We hear all the time that businesspeople
must embrace globalisation in order to survive. But where and
how will they achieve this global mindset? The logical answer lies
in higher education. After all, the whole purpose of education is to
prepare for a career. And if young people want a job in today’s
increasingly competitive business environment, they need to think beyond the
corner store down the road. Is our educational system adequately
addressing this crucial need?
My personal experience
illustrates the benefits of an international focus to education. The high
school I attended was an International Baccalaureate (IB) “world
school.” I chose this school because my family, originally from New Zealand,
was living in China, and I wanted to maximize my possibilities for the future.
The IB Diploma Program was exactly what I was looking for. It offered an
education that was both rigorous and recognised by top universities
worldwide. I studied in English, my mother tongue, but mastered Mandarin
at the same time.
Upon graduation from high
school, I got an opportunity to study with SP Jain’s tri-city bachelor’s
program, and I was thrilled! The program is designed to nurture managers
for the business world of tomorrow. That means leaders who can think
outside of nationalistic boxes. To do that, they require an
internationally diverse student body with cross-cultural experiences. So
already, at the age of 18, I am reaping the benefits of a global education.
In ‘The World is Flat’, Thomas
L. Friedman introduces the idea that we are now in the third stage of
globalisation. In the 19th century, globalisation occurred on a national
level through colonialism. Then in the 20th century, we saw globalisation
on the corporate level through the introduction of international organisations.
Today, globalisation has reached the level of every individual. And those
who succeed will be educated – whether formally or not – to have a global
National borders have little
significance today. The guy swimming in the rooftop pool at Marina Sands
Singapore is most likely not from Singapore. We find a multitude of highly
skilled migrant workers, including professionals, in places like Singapore
With a business degree from Australia, one can find an excellent job in
the States. A translator can live at the North Pole and yet do
freelance work for the United Nations. What matters is not where you came
from, but whether you have adopted, and experienced, internationalism. If you haven’t,
you’re old-fashioned, outdated, and ultimately, replaceable.
This explains my choice of a
business degree. With everything so connected, business is the field with the
greatest international impact. And even though people my age may not plan
to work outside their own country, the current labour market has made it so
that we have no choice but to compete internationally.
Not surprisingly, I am already
doing this during my time at SP Jain. My fellow students come from 16
different nations. After our first two years studying in Singapore, we will
all shift to Sydney for
our last two years – experiencing first-hand the culture of Asia’s most
thriving business hubs. This will make us much more prepared for global
careers than people who have their college life years in only one country.
So, here’s the big
question. If you have the opportunity to make a global impact and earn
good money in an increasingly internationalised market, why would you limit
yourself with a single-culture education? My advice to other young people
is simple: If you want a career that will help guarantee success, make
sure your higher education has an international slant — or miss out!
About the Author
Jeremy Lynch is a Bachelor of Business
Administration graduate from SP Jain’s
Class of 2014.