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Musings and Meanderings

CxO Blog

How to start a career of an International Corporate Director


When we discuss possible career steps with the mature professionals, they often want to move towards a more independent lifestyle or have a capability to do more in addition to a full-time job. At CxO, we always explore if they thought about becoming an International Corporate Director/Board Member (outside of their current role).

If you are one of the International Directors at Facebook, even if you decide to change the company tomorrow, the opportunity won't come so easy, because of the scale of the company and the benefits and opportunities it offers.

So, how to start exploring this path?

  • Check with your in-house HR department if you can take Board roles (usually if it's pro-bono and there is no conflict of interests - there is no problem).

  • Check the local country regulations, especially if you are a foreigner - you will define your circle of potential companies.

  • Check if you need to be certified for this role in this company/country.

  • Start from the charity pro-bono role - it helps to experience the role and prepare yourself. Plus, it always looks beneficial for your next assignment.

  • Depending on your current location and future aspirations, find a few organisations in charge and attend their networking events to feel the atmosphere, gather information, and start building your network.

  • While attending these events, you can see where your personality and experience fits the best to be of value. Many of those associations have an annual membership, which allows you to attend their events for a fee of 150-250 SGD/year and invite valuable speakers.

  • If you are in Singapore, for example, there is Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), Australian Institute of Corporate Directors (AICD) and depending on your plans, at AICD you can choose either International Director course or a more regionally-focused course for Australia, SEA, MEA.

  • Many top business schools, like INSEAD, have the course for International Corporate Directors. Also, based on the feedback from the candidates, a course with these schools is of great value as it also brings a vast network of people globally.

  • If the certification required, we would suggest to carefully study options available in the regions where you are and/or planning to move next and take a program with one of the reputable providers, having a campus there.

The next event you can attend is INSEAD Directors Forum & Certification Award Ceremony Singapore, 25 & 26 February 2019.

Just an idea for you to explore!

If interested in this topic, please find a detailed guide here.