By Loren Rogers, Global Competency Intern
I love my position as the Global Competency intern at The International Center. I am very grateful to be guided by my supervisor, Ansuyah Naiken. She has given me resouces and information that I will carry with me throughout my career. Everyone at The International Center is wonderful and wants to do nothing but help you with your career and see you succeed.
Most of what I do is prepare personalized cultural trainings for global and local companies here in Indianapolis. Many companies today communicate by email, phone, or social media instead of a face-to-face interaction. This makes it difficult to understand your counterpart from a different cultural background. You may be a direct communicator speaking with a non-direct communicator, and as a result, the message being sent is not understood in the same manner. Another example is a training that was conducted for the Indianapolis Public Library downtown. A group had come from South Africa and were not accustomed to the setup of the library here in Indianapolis. We provided a training for the librarians based on their needs, for them to better help those persons. We might find it bizarre that someone can not navigate a library, but think of the differences between a library here in the States compared to a library in a different country.
Something so small as going to a library can result in complications. Each culture has different leadership roles, communication styles, language, perception of time, and are all influenced by their individual experiences. This is where my department comes in. We raise awareness about the specifics of culture based on what that company, organization, or community needs. We help educate how to do business internationally. It is pretty interesting and I have learned a lot. Another thing we do in addition to cultural trainings and cultural sensitivity awareness is the OPIE program. This is an orientation program for international employees. We help them emerge into the community and provide them with connections and information about our city to help them settle. Almost everything we do is hands on and has a personal touch. We help educate them about Indiana’s culture as well as learn about their culture and work through differences. I have learned things I never even thought existed in culture. My favorite things I have completed as a Global Competency Intern are the trainings for Brazil and Interactive Intelligence.
As I reflect on the few months I have spent with The International Center’s Global Competency training program, I am amazed by the variety of experiences I collected and the amount of knowledge I amassed. I came to The International Center with hopes of developing as a professional and learning about the global environment of Indiana. My internship did not disappoint in this. I have to say this internship has helped my professional network as well as my understanding of other countries and how to better communicate across cultures. All good things come to an end, but I will fondly reflect on my days with The International Center for years to come.