Guest Blogger: Contributed by Dr. Jessica Magnus, Professor of Management at the UNCW Cameron School of Business (this post originally appeared on WilmingtonBiz.com on February 15, 2021).
The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread implications for all aspects of business world-wide, from bottlenecks in the global supply chain to the necessity of revising business strategies in order to stay afloat, and from marketing efforts around new product and service modalities to struggles with financial and human capital management. The breadth of the pandemic has underscored how intertwined communities and their businesses are around the world. More than ever before, today’s business students must be prepared to interface with customers and competitors not only domestically, but on a global scale. The best preparation for success in a global workplace is to experience the world firsthand.
The Cameron School of Business (CSB) at the University of North Carolina Wilmington has proactively developed a variety of opportunities for students to develop themselves for international competitiveness. In addition to comprehensive preparation for navigating the landscape of global business in the BSBA with a concentration in International Business, Cameron students have a variety of opportunities for immersive international experiences, including study abroad opportunities (spanning days, a summer, a semester, a year, or more). Internships and international work experiences along with language proficiency in at least two languages serve to round-out a quality undergraduate educational experience.
For over 20 years, the CSB has partnered with several European business schools (including Kedge Business School in Marseille, France; Hochschule Bremen in Germany; the University of Valencia in Spain; and the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, UK) for the Transatlantic Business School Alliance where UNCW students are able to earn a dual-degree from UNCW and one of our partner institutions by studying for two years at each institution with no additional tuition expenses. Similar opportunities exist for our students with Maramara and Yeditepe Universities in Istanbul, Turkey, and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
The CSB’s one-of-a-kind International MBA extends international business preparation to the graduate level. As part of the International Business School Alliance, IMBA students spend one year studying at two universities (UNCW and one in France, Germany, Russia, Spain, or the UK), earning two AACSB-accredited master’s degrees along the way: an MBA and an MS in a specific area of business with a global emphasis (i.e., Finance & Investments, Human Resource Management, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Management of Emerging Economies, Entrepreneurship, or Marketing). In addition to business competencies, the IMBA opportunity develops cross-cultural skill-sets invaluable to global business professionals.
Although COVID-19 has challenged the structure of the traditional international experience, the CSB and its faculty have rebounded by creating and administering virtual study abroad, internship, and consulting experiences with universities and businesses around the world. Virtual experiences in Japan, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Europe are ongoing over the winter break. An in-person consulting project with Budweiser in Prague is planned for May 2021 with a virtual option as a back-up if needed.
CSB graduates have described the opportunity to study abroad as life- and career-changing, commenting, “I often describe the study abroad experience as bungee jumping. You are full of fear and anxiety until you jump and you never regret that split moment when you are in the air.” and “These past semesters have been unforgettable. I’ve met people from all over the world and learned so much about so many different cultures that have changed me as a person.”
For more information about opportunities to develop a skillset in international business at UNCW, please contact Jessica Magnus for undergraduate programs (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tammy Hunt for graduate programs (at email@example.com).
Robert T. Burrus, Jr., Ph.D., is the dean of the Cameron School of Business at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, named in June 2015. Burrus joined the UNCW faculty in 1998. Prior to his current position, Burrus was interim dean, associate dean of undergraduate studies and the chair of the department of economics and finance. Burrus earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics from Wake Forest University. The Cameron School of Business has approximately 90 full-time faculty members and 30 administrative and staff members. The AACSB-accredited business school currently enrolls approximately 2,600 undergraduate students in three degree programs and 750 graduate students in four degree programs. The school also houses the prestigious Cameron Executive Network, a group of more than 200 retired and practicing executives that provide one-on-one mentoring for Cameron students. To learn more about the Cameron School of Business, please visit http://csb.uncw.edu/. Questions and comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.