“My name is Dr. Holly Emert — but since we're in the U.S., what do you think I’ll say you can call me?” This was just one of the many questions that Dr. Emert posed to a group of GWSB international students during an interactive workshop on April 4 called Thriving in the U.S. - Skills to Work Effectively with Americans. The goal of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for GWSB’s international graduate students to reflect upon their own personal experiences in the U.S. and explore how to optimize their interactions at work and school. During introductions, participating students from China, Iran, and Portugal shared that they attended the session because they hoped that it would help them navigate future interactions with Americans in professional settings, specifically in school, upcoming internships and jobs.
Over the course of the two-hour session, Dr. Emert incorporated engaging activities and honest discussion to help the students identify and understand the best communication practices to build trust and credibility with Americans. The participants reflected on their own experiences in dealing with American communication practices ranging from introductions and expectations to acknowledging mistakes and discussing accomplishments. Takeaways from the workshop were skills for the students to include in their “cultural toolbox” as well as a guide to developing an action plan for professional success.