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Careers in International Communications

For individuals who enjoy traveling, foreign cultures, studying languages and working in a challenging, complex environment, the field of international communications holds a variety of career options. Whether your focus is writing, uniting cultures, integrating diverse environments or reporting on current events, working internationally can be a personally and professionally rewarding experience. Because of the growth of multinational cultures, and the desire for companies to expand their brands across the world, the job outlook for international communications professionals will continue to grow in the future.

Foreign Service

For individuals with a background in international communications who are passionate about making a difference in the world while representing the United States, working as a Foreign Service Officer is a tremendous opportunity. As a foreign service officer, you'll experience other cultures firsthand and have the opportunity to work in one of more than 265 consulates, embassies or other diplomatic posts across the world. There are five career tracks, including political, public diplomacy, consular, economic and management. Each of these tracks requires a high level of communications expertise. To become a foreign services officer, you will need to take the Foreign Service Officer Test (FSOT) as well as pass numerous assessments. Detailed information regarding the selection process can be found on the U.S. Department of State website (careers.state.gov).

Translating/Interpreting

If you are multilingual, a career as a translator or interpreter is a solid option for an individual with a background in international communications. Working as a translator or interpreter, either for a company or for the government, requires you to understand not only the language but also the culture of the country in which you work. Translating and localizing corporate communications, for example, can have devastating consequences if you are unaware of local slang. For instance, when Pepsi brought its slogan "Come Alive with Pepsi" to Japan, the translation "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave" was not exactly what the public wanted. Working as a translator requires the skill to creatively describe ideas that are U.S.-centric.

Corporate Communications

Many large companies have offices all over the world and require skilled communications professionals to work in their marketing and human resources departments. If you have a background in international communications but want to work in a traditional communications role, this career option allows you to use the tactical skills you've learned as a communicator, such as drafting employee communications or writing press releases, in an unfamiliar environment abroad.

Journalism

If you enjoy the freedom of writing and reporting but want to explore the world, working as a journalist can be an excellent way to put your international communications experience to use. Whether you choose to live abroad and write for a U.S. publication or to write locally for a foreign publication, the industry of journalism is always seeking fresh talent with a unique perspective on the stories and events that shape our world.



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