5 things to consider for successful international rotations

Jun 6, 2023 | Development, Home Latest News, How-to

Helping graduates immerse themselves in local cultures is key to successful international rotations, explains Claire Kennady from IMI’s Global Graduate Programme.

It’s common that people who work internationally build their resilience and adaptability skills. They also gain a deep insight into different cultures and ways of doing business, not to mention speed up growth of their professional network.

I have been managing the IMI Global Graduate Programme for seven years and a core part of our graduates’ development has been international exposure and rotations.
I’ve certainly learned a lot in that time.

Here I share some of my experience to help you make international rotations successful for both your graduates and your business.

1. Shout about the benefits

International rotations can provide many unexpected challenges. It’s important to emphasise flexibility and adaptability as key skills graduates will develop during their rotation.

Encouraging a growth mindset can help graduates approach these challenges as opportunities for learning and development.

The opportunity for cultural immersion is a life experience that not everyone gets. Encourage opportunities for employees to immerse themselves into local cultures to help them feel more comfortable and connected to their new environment.

Examples include, language classes, community events or even recommendations for the best local café or restaurant.

2. Preparation!

Provide a comprehensive briefing before departing. Put graduates in touch with their new line manager and local HR contact in advance of them arriving.

Also provide a briefing on local cultural, safety or security issues to be aware of, and the local policies and procedures.

3. Practical considerations.

Getting all the administration in place can really help with any anxiety about moving to a new country.

Visa applications need to be completed well in advance and tax, social security and medical insurance can all vary between countries. Ensuring all these things are taken care of mean the rotation can go smoothly and focus on the development experience.

There are external firms that can help with this if you don’t have the internal expertise.

4. Support system

It’s important to have someone on-the-ground who can give guidance on the best areas to look for short-term rental accommodation, what to expect from a landlord, how to get around using public transport and a friendly face in their first few days.

Additionally, having regular communication back to their home location can help graduates continue to feel connected and supported. This could be through either a programme coordinator, supervisor or mentor.

5. Create a community

The more graduates that go on international rotations, the greater opportunity there is to build a network.

Sometimes, the best people to seek advice on how to move country and how to get the most out of a placement are peers.

Encourage graduates to share their knowledge and experience with each other and create a peer network. At IMI we have a Graduates network on our Workplace platform.

While these tips might seem simple, it’s so important to get the support in place right from the very start. Allowing your employees to immerse themselves in other cultures, will allow them to grow alongside your business.

IMI still retains 420 graduates recruited since 2002, many of whom have gone on to forge dynamic and rewarding engineering and leadership careers within IMI’s global network.

You may also be interested in…
How Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc has changed its Global Graduate Programme for 2023

A global talent pipeline is key to competing in local markets

How Covid has changed graduate career preparation and recruitment in U.S.

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