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Department ofInternational Business

One of the fastest growing areas of interest within the College of Business and Public Administration is the major in International Business. The business arena in which the College's graduates will be working is no longer local, regional or national in nature. it is global and requires and understanding of, and sensitivity to, different cultures and business environments. This major permits students to develop a somewhat personalized course of study in international business. besides a core of basic as well as international business courses, the students are able to focus on a particular region of the world. These regions are Europe, East Asia and Latin America, and the particular regional emphasis carried with it a series of geography, history and political science courses which relate to that particular region as well as to the global community. The major also carries a requirement of competency in a foreign language spoken in the region of chosen emphasis. Students choosing this major also have many interesting study abroad opportunities which they are expected to participate in for a summer, a semester or even a year. It is also possible for students selecting this major to minor in a functional specialization in business to enhance their attractiveness to potential employers. This is an exciting and challenging major which offers students excellent career opportunities.

What careers are available in international business?

International Business graduates are considered generalists in international business. They have an area of emphasis which they have studied which includes not only language training but also includes course work focusing on geographic, historical and political issues in that area of the world. Employers find that these kinds of skills are extremely important when developing international business operations and initiatives. Many businesses do not know how to develop international business contacts or even how to strategically approach the global market, and they find it helpful to turn to people with these kinds of skills and training to maintain viability in an increasingly global competitive arena.

Potential employers would include businesses already doing business with international customers, businesses interested, but not yet involved, in developing international customers and contacts, international businesses with branch offices in the Hampton Roads area, as well as a variety of firms engaged in service to internationally-oriented businesses (e.g., port service firms, shipping/maritime companies, and export management companies).

What will I study?

IB majors will have the opportunity to take foundational courses in all of the functional areas of business (management, marketing, economics, informational systems, decision sciences, finance, accounting, and operations), specialized courses in international business (international trade, international management, international marketing and international finance), language training in the language of their choice pertaining to the area of emphasis which they have chosen, and courses from geography, history, and political science which focuses on the chosen area of emphasis.

The IB major will get a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business with an area of emphasis chosen from one of three regional areas presently available: East Asia, Europe and Latin America. Each of these areas of emphasis would contain language training as well as political/geographical/historical training pertaining to that area along with directly related Study Abroad opportunities to allow the student to gain an integrated and practical knowledge about that particular regional area and at the same time make them more attractive to businesses strategically aiming at developing international interests in particular areas of the world.

What educational opportunities are available outside the classroom?

There are many opportunities for learning outside the classroom which are available - class projects which allow students to interact with local businesses doing business internationally. Students may get the chance to work on such projects as business plans or marketing research reports.

Internship opportunities are also available which allow the students to work with a company involved in international business for a semester. This provides great experience which looks good on the resume, and it allows the student to network with people who might be potential employers.

Student membership in Foreign Commerce Club provides the ability to interact with area executives operating in international business.

Also all International Business majors are expected to participate in a Study Abroad experience. A series of potential Study Abroad choices are available for summer, semester or a year from a wide range of different countries and universities within those countries.

Finally, the University operated as Cooperative Education Program, in which students who qualify can alternate semesters of course work with semesters of full-time employment for international business elective credit.

For further information

Bruce Seifert

Professor
  • Ph. D. University Of Michigan