As business goes global, so does new undergraduate minor

More than ever, the business of all businesses is transacted globally.

That’s why William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business created the Global Business Minor, offering undergraduates studying business as well as other majors an opportunity to understand the nuances and culture differences of business and commerce in an international setting.

Students complete 18 credits over 12 weeks, from May to August, without taking time away from their regular studies. The first group of 35 students completed the new program this past summer, including work at the University College Dublin in Ireland.

While in Dublin, the students met with high-level business executives, including the global brand executive at Jameson, the legendary Irish whiskey distillery. They also worked on projects relevant to today’s global economy.

One assignment was to make a pitch for a U.S. company thinking of expanding to Ireland as well as for an Irish company thinking of expanding to the U.S. Students who pitched Chick-fil-A’s introduction to Ireland went so far as to sew their own cow costumes.

“We were able to get a solid foundation on business concepts and apply that knowledge to the real world through our fieldwork and integrative projects,” said student Brian Clarke, a history major. “Being in Ireland, we also gained a great sense of how businesses operate in different places. All of our weekend excursions were incredible, and we experienced some of the most beautiful places in the world.”

He added: “I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wishes to learn about business but prefers another subject as their major. I’ve already done so to a few students.”

University College Dublin is Ireland’s most global university, with more than 6,000 international students from more than 120 countries. The university emphasizes the “internationalization” of its students’ experiences as it prepares them for careers and lives that cross borders and cultures.

Dawn Edmiston, clinical associate professor of marketing at the Mason School, proposed and oversees the minor. She said the experience was an amazing one for the first group of students. And she has even higher goals for the minor.

My dream for this program,” she said, “is to be a bridge between the liberal arts and business at William & Mary.”

More information about the Global Business Minor for students