There are many advantages to being part of a global agency network – at the top of my personal list is the opportunity to build connections with colleagues from all over the world.
While PR work for clients may include traveling internationally for specific projects, those trips often have a singular purpose and don’t allow for as much growth and exchange of ideas with colleagues as we would like. Recognizing this, Ketchum created the Global Scholar Program – a work travel program designed specifically to foster the exchange of knowledge, best practices and experiences.
The application process is competitive in the best possible way. I applied (and was selected) – requesting Russia as my host country. I visited Russia for the first time as part of my work during the Olympic Games in Sochi, and was excited to explore additional facets of PR in the market.
On my first day at Ketchum Maslov in Moscow, I had the unique opportunity to attend a brainstorm session with a prominent client. Luckily, the meeting was conducted in English as I wasn’t the only non-Russian speaker present. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to discover the nuances between German and Russian meetings. As it turns out, there weren’t as many as I was expecting. I met the same type of personalities and we developed the same level of fantastic team insights – even the commentary from the client seemed similar. The comfort level established at this meeting made me feel immediately at home and set the tone for the rest of my trip.
I soon found myself completely immersed in the corporate culture, speaking to as many different teams as possible. Since so many of the clients differed from those I work on in Germany at Brandzeichen, I was able to gain insights far beyond my desk and view a workplace in action through a truly unique lens. I especially enjoyed the time spent with the sports marketing group – my host team.
As my trip came to a close, it was important for me to give something back to the great group in Moscow, so I decided to organize and conduct a Business Writing seminar that we established and regularly conduct at Brandzeichen. Once more, the experience proved that the exchange of ideas and methodologies fostered by the Global Scholar Program have immeasurable benefits for both the individual … and Ketchum.
The Global Scholar program taught me a few things: that although we may be separated by thousands of miles, most best business practices (and attributes of successful people) are consistent across the globe (click to tweet), that bonds made when traveling are unbreakable, and that the sharing of knowledge and ideas across a global network are a win-win for both the individual and the organization (click to tweet).