by Kailee Harrison
Pip Robins was a guest speaker on March 31st in Professor Jay Marmers’ MGT347 International Human Resources Management class. Mr. Robins joined the Stevenson BlueJeans meeting to speak about his experiences as a business professional working internationally. Mr. Robins has been all over the world for both business and personal reasons, with locations including Canada, Singapore, Egypt, Nepal, Thailand, Bali and many more! Mr. Robins is married with three children who have experienced the transitions from Switzerland to Singapore to now Maryland.
Mr. Robins’ described the coverage and policies the workplace should offer employees. He mentions his personal coverage while working with various companies internationally and says any policy should have housing, transportation, healthcare, schooling, compensation, home trips, cultural training, working spouses, and security.
Mr. Robins also shared with the an assignment experience he endured while working internationally. He described the prep stage, performing a full study of international market opportunities and creating a strategic plan. Mr. Robins explained that there was an Asian currency collapse in 1997 that pushed the project to January of the following year. In phase 1 of the project, Mr. Robins explains that he evaluated aluminum extrusion businesses in Asia for potential acquisition or joint ventures. He then explains that phase 2 dealt with him switching to sales of aluminum products for an offshore oil industry.
Overall, the lessons learned from Mr. Robins’ international experience include the emphasis on respecting and trying to understand different cultures. He also notes that the need to trust local agents is very important when dealing with international business. Mr. Robins concluded his presentation by mentioning how important it was that he had a spouse who embraced change and was involved with work internationally.