Wittenberg adds international business major

Wittenberg University has added a new major in international business to equip students to solve issues on a global scale.

Beginning in spring, the university will add the major to “follow current trends in the U.S. and abroad” and because it’s “unique and appealing to employers globally.”

“A robust international business program integrates well within the liberal arts, and provides unique experiences and perspectives for Wittenberg students,” said Sunny Jeong, associate professor of business and economics and director of international business.

The program, under the university’s Department of Business, will help students understand international business theory and practice. It has five major components, including a core of basic business courses, world language courses, cultural component courses, elective interdisciplinary courses with an international focus, an internship or student abroad experience, and a capstone course with a focus on globalization.

Students in the program will learn about several topics such as economics, finance, accounting, management, marketing, political science, language, sociology, East Asian Studies and international relations, as well as study abroad or participate in an internship abroad.

“This program also provides students with a broad range of knowledge, experiences and critical thinking skills that will help solve complex social, economic, and environmental problems that we face on a global scale. Those skills are transferrable to any profession or graduate program they choose to enter,” Jeong said.

Students in the major will also learn how a foreign language provides access to different insights, which Vanessa Plumly, assistant professor of German, recognizes there’s a need for.

“Success in the international business world is not merely contingent upon understanding how a business operates. It involves complex interactions across linguistic and cultural contexts that have to be deciphered in meaningful ways. The new international business major at Wittenberg requires language learning for precisely these reasons,” Plumly said.

Plumly noted that students who have graduated with a language degree are now working in the international business field because of their transferrable skills to companies who need communicators and critical thinkers.

“The newly established international business major allows us to combine the curricular goals of the Departments of Business with those of the Department of World Languages & Cultures, among many others in this interdisciplinary major, to demonstrate how and why thinking across areas of study can make students more innovative and appealing to companies with business hubs around the world,” she said.

The university will host an International Business Networking Panel and International Business Major Launch event from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday in Bayley Auditorium inside the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center.

The panel speakers will include Mark Grimes, class of 1981, treasurer with Sweet Manufacturing; Don Hutchinson, class of 2015, operations and sales manager with GKS Lifting and Moving; Cameron Snider, class of 1991, executive director of business development at Alliance for Multispecialty Research; and Madeline Imler, class of 2017, indirect procurement manager with Fairlife.

The event will have a brief introduction to the major and course plan, panelists will talk about their careers and companies, a question and answer session, and a networking session.

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