Farrington's career spans three decades across three continents with stints in Japan, Singapore, Australia and the U.K. But he spent his first year after OSU travelling around Asia, with the purpose of considering what he wanted to do before committing to graduate studies. Footnote, Farrington committed to his master's degree from the London School of Economics in 2014!
"This group obviously had just spent some time thinking about the big career questions in their life, and the challenges of their summer experience," he added. "Nothing prepares you for the real thing, so best to hit the road and experience the country first-hand before concluding opinions otherwise formed only in the classroom or in books."
Jennifer Ward, '95, who’s career post OSU has taken her global, welcomed the group to her company’s headquarters. She’s on the Board of Directors and runs Talent, Culture and Communications for Halma.
Halma, one of the UK’s largest listed companies, is a manufacturer and developer of scientific instruments and environmental sensor technology for safety and health monitoring. Their corporation is headquartered in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, a market town and civil parish 27 miles northwest of London that delivers the perfect mix of past and present. The old town dates back to the 11th century, while Amersham-on-the-Hill developed rapidly as part of the London commuter belt with first a rail station and then the London Underground. Its reputation as a scientific research hub dates back to WWII, and the pub where the group lunched dates back to the 16th century.
Ward has met with the business students for the past several years to talk about living and working overseas, sharing her story about her five different employers and three trans-Atlantic moves. She introduced the group to the Halma Future Leaders Program, an accelerated leadership development opportunity for undergraduate and PhD students to work in Halma locations around the globe and in different functional areas, including sales and marketing, operations, or product development.
“The group were very engaged in their discussions with the Halma Future Leaders and asked great questions,” Ward said. “It’s clear that they are interested in what life might be like outside of Corvallis, which is fantastic as the world of work is increasingly global.”
Austin Regimbal, while visiting Halma, was struck not just by the interconnectedness of businesses in the world, but also how people cooperate to keep these businesses running. At Halma, he enjoyed the Skype-based meet-and-greet with employees from many different parts of the world including China, Singapore, Brazil, and Switzerland. “Companies operate across different time zones throughout the world, but they learn how to make that work," he said.
Back in the heart of London, a visit to Experian’s global headquarters is another cornerstone of the trip. Each year the group is welcomed by Experian Chairman Don Robert, ’82, and given insights into the organizational culture of the financial information giant, Mr. Robert’s personal and professional journey from Oregon to London, and how Experian manages its global workforce.
Boris Huard, managing director of Experian decision analytics, presented the product lifecycle of their data management business, a discussion illustrating the needs of the global consumer financial data market and how Experian responds.
Huard also stressed the importance of interpersonal skills when dealing with people, be it colleagues or customers. “The ability to engage and communicate with diverse groups is mandatory to lead and grow business,” Huard said. “To learn this while in an international context, appreciating firsthand a different culture and expectations is all the more rewarding.”
Above all, the students learn that they, too, if they choose, can make the move from Oregon to London – or anywhere else on the globe.
“This group was very focused on customer needs, and overall, it was pleasing to see them so confident and relaxed, and engaging in the conversation in a meaningful way,” Huard said. “These are definitely the type of individual we would welcome in Experian, and if any are interested in discussing further, you know where we are.”
All this – networking, career opportunities, global experience, culture, adventure – in three weeks.
“Leading this program is the most intrinsically satisfying aspect of my job,” Klotz said. “It’s so much fun to see the students transform from jet-lagged foreigners who are intimidated by their first tube ride to full-fledged Londoners who are ready to take on the world, in a few brief weeks. Having a global career seems out of reach to many of the students when they apply for this program, but by the time it’s over, they have gained the confidence and the skills to thrive in cross-cultural settings, whether at home or abroad. It’s really rewarding to play a small role in that personal and professional growth.”
Professor Klotz is always looking to connect with College of Business alums in the London area, so if you are one or you know one, feel free to contact him on LinkedIn or at Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org