Chinese students wnat a job in the United States have to learn deal-making. Training is essential.
Now the Brandeis business school offers a program to help foreign students adapt to the American culture.
The foreign-born population in the United States is now at an all-time high at more than 10%. And while recession-time jobs are hard to come by for Americans, for those born overseas, finding a job here can be even tougher.
Wei Fang, who is from the Shanghai area, is getting his MBA at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts. And he’s looking for a job in the United States. But he says he’s uncomfortable promoting himself in interviews with American employers.
‘In China,’ he explains, ‘the employers like the employees to be hard working and quiet. They want you speak only when they want you speak.’
In meeting potential employers here, knowing how to make small talk can make a big difference. But for foreign workers, promoting themselves (making small talk, ‘schmoozing,’ things Americans take for granted) can be tricky. Fang says he felt blind during his first few job interviews here.
‘Lost, actually, when I was in the conversation. I don’t know where to go next.’
This type of cultural anxiety can be a real disadvantage at interview time. Andrew Molinksy, who created the Brandeis program, observes, ‘They don’t know the rules. They don’t know the script.’
VOA News reports that according to Columbia University Business School professor Michael Morris, in an increasingly global economy, all workers need to learn to manage across cultures.