About Working World

The Authors

Sherry L. Mueller is adjunct professor at the School of International Service, American University. She had her first international experience as a student on an Experiment in International Living program in Germany. More»

Mark Overmann is Deputy Director of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange. He made his first trip abroad during college to study in France. More»

Working World

A book (in its second edition) and a blog, Working World is a resource for making sound career choices. It examines issues, ideas, and resources related to careers in international affairs and is particularly valuable for those interested in exploring a career in international education, exchange, and development.

As an ever-growing number of professionals — including recent college graduates, those looking to make a mid-career change, and retired professionals searching for an encore career — look to be involved in work with an international focus and work abroad, Working World provides a needed forum for exploring the issues that surround a career in international relations.

Sherry Mueller, a professor of international affairs and former head of a nonprofit organization with an international focus, and Mark Overmann, a rising international affairs professional, offer insight on launching a career, not just landing a job. We represent contrasting personalities and levels of experience, and engage in an intergenerational dialogue designed to highlight alternative approaches to the same destination: making a difference in the world.

Mixing anecdotes and advice, we present our individual perspectives on career development, including such topics as identifying your cause, the art of networking, the value of mentors, and careers as “continuous journeys.” We push international job seekers to challenge assumptions about what it means to pursue a career in international relations and to recognize that the path to career success is rarely straight.

To help the international job seeker chart the best course, Working World the book acts as an engaging guide for cause-oriented people dedicated to begin or enhance careers in the now burgeoning fields of international affairs. We expand our original dialogue from the first edition — between a career veteran and a young professional — to address issues that recognize the meteoric rise of social media and dramatic geopolitical events. We explore how the idea of an international career has shifted: nearly every industry has taken  on more and more international dimensions, while international skills —linguistic ability, intercultural management, and sensitivity — have become ever more highly prized by potential employers.

The second edition of Working World offers ten new and four significantly updated profiles as well as new and expanded concepts that include work-life balance, the importance of informational interviews, moving on, and key building blocks for international careers.

Like the award-winning first edition, Working World is a rare and valuable resource to students and graduates interested in careers in international affairs, mid-career professionals who want to make a career change or shift, as well as guidance counselors and career center specialists at universities.

Working World the blog follows a similar format, discussing topics important to career development and highlighting job search resources and the work of professionals in the fields. The blog also engages the fields of international education, exchange, and development on a broad level, examining timely and relevant issues, articles, and other blog posts. To build a successful career in any field, it is essential to be fully immersed, and Working World immerses itself in the international.

Welcome to the Working World.