Date posted: 01/02/2022

How to activate your global mindset

Your student years can be some of the most transformative in your entire life. You’re expanding your social skills and networks, learning to think critically and honing your sense of purpose. Now is a great time to build upon your innate curiosity.

If you identify with any or all of these qualities, there’s every chance you’ve begun developing your global mindset.

The OECD defines a global mindset as the capacity to approach the world with an attitude of curiosity, self-awareness and an eagerness to learn from other cultures. Or, in the more poetic words of Indian author Amit Ray, “Your mind is a flexible mirror. Adjust it, to see a better world.” 

For accounting students, activating a global mindset can have some strong career advantages. Today’s employers are seeking candidates who can demonstrate global thinking and a sense of purpose. With purpose-driven companies now outperforming the market by 42 percent, it’s easy to see why.    

There are practical activities you can make part of your weekly routine to help build your global mindset. We’ve listed some of our favourites for you to entertain, explore and get started on. 

1. Volunteering and fundraising efforts

You might recognise the phrase, Think globally, act locally. It’s a popular sentiment that encourages individuals to engage in community-minded activity at a local level, to make an impact at a global level. 

Immersing yourself in a community is a great way to meet people from all walks of life, and learn to appreciate diverse perspectives. This could include people from different socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and other intersectionalities. 

Some popular activities for students include volunteering as an English teacher via online platforms such as Magic Ears and Teach English Online, participating in a charity fundraiser like Movember, or lending a hand at a local community centre or garden. 

“Your mind is a flexible mirror. Adjust it, to see a better world”. 
Amit Ray

2. Clubs, student societies and community organisations

Group activities such as sport, craft or even clean-up committees can unite people from different backgrounds around similar goals, and help cultivate a shared purpose. 

Clubs or student societies provide an opportunity to expand your social circle and to learn more about yourself as an individual. They aid the development of important career skills by teaching you the value of teamwork, and self-awareness around how you work best as part of a team. 

Most universities offer societies on any given subject — from social justice to chess, and even Kanye West Appreciation! These societies operate via social media platforms and in-person events (when it’s safe to gather). They help expand and diversify your network, which in turn can open up career pathways and opportunities. 

If you’re interested to learn more, chat to your university’s student services team who can point you in the right direction.

3. Music, Drama and Theatre Groups

For accounting students, personal and professional growth can sometimes come from some unexpected places. Creative endeavours, such as performing arts, can be a conduit to invaluable career skills, including better self-expression, higher emotional intelligence and greater confidence. 

Artistic expression also helps build your capacity to empathise with the thoughts and feelings of other people — an important characteristic of a global mindset! 

If none of this sounds like typical accounting behaviour, you might want to reassess. UCLA researcher, James Catterall, analysed 25,000 students and “found clear evidence that sustained involvement in particular art forms — music and theatre — are highly correlated with success in mathematics and reading.”  

Theatre groups can be quite varied in terms of their members and patrons and are a great forum to develop versatile, transferable career skills that can make a difference.  

4. Language Exchange Groups

Technology and flexible work practices have created an increasingly global and interconnected world. With employees now able to work remotely from anywhere, bilingual or multilingual skills can broaden your career opportunities. Remember, a Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting is an internationally recognised designation that can open doors globally. 

While the thought of learning a whole new language might sound overwhelming, there are some fun and effective learning options out there to help you on your way, including apps such as Duolingo, and language exchange groups.  

Language exchange groups are a way to learn a new language through mutually beneficial practice sessions. You’ll be paired with a learning partner who is a native speaker of the language you’re looking to learn. By educating one another you will be able to learn the conversational tones of the language and develop a more accurate and natural sounding vocabulary and accent. 

A global mindset is a way of thinking that will help you in the varied industry of accounting. Activating yours will allow you to take on new challenges with enthusiasm and confidence, and equip you to be a difference maker. 

Checklist

We’ve compiled a checklist of small things you can do to grow your global mindset. Download, print and see how many of these activities you can check off over the next few weeks. 

Download here