In 2009, Belmont University's Jack C. Massey College of Business (MCB) was awarded its first-ever Business and International Education (BIE) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The two-year grant supported the enhancement of international business education at Belmont University and sponsored international business education programs for the Nashville business community. One of the first tangible outcomes of the BIE grant was the creation of a Center for International Business (CIB). The CIB serves as a center of excellence through which the MCB implements numerous internationalization and global outreach activities.
Five main objectives make up the core of CIB programming. These objectives were designed to help prepare our students and the Middle Tennessee business community to "engage and transform the world."
Provide Experience Abroad
Develop Career Opportunities
Facilitate Community Connections
Why Study International Business?
The workplace is becoming increasingly international in scope. A successful manager in an international environment needs knowledge and skills that extend beyond the business disciplines. For this reason, we have internationalized our curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
What skills will I need to be successful in international business?
In addition to an overall comprehension of business administration, successful international business professionals often exhibit the following traits:
- Cultural sensitivity
Even well-known corporate giants have erred unintentionally when they fail to research cultural beliefs and traditions in new markets. You must be able to speak more than one language and should be well versed in the practices of the country where you work; a simple blunder, like an improper business card exchange, can offend potential clients.
- Patience and flexibility
Do not expect to start work in Paris or Hong Kong. Most international business women and men begin their careers in domestic operations and advance to positions abroad after demonstrating prowess at home. When new markets open to your company, opportunities may arise in countries that you never considered. If you long to be an international executive, be wiling to accept a position in Eastern Europe. Your achievements there might help you secure the job of your dreams in Latin America.
- People skills
Whether you pitch products to upper-level executives or assist customers during sales, you need to know how to work with diverse groups of individuals who come from very different cultural backgrounds. Understanding the needs of clients is crucial to your success, as is the ability to perform as part of a multinational team.
- Communication skills
To excel in business, you must be able to convey your ideas effectively and efficiently. You should be a proficient speaker and writer. Take time to research which languages are most important in your field. For finance careers, Asian and Latin American languages are useful. If you are interested in information systems management, consider Russian or the languages of developing nations.
Turn your ideas into marketing tools and you will become a valued employee. Creativity is vital to multinational corporations, which must sell their products to a variety of customers. If your concept successfully redesigns a popular American product for sales in New Zealand, it may propel you into a management position.
- The ability to work under pressure
The launch of a new ad campaign or product is extremely intense; unforeseen cultural issues and trade barriers can arise at the last minute. You will be at a competitive advantage if you can meet impending deadlines quickly.