Global Honour gives graduates edge in job market

As she prepares for her upcoming graduation, fourth-year Medical Sciences student Isabelle Keng believes she has something that sets her apart from the majority of new graduates – a distinction on her transcript letting potential employers know that she has worked to develop cultural awareness and valuable skills such as communication, empathy and language, while pursuing her undergraduate degree.

“I completed the Global and Intercultural Engagement Honour and it was definitely worth the effort,” said Keng. “It was actually easier than I thought to complete and it’s something tangible to prove that you’re interested in being a global citizen.”

The goal of the Global Honour is to cultivate global-ready graduates with the intercultural skills required to navigate and succeed personally and professionally in an interconnected, globalized society, said Grant Saepharn, International Learning Coordinator at Western International and the Global Honour staff lead.

“Participating in the Global Honour allows students to develop valuable language and intercultural skills that are often sought after by employers and required to succeed in the 21st century job market,” he said.

The structure of the program allows undergraduate students to incorporate both curricular and extracurricular activities. To achieve the Global Honour, participants are required to earn a total of 100 points from four categories, including two mandatory categories of Academic Coursework and Global Experience at Home or Abroad.

Since its inception in 2013, more than 500 Western students have been awarded the Global Honour, which appears on students’ official transcripts when they graduate.

Fan Liu, BSc’16, said she highlighted her Global Honour distinction whenever possible during her job search. “When I was applying for jobs, I included the Global Honour on my resume and in interviews. It set me apart from other applicants and interviewers were interested in learning more about my international experiences.”