The current paper aims to reflect on the “Managing in the Global Environment” course. Specifically, I will focus on how my increased understanding of cultural values and my experience of working in a multicultural group will influence my future role as a manager working in a global environment. Concerning the outline of the present essay, I will start with a brief introduction to the course. Then, I will describe my learning and my opinion on what it brings to my role as a future manager. I will further analyze my experience from the course by connecting it with the theoretical knowledge I received from the unit. After that, I will evaluate my experience and what I have learned about myself as a future manager in a global environment. Lastly, I will identify areas for personal development from my experience from the course.
A Brief on the Course
First of all, I will provide a brief overview of the “Managing in the Global Environment” course that I attended. The main focus of the course lies on the topic of demands and challenges that managers face in the global rapidly changing environment. Being specific, the content included learning the theory and practice of management and business organizations that exist in international and intercultural conditions. The vital part of the course was about the implications of the abovementioned knowledge to try the roles of future managers. That was organized by having group exercises in multicultural teams.
My Learning and My Role as a Future Manager
To address my knowledge that correlates with my role as a future manager, it is essential to understand what steps a manager in the global environment should take. To succeed in international management, leaders should have several vital soft skills. According to Rifkin (2006), to acquire them, the following necessary actions should be taken: understanding challenges that managers can face working internationally, learning cultural differences of countries where they plan to do business, having the required tools and support to succeed in leading an international team. In my personal view, the current course provided me with a deep knowledge of challenges that global managers face working across borders. Moreover, in class, we focused mainly on cultural differences and various business and management styles associated with them. After acquiring these skills, we were offered to implement them in group work. In conclusion, I think that the learning I gained while the course will contribute to my role as a future manager operating in the global environment.
My Experience and the Theoretical Knowledge
In the current part of the reflection, I will refer to my in-class experience in working in groups and will link it to theoretical knowledge. Working in groups had demonstrated the diversity and complexity of intercultural communication. At first, I had not expected that I could face any difficulties in managing the learning process or in tackling issues in a group. However, I ran into many barriers connected to cultural diversities, as my peers from different countries did not see the problems and possible solutions the way I did. So, we spent a vast amount of time understanding each other, finding compromises and solutions. This experience had demonstrated how vital the part of the International Management field is called “Intercultural Communication”. For instance, studying cultural differences (power distance; femininity vs. masculinity; collectivism vs. individualism, and other points) made me aware of the reasons for different behavior and, thus, made me understand how to approach it (Baldwin et al., 2014). Speaking of theory examples, I should mention another crucial theoretical topic that helped me to work in a multicultural group: it is dealing with barriers to intercultural communication. Numerous strategies I studied had improved my abilities to find common ground with my peers.
My Experience and the Learning Outcomes
At first, I was slightly skeptical about the group work we needed to accomplish to pass the course successfully. I had these kinds of thoughts: “I can do it alone, and it will be much faster”, or “I will receive a better grade working alone”, or “I don’t understand the purpose, as we just simulate a real-life scenario”. After completing the group work, I understood how precious the experience was for me, as I was able to try on the role of a manager working in an international context (in the current situation with international students). Consequently, I realized that I want to continue learning the discipline and to strive for a career in international management. I felt my deep passion for understanding and learning about different cultures and how these cultures shape the business. Moreover, and most importantly, I understood my willingness to take the initiative and lead people. In my view, this is essential to work in a management field.
Areas for personal development
Throughout the course, I came across several details in terms of my personality and professional knowledge on which I should work. Most importantly, I need to deepen my learning of the history and culture of different nations. The lack of expertise in this field does not allow me to apply my management skills fully. Besides, I realized that I need more practice, meaning to take part in another group works or to start an internship in an international organization.
In conclusion, it should be mentioned again that the “Managing in the Global Environment” course was essential for my theoretical knowledge and practical experience. During the course, I realized what competencies I need to acquire to succeed as an effective international manager, how I can connect my expertise and real-life experience, and what I can do to continue my personal development within the international management field.
Baldwin et al. Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life. John Wiley & Sons, 2014.
Rifkin, Glenn. “The Soft Skills of Global Managers”. HBR, 2006. Web.