Looking back on the recruiting process, one of the biggest lessons I learned was that no matter how much we believe in the global village, there are still many instances when local familiarity counts. There are lots of job openings out there where knowing a local language or having experience in a given market can make all the difference between being the candidate of choice or getting dinged outright.
Even amongst the 90 of us, despite our years of navigating a multicultural business world and using English as a working language, there are times when we will find comfort in going back to our native languages. On any given day, you can hear conversations in at least 9 or 10 different languages going on in the dungeons.
Globalization might be the order of the day, but when it comes to being able to relate to people, sometimes it’s all about being local. That, to me, is a really humbling piece of food for thought especially as I used to fancy that I was a global citizen.
And here I have my first post-MBA personal learning goal, which is to polish up my business Mandarin because, no matter what my first role after graduation may be, I know that over the long run, being able to reach out in Asia will be a key source of value I could bring to my future employer.
It's as simple as this: no matter how quickly consumerism, commercialization and industrialization are sweeping across the globe, as human beings we still need a place to belong. So regardless of whatever happens in the global economy, we may learn to think global, but at the core, the heart is still local.