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  • Posted by: Michael Mitchell on Tuesday, July 8 2014 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

    Michael Mitchell joined Interbrand’s Verbal Identity team in New York as a Creative Writer 4 years ago. His daily work with the Verbal team included a blend of copywriting, strategic messaging, tagline development, name generation, and more. Upon learning that he could take these skills and apply them internationally, he joined our global mobility program. Below, Michael answers a few questions about the program and his adopted city, Singapore.

    What initially led you to want to transfer to Singapore? What were you hoping to take away from the experience? 

    I wanted international business experience and cultural immersion. Interbrand has 30+ offices, so it seemed there would be plenty of opportunity to work abroad. As an English-speaking Verbal Identity consultant, I knew I would have to transfer to a market that worked primarily in my native language. In that regard, the Singapore office was an option. I'd already met two members of the Singapore team while at Interbrand Academy in Korea, so it felt perfect.  

     IB Singapore 

    Has anything been surprising to you about your new city?

    Singapore is on the equator, and it’s very hot—every day. So, the joke is that Singapore has the world’s best air conditioning, and it’s true! Every building you step into is ice cold. It’s impressive, and slightly scary.   

    What advice would you give to others who are interested in global mobility? 

    Do it. As I got on the Singapore Airlines flight leaving New York, I was unsure, intimtidated and frightened—and that’s how I knew I’d made the right decision. The business opportunity and cultural immersion has allowed me to grow, learn, and push myself in ways I never thought possible. Anyone who takes advantage of global mobility opportunities at Interbrand is bound to have an incredible, life-changing experience.  

    Singapore streets

    What do you like best about your new city? 

    Singapore is a sparkling melting pot. It’s modern and lush, with a wonderfully diverse population. And with all that human diversity comes an amazing variety of food—this is a playground for foodies!   

    What specific projects have you been able to work on? 

    The Singapore office services the entire Southeast Asia region. As a result, I’ve been able to do work for clients from Thailand, Indonesia, Brunnei, and Malaysia, as well as for Northern Asia brands from Japan, South Korea, and China. I was fortunate to be part projects in Sydney, Australia as well. The work has ranged from brand voice and messaging to tagline development and naming work. I also published a Verbal Identity article in a regional marketing magazine!   

    Singapore city view

    What is most valuable idea you have discovered thus far? 

    We’re all a lot more similar than we are different. I believe in market analysis, audience segmentation, and big data—but being immersed here has made me realize that, while cultures differ, people are people at the end of the day. The most successful brands know that. Brands that can tap into universal human themes and sentiment can thrive globally.   

    Singapore team     

    Michael Mitchell is a Creative Writer and Verbal Identity consultant working at Interbrand’s Singapore office. 

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  • Posted by: Sarah Kornblum on Monday, May 5 2014 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

    Some mornings I wake up and think I am still dreaming.

    I look around my room and remember that I am in my London flat, not my New York apartment.

    What am I doing here?

    Though New York is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most exciting cities, I jumped at the opportunity to transfer to Interbrand’s London office

    Interbrand's London office

    from our NYC headquarters.

    Interbrand's New York office

    Ever since I studied abroad in London during college, I had always wanted to come back and live here again. I love English culture: Sunday roasts and afternoon tea, the cozy pubs, the tube, the tiny mews streets (where rows of stables had been built to accommodate horse-drawn carriages in the 17th and 18th centuries).

    A double decker bus on a London street

    Since arriving, I have learned to use a Bialetti to make my coffee; I can successfully manage climbing and descending the staircase on a swaying double decker bus; I know that there is a secret, quicker way to transfer between the Piccadilly and Northern lines at King’s Cross, and I have figured out the correct time to use the word “pissed” (i.e., drunk, not angry).

    In my role at Interbrand, I work with members of our Human Resources team from all over our network. With my central placement in London, I can have a 9am call with our Shanghai team, a mid-morning meeting here in London, and a late afternoon call with New York or our Midwest offices. I love the global aspect of my work and the fact that the programmes I manage touch all of our employees. But mostly, I love coming to work because of our team. My co-workers come from all over the world, speak numerous languages, have great senses of humour, and are some of the most brilliant minds I’ve ever encountered. Every day is different and, as the branding world continues to evolve, our work continues to change as well, which always keeps things fresh and interesting.

    Living and working abroad is not always easy, but I would recommend it for anyone who has the opportunity. Not only do you learn a lot about yourself very quickly, but you also become generally more adaptable, able to think “outside the box”, and learn to collaborate with others who come from a culture and  background that is different—sometimes very different—from your own. It’s a tremendous way to grow, both personally and professionally.

    Fortunately, today’s professionals are getting to experience more of the world as globalisation continues to push organisations across time zones and change the way we work. Having the opportunity to live abroad is priceless and learning about markets outside one’s home country is incredibly valuable. I am truly thankful to be working for a company that encourages global mobility, and that I get to oversee this programme—we average 19 office transfers a year!

    Fun times at Interbrand's Sydney office

    Our transferees, when asked about their experiences abroad, have reported so many positive things. Nearly everyone says they’ve benefitted from being pushed outside their comfort zones and having the opportunity to meet new people, all of which has fostered personal growth, and also strengthened the ties among our offices. The relationships that we form abroad, and the skills that we learn, will be invaluable in our careers.

    Living and working abroad 

    Are you interested in a life-changing role at a world-changing company? Take a look at the open roles around our network and let us know if you’d like to join us.

    Sarah Kornblum is a Global Human Resource Manager at Interbrand. 

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