I have been curious about how you come to work in the intercultural field and have continued my conversations with people who are doing it. One thing I realise now after talking to several people is that there are many ways into an intercultural career.
Here for example is Dawn who was based in Ethiopia and formed Broads Abroad, a support group for expatriate women, based on the conversations that used to happen after the Zumba lessons she started giving.
And Franklin Yartey, a professor of intercultural communication at Dubuque University, Iowa, worked as PR manager of a dance school in his native Ghana before ending up in the US to continue his education.
And once you are doing it, it seems that intercultural work is its own reward as Joe Kearns describes!
So this show is the second in our series on how to get into the Intercultural field. Thanks to everyone who agreed to participate.
Another thing I noticed about today’s contributors is that they all had a connection with Africa, two with Ethiopia and one with Ghana. Listen to find out which is which.
We start with Dawn Bryan who was in Ethiopia for 25 years, having returned to the States only recently. Compared to the expatriate women who tended to stay in Ethiopia 2 to 3 years before moving on with their husband’s next assignment, you could say that Dawn was absolutely embedded.
By the way if you have a comment about the show, an idea for a future show or want to share your intercultural story then leave us a comment. You can also catch us on our Facebook page where we share stories of intercultural interest several times a week.
absolutely eyes down
The next person I talked to is Franklin Yartey from Ghana who teaches intercultural communication at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Over the last few years I have Skyped a few times into Franklin’s class to talk about different intercultural topics but this time I thought, this was an opportunity to find out about the man behind the teacher. And you’ll understand why I call this segment absolutely eyes down when I asked him about those things which his students find different about Ghanaian culture.
I think people tend to think of intercultural professionals as coming from the arts or social sciences but Joe Kearns is an example of someone who noticed intercultural differences in a technical background. First as an engineer in Ethiopia and later as a computer specialist in several companies both in Ireland and the US. So how do you go from computer manager to intercultural work? Let’s go absolutely SIETAR, the organisation which Joe Kearns credits with raising his understanding of intercultural competence.
So one of the most important building blocks for an intercultural career is to get some experience under your belt.
In fact our conversations were much longer and you may hear more from these wonderful guests in later shows. Thank you all who joined us for today’s show. And if you liked our show, please like us on Facebook, too.
By the way, did you know that we are also on iTunes? You can subscribe to us there for free and give us a rating and a comment. We would appreciate that!
Our next show will be coming to you from Laurent Borgmann in Germany on 6 July
Until then – stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox