For some, going global means eating a hamburger one night, sushi the next, a gyro sandwich the third, followed by curried chicken, and then Chilean sea bass. “Going global” or “going international” means something entirely different for firms. It might mean hiring a more diverse staff to appeal to a more diverse potential client base. For others, it might mean foreign outsourcing, or joining an international firm association to develop working relationships with firms in foreign countries. To some, it might mean hiring accountants from overseas to fill staff vacancies. And let’s not forget the need to understand international accounting standards as the move to convergence gains strength. There are, especially in regional firms, exchanges of staff where staff from one firm work in the offices of a firm in another country for a number of months. One firm association rotates its annual international meeting among its seven international regions to ensure a continuing diverse international flavor. I just read an online article in USA Today about the fact that more MBA candidates are going abroad for their degree. The reasons given were that it normally takes one year rather than two, the future MBAers like international travel, it helps their career if they might want to eventually work in that country, and there is contact with MBA candidates from many other countries. What is interesting to watch in many firms is that there is an increased comfort level with going international, similar to what you experience when you eat unfamiliar food from different cultures. Think also about the fact that the youngest generation is growing up in the “Age of Globalization,” and using the Internet to easily plan foreign travel and interact, communicate, and maintain contact with those in other countries. Ultimately, they are forming and building at a very early age an international network that will serve them very well in their future personal, employment, and professional endeavors.
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