On November 6, we welcomed Chris Sevcik, the Director of International Trade at the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Sevcik grew up with many international friends and developed a strong interest in different cultures. Before working at the World Trade Center, Mr. Sevcik actually started an art gallery, the very first business he ever started. Here is some more information on the World Trade Center and what it does, as well as some advice on figuring out where to go with your future career.
Low-Down on the World Trade Center:
- It is a non-profit trade center that helps businesses grow around the world.
- They provide 1:1 counseling with member companies.
- New York is the one most people think about, but there are 326 locations located around the world!
- The WTC has educational seminars & conferences, international trade counseling, CEO’s China Club (to better understand the market in China), trade Missions and shows.
- One of their jobs is to help Philadelphia hospitals connect to different countries. Patients from South America, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries come to receive life saving treatments in Philadelphia.
Trying to Figure Out Your Future
- What do you like to do? If you’re into gaming, there are plenty of international opportunities! Blizzard is a gaming company working to expand e-sports into a worldwide event.
- What country do I find most interesting? Whether you’re captivated by Spain or in love with Japan, better knowing the area of the world you want to be in will open up new ideas.
- What industry do I find most interesting? There are so many different industries: fashion, computer science, airports, hospitality. More than ever before! If you know this, you can see how the industry operates in different areas of the world and how you can participate.
- Where do you want to be in 5 years? It’s important to start thinking about whether you want to go into the corporate world, public sector, or still in school pursuing a higher degree. It will outline the path to follow towards your career.
- Once those four questions are answered, you’ve got to dig deeper. “What do I need to do this year to accomplish my goal? How do I find international universities where I can study? What language(s) do I need to learn?” Take a closer look at the details and how you can start growing your strengths now.
More Than Just “Work”
- Mr. Sevcik pointed out that there are many opportunities beyond just finding a job abroad. But what else is there?
- The Peace Corps. STORY TIME: Mr. Sevcik’s father taught science at a school in another country as part of the Peace Corps. When they returned 25 years later to visit the school, a man approached Mr. Sevcik’s parents. That man was a student Mr. Sevcik’s father taught 25 years ago. That man is now the principal of that school.
- Teach English in Another Country. There are programs all over the world looking for students and graduates to teach kids and adults English. A simple “teaching English in another country” Google search will reveal all those programs!
- Volunteer. Mr. Sevcik volunteered in multiple countries. One program was the Amigos de las Americas, where he lived with a host family in the Dominican Republic. He also volunteered with HandsOn Shanghai.
- Studying Abroad. You’ll get to live in the country itself and truly live the culture! If you let yourself of course. Mr. Sevcik warns against isolating yourself while abroad. Branch out and talk to people. Befriending people in another country is where you will learn.
It’s important for you as a company AND as an individual to be able to adapt. No matter where you go or what you do, you don’t really know what’s gonna happen. Adaptation is key.
- Chris Sevcik