What Can Business Professionals Tell Us about Language Studies?

My camera-shy husband, Ben Barbieri, and me on a recent drive to Chicago.
by Ann Abbott

My personal and professional lives tend to blend. On Facebook I post pictures of my kids alongside links to resources for colleagues. While I wait for my boys at Sylvan, I answer work emails. I would even go so far to say that my work provides some of the most important sources of my personal satisfaction.

But this is a first: I am going to interview my husband for an LSP webinar. As an entrepreneur with a business that has 50% international sales, Beniamino has given me insights into business and professionalism that I then bring into my teaching. Now is my chance to bring those same insights to my LSP colleagues. And if any students want to listen in and ask questions--in English, Italian or Spanish--they are welcome!

Questions I will pose to Beniamino for the NOBLE Webinar.
  • What is your business? Because it can be very technical, can you explain it as if you were talking to your mother?
  • I try to explain to my entrepreneurship students that business is about solving clients' pain. What is your clients' pain and how do you solve it?
  • Who are you? Tell us about yourself. 
  • Tell us about the role of languages in your business, with clients and with your employees.
  • How do you know whether or not one of your employees has transcultural competence? How do you think you would spot that on a resume, cover letter or interview?
  • Please give us an example of a time that: 
    • languages caused a problem for ISS.
    • a multilingual person solved a problem for ISS.
    • cultural misunderstanding caused a problem for ISS.
    • someone's cultural know-how solved a problem for ISS.
  • Many college students imagine themselves working in huge companies in the downtown area of a big city. What do you wish young people knew about working in a small company? About living in a small city?
Tuesday, November 17, 2015      4:00 p.m. EST  Global Relations/Small Business Management  


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