On March 1st, 2021, with masks on and social distancing measures in place, the Intercultural Management (ICM) program held its annual Intercultural Career Opportunity (ICCO) seminar both in presence and online.
Executive coaches, trainers, consultants, UN Team Leaders, government representatives, alumni, and distinguished interculturalists from all over the world, shared their diverse experiences with approximately 40 participants, including students and others interested in the field.
During this seminar, speakers and students discussed how interculturality is applied in different professions and the important steps you need to keep in mind when pursuing your career path.
ICM Course Leader, Alexander Frame, during the introductory remarks, extended his gratitude to all speakers and participants for attending ICCO 2021, before explaining the ICM program and briefly introducing the agenda of the day.
“ICM is an English-taught program, specializing in Intercultural Management. The three pillars of our program are languages, communication, and management, ”said Frame.
Marilyn McKinley, Intercultural Facilitator, Trainer, and Coach in Australia, was the first speaker of the morning session. She shared her vast experience working in different settings and countries and how interculturality plays a big role in all aspects of her professional life.
“Emotions connect learners to knowledge. Even if we speak the same language, we each have preferences for certain language choices, ”McKinley explained to the audience. “There are three pillars of intercultural education: content – what are we teaching; materials and resources – where do we get it from; activities and assignments – how we incorporate different teaching styles. ”
Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, Executive Coach, and Expert for New Ways of Working & Digital Leadership, while sharing her experience, focused on the growing digital realm of interculturality, particularly in relation to its necessity in the past year and moving forward.
“What I see in all virtual meetings, is that the necessity for cultural intelligence is more important than ever because we are more connected than ever. We talked about diversity and inclusion, but I believe that so many business practices oversee the importance of inclusion and trust-building in virtual spaces and teams. I created a concept called implusion, because there is no impact in the virtual space without inclusion, ”said Covarrubias Venegas.
The next speaker of the event was Alessandra Malgeri, ICM Alumna, Campus Manager and Recruiter at Philips Paris, who engaged in an interesting discussion with all participants about her professional life after completing her MA studies in ICM. Malgeri shared insightful tips and salient professional life steps that she had undertaken on her own career path, as well as the intercultural aspects in her international environment job at Philips.
The second part of this seminar kicked off with Liza Gashi, an entrepreneur with global experience in policy, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in Kosovo, and Executive Leader.
“Strangers are just friends you haven’t met. In today’s world, technology is connecting us, but at the same time, it is dividing us. We take small things for granted, ”said Gashi.
While discussing her career journey and the steps she had taken, Gashi emphasized some simple yet crucial things to keep in mind.
“The lesson is that not everyone knows your reality and the layers you carry with you, so in this aspect, it is important to establish connections with people and try to listen to things that are important to them. It is important to be aware and be mindful of people around you, ”she concluded.
Kelly Pengelly, Intercultural Consultant and founder of MIEL (Maximizing Intercultural Competence Locally), Chief Implementation Strategy Officer of the World Council on Intercultural and Global Competence, began her presentation by asking the participants what they are like at their best, before sharing her professional journey.
“When I am at my best, I am like a coffee – a perfectly brewed coffee that represents reflection, relationship, restoration, and refreshment. As a scholar-practitioner, I work best when I make space for reflection to ponder, to be curious, and to innovate, ”said Pengelly.
The last speaker of the seminar was Francesco Galtieri, UN Resident, Coordinator Office Team Leader, and Senior Development Coordination Officer in Damascus, Syria. Galtieri shared his professional experience working at the UN while discussing different intercultural aspects, advantages, and challenges faced.
“ We [at the UN] are here to serve the diversity of people, which requires a lot of effort to connect with people’s values. I’ve worked in peacebuilding and conflict resolution, so the most important element is being able to hear out each other’s concerns, wishes, hopes, and challenges and trying to build trust, ”said Galtieri.
The event was concluded by ICM Course Leader, David Bousquet, who thanked all speakers and participants for their contribution to the ICCO 2021 seminar.
“Today was clearly a moment of hope, not only for your professional future but also that you will help make the world a better place. On your future career prospects, we heard some interesting points, like soft skills, adaptability, teaching and learning, creativity, which hopefully you will continue to engage throughout your professional future, ”said Bousquet.
This event was organized by the Intercultural Association (ICA) in collaboration with the ICM Communications Team, both part of the Intercultural Management (ICM) program.