Most Important Skills to Help You Thrive in International Business

As communications become increasingly globalized, doing business internationally is no longer just a niche career path – it’s fundamental if you are interested in entering the business, finance, economic or political sectors.

John Cabot University knows this very well, because as an American university in Italy, we welcome many study abroad students to our picturesque campus each year and we pride ourselves on the diverse international nature of our student body. At JCU we have a good perspective on what kind of skills it takes to succeed. So here is a list of the absolutely essential skills you should possess if you’re thinking about a career in international business.

Communication Skills

While it’s no secret that to succeed in any career you must be good at communicating with others, in international business it’s absolutely paramount. Because you may be dealing with people from a variety of languages and cultures on a daily basis, you not only need to know how to express yourself in a clear and concise manner in English, but it helps to brush up on your foreign language skills as well. That’s where studying abroad comes in handy, as you’ll get to meet students from all over the globe with many opportunities to learn about their cultures and the finer points of their language. It’s a great leg up on the competition. Differentiating and tailoring strategic implementation according to unique cultural and local market characteristics is an important component of successful international business.


International business can mean coordinating between different markets and time zones at any given moment, and things can get hectic pretty fast. Even if you’re a fairly organized person to begin with, charts, calendars, and day planners can be helpful to help you compartmentalize . If you miss a deadline because you thought it was 3pm their time and not 6pm, you’ll not only lose business, but people will lose faith in you. An exceptional ability to organize and plan is integral to a successful career in international business.


While the worldwide web makes international communication much easier, travel is also frequently a part of the job. In some cases, this may mean abiding by customs you’re not familiar with, including trying the local cuisine. Open-mindedness is definitely your friend in international business. People will not only appreciate the effort you make to integrate into the culture, but you’ll actually have a great time with the new experiences and delicious food if you just let yourself enjoy it.

As one of our many international students in Italy, there are numerous opportunities for launching your career in international commerce, including internships, career fairs and our International Communications Institute. Now is the perfect time to develop these skills and connections!

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