Working Globally

Developing a Global Mindset

Background

The importance of international students developing a global mindset has been widely accepted in recent decades. In the Summer of 2020 the long-term global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to emerge at a time when some major economies are adopting ‘sovereign’ mindsets and putting up barriers to protect their own economies. This may mean that assumptions about the continued growth of globalisation face challenges not previously seen. The current blog assumes that in the short to medium term international students will continue to need to develop a global mindset, and that its importance will remain. It aims to help you explore the issues around this topic, and take up the challenges you will face as the world moves to new ways of thinking and working.

What is a Global Mindset?

Global mindset is usually seen as an orientation of openness towards other cultures, other people, and other ways of doing things. For international students and graduates working in global organisations it is about the ability to adapt, depending on the country, culture, and people with whom you are working. It’s often connected to intercultural awareness, which is about understanding your own and other cultures, and particularly the similarities and differences between them.

It’s important to realise that a global graduate isn’t simply someone who can speak a foreign language, or has travelled abroad. Whilst being multilingual can be a huge advantage, global mindset covers a much wider spectrum of skills and qualities. These include the ability to understand international perspectives, to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and to understand how international business interconnects and operates.

One definition of a global mindset, from the FT Lexicon, is ‘one that combines an openness to and awareness of diversity across cultures and markets with a propensity and ability to see common patterns across countries and markets’.