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Mitch GordonBy Mitch Gordon

Let’s set the stage: You have received an e-mail/phone call inviting you to interview with the international education organization of your dreams. While an accomplishment, the most important part is yet to come. You’re feeling understandably nervous; you want to prepare for the interview and put your best foot forward. While not a comprehensive list by any means, I hope the advice below will inspire you to be your best self and ace your interview. Good luck!

Ask Good Questions During Your Interview
Asking good questions is one of the best ways to make a lasting impression. The right questions demonstrate that you understand the business and reflect an ability to think critically. What, you may be asking, qualifies as a good question? That’s a good question in and of itself! I’d place interview questions into two broad categories. First, questions you can prepare for. Second, questions that arise from the interview itself. In the first category, ask questions that show you understand the position you’re applying for and that provide insight into long-term business goals.

For example: “What do you hope the person in this position will achieve over the next two years?” The best thing you can do is research the organization in a genuine, interested way. As you research, ask yourself what it would take to do amazingly well at the job you’re applying for. Excellent questions will naturally emerge from that type of introspection.

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By Ellen H. Badger and Shawna Szabo

Did you miss our earlier blog post, “How to Use Networking and Informational Interviews to Start a Career, Further a Career, or Change a Career?” You’ll find it here .

As we mentioned in that post, informational interviews can lead to a “foot in the door” when it comes to starting or advancing a career in international education. Now we reveal five tips for a successful informational interview.

  • Do your research regarding the person with whom you’ll meet. A quick Google search can give you some great conversation starters about their past publications or presentations in the field.
  • Dress to impress. This may not be a formal job interview but you want to be sure to make a good impression.
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Bradley MoonBy Bradley Moon

While my blog posts leading up to the annual conference have included many San Diego lists of “must dos, sees, and eats,” today’s post provides a smorgasbord of reminders to help get the most out of NAFSA’s 2014 Annual Conference and your visit to San Diego!

Kick Off Your Conference at the Opening Celebration!
Tuesday, May 27, 5:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

Enjoy the ocean breeze and a magnificent sunset on the San Diego Bay! As a part of your registration fee, the Opening Celebration will include food stations and one drink ticket per person (beer, wine, and soft drinks). A cash bar will also be available. Guest tickets are available online or at registration. The celebration will feature live music by musician, humanitarian, and children’s book author Michael Franti, who is recognized as a pioneering force in using music as a vehicle for positive change. Also known for his unforgettable, high-energy shows, Franti achieved multiplatinum success with his song “Say Hey (I Love You)” and the chart-breaking 2010 release of “The Sound of Sunshine.” Franti and his band guarantee a thought-provoking show that promises to be a fun dance party… so bring your dancing shoes!

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Mitch GordonBy Mitch Gordon

Interested in finding a job in international education? You’re not alone. Finding a job in international education can be incredibly competitive. That fact may be surprising when you consider this: The tangible benefits aren’t very impressive. You should expect a modest salary and benefits, limited opportunities for advancement, and sometimes long working hours and travel. Why, you may ask, are these positions in such high demand? Because you’ll be doing meaningful, rewarding work that has a real impact on real people. With the above in mind, how can you make your goal a reality and find a job in international education?

In applying for a job, there’s no perfect formula. However, there are some best practices to follow that will help your application stand out from the crowd, increase your chances of getting an interview, and ultimately boost your chance of receiving a coveted job offer.

Start Your Search Before You Need the Job
The worst time to look for a job is when you really, really need one. Start now. How? It’s a lot easier than you might think. People in the world of international education are an extremely friendly, passionate group. Get to know them better. Form relationships with people at organizations and companies you respect.

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By Bob Ericksen

The trickiest part of figuring out if you are “management material” is being honest enough with yourself to determine your readiness. I asked someone the “are you ready?” question last year at the conference and the response was “I deserve it! I’ve had this job for 11 years!” Sorry, wrong answer.

For sure, time and experience are key factors in developing good managers. More than that, however, good managers share skill-sets, attitudes, and world-views that provide them with the leadership skills necessary for success. Key among those is what I’d call “‘Big picture’ thinking.” Today’s blog post will focus on this area, along with tips for building this skill right here at the conference.

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By Bradley Moon

Any visit to San Diego would certainly not be complete without exploring Balboa Park. At 1,200 acres, this vast, lush oasis is the middle of San Diego is the largest urban cultural park in the United States, home to the world famous San Diego Zoo, beautiful botanical gardens and a number of impressive museums. Many of the museums are found in Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings that line the park’s impressive El Prado walkway. The following are some highlights to see when visiting Balboa Park:

San Diego Botanical BuildingBotanical Building
The view of the Botanical Building with the Lily Pond is one of the most photographed scenes in San Diego. Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, along with the adjacent Lily Pond, the historic building is one of the largest lath structures in the world. The Botanical Building plantings include more than 2,100 permanent plants, featuring fascinating collections of cycads, ferns, orchids, other tropical plants, and palms. The Botanical Building also presents some of the Park’s vibrant seasonal flower displays. Free to the public Friday through Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Closed on Thursdays and Holidays).

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By Vera V. Chapman, PhD, and Marty Tillman

On campuses, increasing attention is being placed on the initial decision-making process that students undergo as they study abroad, as well as the ongoing process of self-reflection about what they are learning while abroad. We see this heightened concern as an outcome of the soft economy and the need of many students to directly link learning outcomes of their international experiences to their marketability as applicants in the job search. Another contributing factor is increased attention to standards of good practice in the overall design and implementation of study abroad programs. The result is that many campuses are faced with the question of how to best strengthen the advising processes for students who study abroad.

Campuses provide an uneven continuum of support to assist students in the “unpacking” (or sense-making) of their study abroad experiences after they return to campus. Sometimes it is an online self-assessment tool; sometimes it involves a voluntary debriefing seminar; at other times, it may involve mandatory participation in a one-credit course as requirement for participation in a campus-designed program. It is rare to find a campus with a fully integrated approach to advising, reflection, and unpacking, though there are a few examples of best practices. One of the best models in the country is in place at the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center; the Center is hosting a Career Integration Conference in July 2014.

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Bradley MoonBy Bradley Moon

Has all this talk of immigration advising, international recruitment, public policy, and study abroad made you thirsty? Well, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere… so it’s time to plan a San Diego happy hour! The following are recommendations from the Local Arrangements Team of some terrific San Diego hot spots to wet your whistle after a long day of NAFSA sessions and networking:


Barrio Star, Mexican Soul Food
Neighborhood: Bankers Hill/Park West
Address: 2706 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Recommendation: Happy hour is nightly 5:00 p.m–7:00 p.m. The Blackberry Jalapeno Margarita accompanied by chips and salsa? Perfection.

Seven Grand San DiegoSeven Grand Whiskey Bar
Neighborhood: Northpark
Address: 3054 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104
Recommendation: Happy hour is Monday through Friday 5:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. with inventive one-of-kind whiskey creations. This place has some serious swag in a hipster up-and-coming neighborhood.


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By Carin Usrey

While I officially work as a university career counselor, I frequently find myself taking on the role of a marketing specialist, continually revamping outreach efforts to increase student awareness of our office’s services and drive up attendance at our campus programs and events. Regardless of how valuable, practical, and arguably necessary our office’s services might be, it is a constant struggle to convince students of our ongoing relevance and even more of a challenge to embed ourselves into the culture of a student’s college experience.

As a passionate advocate of education abroad and an avid supporter of integrating global experiences into college life, I know that global education professionals are faced with similar challenges. Offering what most universities currently value as an elective service, there is an additional barrier of persuading students to see the added value of an optional study abroad experience, not to mention the extra work of validating its financial and academic feasibility.

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Bradley MoonBy Bradley Moon

While visitors to San Diego flock to the sunny beaches that line the Pacific coast, not to be overlooked are San Diego’s distinct urban neighborhoods, each with its own personality and panache.

Pay close attention to these neighborhoods, as my upcoming “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” post will highlight the best places to happy hour throughout San Diego’s neighborhoods.

Little ItalyLittle Italy
Once home to San Diego’s flourishing tuna fishing industry where Italian families made their living on the sea, Little Italy is a quaint and lively neighborhood filled with patio cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops, hotels, and the beautiful Amici Park. India Street is lined with restaurants featuring cuisines of bo th Southern and Northern Italy, and on Saturday mornings, it comes alive with one of the best Farmer’s Markets in Southern California.

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