On Thursday November 14, Logos Institute for Crisis Management and Executive Leadership hosted roughly 20 graduate students from New York University’s Public Relations League for a session on the work of the Institute and a featured workshop led by Logos Institute fellow Yinnan Shen, on how international students can turn their backgrounds into a competitive edge.

The students are part of NYU’s School of Professional Studies master’s level public relations and corporate communications program, which Institute executive director Helio Fred Garcia co-founded and of which Institute senior fellow Kristin Johnson is an inaugural graduate. Both Fred and Kristin currently teach courses in the program on crisis communication and public relations consulting respectively. Yinnan also graduated from the NYU program in 2017 and has guest lectured in the program since joining Logos.

The session kicked off with a formal welcome from Fred and Kristin. Kristin shared her professional journey in public relations industry with students, as well as details about the recently published book she co-authored with Shalon Roth How to Succeed in a PR Agency.

Fred introduced the work of Logos Institute and of Logos Consulting Group, the parent company of Logos Institute, followed by a description of the methodology of creating changes in people that Logos implements, which was originally developed by PR pioneer and first PR professor (at NYU) Edward L. Bernays. Fred also noted that much of the public relations industry has wandered far from the way the field was originally defined by Bernays: “a vocation applied by a social scientist who advises a client or employer on social attitudes and the actions to take to win the support of the public on whom the viability of the client depends.”

Yinnan then took over and delivered her newly-developed content on culture shock and elevating multicultural competence. She began by conceptualizing a common challenge international students face when living abroad – culture shock, defined by Michael Winkelman as “a multifaceted experience resulting from numerous stressors occurring in contact with a different culture.” She then shared strategies to effectively adapt to a new culture and to manage culture shock.

In the final part of the workshop Yinnan shared how to strike a balance between one’s home culture and host culture. She closed the workshop by offering a path forward to build multicultural competence through the process of dealing with culture shock and ultimately transform one’s international background into a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Many students stayed back after the presentation and had small-group and private discussions with Yinnan, in which students affirmed that they are going through culture shock and what was shared can help them build self-esteem and navigate life and study in the U.S..

Yinnan Shen developed the content based on both existing research and her own experience of being an international student from China at NYU four years ago. Yinnan is now a fellow at Logos Institute and an associate at Logos Consulting Group. She joined Logos in 2017, and has since researched and developed intellectual capital including how leaders can do diversity and inclusion right, and how neuroscience and psychology can be applied to the art of leading and communicating. Yinnan has taught at corporate clients and academic institutions, including the master’s program Public Relations and Corporate Communication at New York University and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

You can watch the full workshop here:

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