Living Abroad

Hi Everyone,

Looking for perspective from a hiring manager or somebody that has taken a similar path to what I'm considering.

I finished my undergraduate degree in Spring 2020. Initially my plan had been to go and teach abroad for a year before pursuing my MSRE, but COVID happened. As a result I'm finishing up my MSRE this spring and am still very interested in going to teach in Europe for a year when it's over. I was hoping people may have thoughts on how this may affect my job prospects in the future. Will the gap on my resume be a killer? If relevant I had an internship this summer and will for the remainder of the school year.

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Comments (5)

Sep 8, 2021 - 8:48am
Balance.of.Payments, what's your opinion? Comment below:

So I took a grad role that ended up being a total non fit, ended up quitting 9 months in and going travelling across the Middle East and Africa for about six straight months. Most grad programs are open to people who finished college within the last couple of years (at least in my country) so it wasn't a big deal for me to come back and re-recruit. Nobody brought it up in interviews except to ask about my travels. 

Based on my experience I'd hesitantly say go for it. 

I say hesitantly for a few reasons. 

A) You already have a masters, which was going to be my fallback if recruitment didn't work out;

B) I have no idea about your GPA, school, or how good your internships are. These will all impact how easy it'll be for you when you come back. 

One thing I would say to make this a definite yes would be to learn a language while you're away. And I mean seriously learn it, with daily study, frequent lessons, usage wherever possible. One of my friends went to Spain for just over a year and came back pretty much fluent. Picking up a skill like that would definitely make the resume gap worthwhile. 

Sep 8, 2021 - 9:03am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

One aspect before I post my response: I have no clue about RE. (only IB, FO, PE) and I don't know anything about being a teacher abroad.
I have had, however, several years abroad before settling into a more permanent career.

Maybe there are other options for this scenario (and that is what I have done in my career):
- Try to find a role in a country that you like which matches your degrees and your future goals. Many countries in Europe are multilingual (think Switzerland, Benelux, Liechtenstein, ..) and you could maybe find something that works great both in your career and for your personal goals.
- If teaching is important to you, you'd possibly find a TA role in a college. Given your Masters you may qualify without doing a PhD. This route is certainly more difficult than just finding any teaching job or finding a job in RE because you'd only teach in English. But there are English language courses in Europe, especially in the international locations.

Sep 8, 2021 - 5:48pm
pkoz, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the insight. Am I correct in understanding you think that this would be an overall negative for my recruiting prospects then?

It's not so much the teaching for me. My family is originally from a non multilingual country, and all those born in the U.S have spent an extended period of time living there. It was always something I figured I'd do too, but COVID killed my plans.

My undergraduate is thoroughly unremarkable, MSRE is from a target and I've kept a good GPA so far.

Sep 9, 2021 - 3:14am
kodi, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Living abroad and being fluent in multiple languages is never a negative aspect, but you can use that year abroad better than teaching, IMO. There is nothing wrong with being a teacher, of course, but since you are highly qualified and intelligent - why not try finding the right job in the right country?

This isn't going to be easy but with enough tenacity and luck you can find that job. Covid isn't helping you buy may be able to fly to a green destination country and then move after quarantine.

Network and see how far you can get. Or look at US companies with placements abroad, the big ones like CBRE, etc

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Sep 9, 2021 - 1:45pm
redever, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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