Reading:
Alexander, Jeffrey.  Heroes, Presidents, and Politics. Contexts (publication of American Sociological Association), 2010. Retrieved from http://contexts.org/articles/fall-2010/heroes-presidents-and-politics/

Chhokar, Jagdeep, Felix Brodbeck, and Robert House (Eds.). Culture and Leadership in 25 Societies: Integration, Conclusions, and Future Directions, in Culture and Leadership Across the World: The Globe Book of In-depth Studies of 25 Societies. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007. Pp. 1037-1038, 1051-1066 (skim this only).

Recommended Reading:
Nye, Joseph S., Jr. “Soft Power, Hard Power and Leadership.” Transcript of Seminar Given at Harvard Kennedy School, November 6, 2006. Retrieved from: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/netgov/files/talks/docs/11_06_06_seminar_Nye_...

Session 8.  My Internship Organization: A Closer Look
In preparation for their internship departure, students will research their internship organization and together with information from previous sessions, will give a brief presentation in class.  In particular they will be looking at the:

  • national context (i.e., decisive historical events, politics, society, culture)
  • organizational culture (history, mission statements, brochures, website)
  • main activities (what does this organization do? What is their core purpose?)

Students will conclude with ideas on how they can make a practical contribution to their internship organization.

Required Reading (read as relevant):
Ganon, Martin, and Rajnandini Pillai. Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 29 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity.  CA: Sage, 2010.

Chhokar, Jagdeep, Felix Brodbeck, and Robert House (Eds.). Culture and Leadership in 25 Societies: Integration, Conclusions, and Future Directions, in Culture and Leadership Across the World: The Globe Book of In-depth Studies of 25 Societies. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

Useful websites:
http://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/5.0.html
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en

  1. AFTER INTERNSHIP

Session 9. Check-in session
In this session we will practice how to express and promote the internship experience verbally and in résumé format to optimize future career opportunities.  In particular, we will utilize the concept of the elevator pitch in which students present their improved competencies and skills in a succinct and polished fashion. The final paper is due in this session.

Recommended Reading:
Duarte, Nancy. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations: Inspire Action, Engage your Audience, Sell your Ideas. MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2012.

Reynolds, Garr.  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas and Presentation Design and Delivery. Berkeley: New Riders, 2008.

Useful websites:
http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/
http://prezi.com/

Session 10. Final Presentations
Final presentations will be based on academic paper and will be delivered in this session.  Students are encouraged to make a professional presentation using a presentation tool such as Prezi or PowerPoint, for example, to equip themselves with a finished product to show their university or interested future study-abroad candidates at home.  Presentations should conclude with a personal “take-away” statement relating to internship experience.  The program will conclude with dinner at a local restaurant.

Required readings: 

Adler, Nancy, and Allison Gundersen. International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour. OH: South-Western, 2008. Chapters 1 & 2, Pp. 18-65.

Alexander, Jeffrey.  Heroes, Presidents, and Politics. Contexts (publication of American Sociological Association). Retrieved from http://contexts.org/articles/fall-2010/heroes-presidents-and-politics/

Chaney, Lillian and Martin, Jeanette. Intercultural Business Communication. NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007. Ch. 7. Pp. 139-160.

Chhokar, Jagdeep, Felix Brodbeck, and Robert House (Eds.). Culture and Leadership in 25 Societies: Integration, Conclusions, and Future Directions, in Culture and Leadership Across the World: The Globe Book of In-depth Studies of 25 Societies. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007.

Duarte, Nancy. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations: Inspire Action, Engage your Audience, Sell your Ideas. MA: Harvard Business School Publishing, 2012.

Fischer, Roger and Ury, William. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In.  NY: Penguin, 2011.

Ganon, Martin, and Rajnandini Pillai. Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 29 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity.  CA: Sage, 2010.

Hofstede, Geert, and Gert Jan Hofstede. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005, pp. 115-162 pp. 241-278, .

Lewis, Richard. When Teams Collide:Managing the International Team Successfully. UK: Nicholas Brealey, 2012. Ch 4 & 5.

Morgan, Gareth. Images of Organization.  Chapter 5: Creating Social Reality: Organizations as Cultures. 2006. Pp.115-140.

Reynolds, Garr.  Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas and Presentation Design and Delivery. Berkeley: New Riders, 2008.

Websites:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/country_profiles/
http://www.europass-info.de/?id=283
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en
http://www.tatsachen-ueber-deutschland.de/5.0.html
http://www.alumni.hbs.edu/careers/pitch/
http://prezi.com/