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International business/marketing--Germany

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I would like to pursue a career in international business/marketing. I understand that a second language is a major factor when competing for jobs and Im looking at learning German. Im curious if there are any members here that have a job in a field similar to what im interested in and if german would be a good language to learn?

thanks
post #2 of 13
If you want to limit yourself to Europe, German isn't a bad choice. Actually, it might be the best choice given the country's economic stature within the EU and elsewhere. However, since you're learning it relatively late in life, you might not be able to become proficient enough at the language to make your skills marketable, unless you completely dedicate yourself to it. Try checking out some of the Asian languages too, but I don't really have that much experience in this area so I can't comment much beyond what I've already mentioned.
post #3 of 13
what, exactly, are you looking to do in "international business/marketing"?

the short answer is - german isn't a bad language to learn for business, altought it was better 20 years ago when it was more of a lingua franca in central europe. now that is less the case.

what is your background? what you need is, essentially:

1. being good enough at a skill (sales, negotiating, presenting, etc) that it pays for a company to pay to move you around instead of a using a local)

2. being good at communicating with international business people. frankly, the languge is a minor part of it, most people who do business internationally speak english. what is more important is being able to interface with people of different cultures, that is 1000 times rarer and harder than people think.

3. being able to handle the day to day logistics of getting around - that actually requires the language skills, more than the actual business. you get to train station in some little city in the czech republic at 7 am and need to find somebody who understands you,





I've been in international sales for over 20 years, btw
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
to be honest Im not totally sure exactly what I would like to do. Im currently a junior in college and I will be looking at marketing internships next summer. I would like to live abroad after college and work in a field related to marketing that will help me gain actual experience and I hope this will also show me the different job options that are available. i would like to have a steady life so im wondering if international business jobs require constant moving or is it a job that requires business trips?

I appreciate your help
thanks
post #5 of 13
just curious, where do you live?
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGoodLife View Post
to be honest Im not totally sure exactly what I would like to do. Im currently a junior in college and I will be looking at marketing internships next summer. I would like to live abroad after college and work in a field related to marketing that will help me gain actual experience and I hope this will also show me the different job options that are available. i would like to have a steady life so im wondering if international business jobs require constant moving or is it a job that requires business trips?

I appreciate your help
thanks

what I would do would be

1. study what you can about sales
2. study as many different languages as you can, at a basic level
3. learn a little about shipments and international payments (the commerce department has courses, and several other organizations do, too)
4. see if you can get a job selling something domestically, and develop some skills with it, then try to get transfered to an international position, leverage that to more.


this is basically for sales - frankly, for marketing it is harder, because I think that marketing positions are usually more likely to be filled by people who speak the local language.


I spent about 15 years living in different locations, and then stayed living in one place and travel about 140 days a year. those are basically the two options.
post #7 of 13
I thought of doing something similar because I speak German at home, and I think it's a great language to learn. I only started to really learn it when I was a Freshman in High School, because that's when a girlfriend spoke it and taught me it, but I remembered that my parents speak German too. So I started to talk to them in exclusively German and by the end of my Junior year I was speaking it about as well as English.

It's great to learn because Germany has a very strong economic influence in Europe and if you speak both English and German well, Dutch is extremely easy to understand and learn. I'm not fluent in Dutch, but half the time I can just say the German word for what I want to say and change the suffix/prefix and it's generally very close to the Dutch. So if you wanted to pick up Dutch to further improve your resume, it'd be pretty easy to do so.

I'm only a senior in High School now but I'll probably be going to college in Utrecht or Germany, so it'll help a lot with living in Europe. Everyone is so much more helpful if you can speak their language. Since you said you'd like to live abroad it's probably a good idea to pick it up(though most Germans speak English, it can't hurt!)
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I live in a town outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Globetrotter-thank you for the information it was extremely helpful.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Demars View Post
I thought of doing something similar because I speak German at home, and I think it's a great language to learn. I only started to really learn it when I was a Freshman in High School, because that's when a girlfriend spoke it and taught me it, but I remembered that my parents speak German too. So I started to talk to them in exclusively German and by the end of my Junior year I was speaking it about as well as English.

This one day, when I was 23, I remembered that my parents speak German and then I started speaking to them in German und ploetzlich konnte ich ja fehlerfreies Deutsch! Das fand ich so toll...
post #11 of 13
Ja, ja, ja, ja, Sprichst du Deutsch? Just kidding. I studied German for 4 semesters and just passed the ACTFL proficiency in May. It isn't a difficult language to learn. Just as with most languages, the toughest part is memorizing the vocabulary. Funny you wrote this post. My goal is to work client-side marketing for porsche or a large German/Swiss watchmaker. They offer tons of international internships in Germany, especially at Porsche, but you're probably SOL if you don't have any experience speaking the language. I talked to a Porsche hiring rep from germany (very cool, spoke great english). However, they require marketing/sales interns to have a STRONG grasp on the language. As soon as she mentioned negotiating in German I knew I was in a bit over my head. I still have my crosshairs set on Porsche North America, but have know clue where to find info on them. Nontheless, you could always find an American company that deals with a ton of smaller international companies; Cargil comes to mind. They have employees who live all over the globe. --Just checked out the other posts. Sounds like they already answered your questions pretty well.
post #12 of 13
Not trying to talk you out of learning German, but unless you want to work and live over here, or want to sell stuff to really small companies/individuals in Germany, you are fine with English.

Most people in business (at least in mid-size and larger companies) can speak more or less fluently English.
post #13 of 13
International business marketing is easier and faster if started with a solid international internet marketing strategy. It is a very good opportunity to increase sales, revenues and profits. With great communication skills and creating the right information of products in the international front with strategies is a good idea to increase your business growth.
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