Skip to main content

Having a successful career in a country that's not your own


February 16 OF 2017 from 07:30 PM to 09:00 PM


At ESADEFORUM on 16 February, the executive and international career coach Kim Sumner explained the job prospects for foreigners in Spain and gave some advice for executives seeking employment outside their country of origin.

Iñaki Ocaña (Lic&MBA 06/DARH 12), director of ESADE Alumni International, introduced the event and explained that there are currently 2,000 non-Spanish alumni living in Barcelona, which is why ESADE Alumni holds talks about job hunting in the city for people with different traits from the locals.

Kim Sumner's experience in business, human resource management, organizational consulting, career changes and reinventing oneself at work provides a unique insight for helping others find jobs. After living in the United States, Mexico, France, Holland, Germany, South Korea and now Spain, Kim has become an expert in intercultural questions. ''Today’s talk will focus on people who want to stay in Barcelona for years and who are not native Spanish speakers,'' she said in her introduction, ''because they have different aims from people who come to work here on a project for a short space of time.''

She emphasised the following success factors: the ability to speak the local language fluently, to be flexible and adaptable, to reinvent oneself, to innovate, to be competent in one’s chosen field of expertise and the ability to work via the internet.

''To begin with, it’s important to know what your USP is (unique selling proposition). You can find this out by asking people in your profession or recruiters, what factors make you different and make you stand out from other people, because you may not be aware of them,'' said Sumner. The next step is to find out what companies, markets and industries may be interested in your USP, and who you can give value added to and help develop their project.

''Companies who may want to hire you may include those interested in your contacts in your country of origin or your experience in that region because they operate there, or local companies aiming to go global, or companies that need people fluent in your native language. To find them, you must search the internet: LinkedIn forums, social networks, chambers of commerce, alumni groups, etc. It’s important to make yourself known and have your elevator pitch ready'', added the coach.

''Once you find a job, it’s essential to live up to your promises and demonstrate your talent, skills and reliability. You must of course, continue to develop and learn throughout your career,'' Sumner concluded.
The speaker then suggested several websites specialised in jobs for foreigners which the audience could browse and investigate:, and, to name just a few. For anyone seeking to start their own project, she recommended,, and




The ESADE Alumni Barcelona International Chapter is pleased to invite you to an upcoming talk entitled ''Having a successful career in a country that’s not your own: using your difference (and some creativity) as competitive advantages'', by coach Kim Sumner, on Thursday, 16th February in Barcelona.

Working in a country that is not your native land can be very enriching, but it can also cause many career challenges and frustrations. You may feel you’re at a disadvantage when aiming for certain great jobs or opportunities, or that opportunities are limited and you feel stuck. But it can also lead to unique opportunities where you can really shine and stand out from local talent, or to paths you may have overlooked or not thought possible but which might ultimately lead to an extremely rewarding career.

In this session, we will discuss how to
- pinpoint the differences that can help you stand out from local talent and also in general
- think creatively and identify opportunities for applying these differences in your unique way
- find companies and organizations that will want your differences, and
- pitch your unique selling points to such companies and organizations, or form an entrepreneurial/solopreneurial venture 

Please save the date and register to book your seat. Partners and business contacts are also welcome and you can register them as guests.

Members: free
Non-members: 30 euros

Don’t miss this event followed by a networking cocktail! 



Kim Sumner

Kim Sumner is an international career and executive coach specialised in career change, transition and growth, and also executive and leadership development. She has nearly 20 years of combined experience in coaching, human resource management and consulting, with an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, USA, and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified coach, and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC). Currently based in Barcelona, she works with clients globally. For more information see her website



See you there!

For further information: