In the past few decades, the world has become increasingly interconnected, and distance is no longer the limitation it once was. This is especially true in the business realm, where professionals have the option to work globally like never before. In 2017, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business at William & Mary launched the Global Business Minor Program to give students the opportunity to learn not only outside of the classroom, but across the world.
The Global Business Minor consists of 18-credit hours that includes a one-week residency at the business school, two weeks of on-line learning and an eight week summer experience in Dublin, Ireland. This minor is available to students of any major, for an opportunity to broaden their horizons and study business globalization first hand. This past summer, over 30 students participated in the excursion. Reflecting on their experience, it is clear that the immersion had an incredibly positive impact on the students.
One benefit of this trip is obvious: the real-world experience it provides. Students are immersed in different business environments related to finance, marketing, management, as well as others. “My time abroad has proven to me the invaluable nature of learning through experience,” says student Bryan Harthum. “Books, articles, and papers are amazing tools that capture a large percentage of relevant information, but if my trip has taught me anything, it’s that they do not always offer a complete picture, and sometimes there is no better learning tool than good old person-to-person communication.”
Along with the opportunity to see global business in real life, students are able get to know one another better, as well as connect with business professionals from a different background than their own. William & Mary’s School of Business prioritizes diversity, and this minor has no shortage of individuals from different walks of life. “I knew that the opportunity to learn in an international setting while getting the chance to implement cross-cultural skills and develop cross-functional skills in a hands-on classroom environment was something I could not pass up,” says student Raquel Bejany.
Perhaps the most universal benefit of allowing students to travel abroad is the growth and confidence building that comes with exploring a familiar topic in a new country. Students return from the Global Business Minor experience knowing there are opportunities for them near and far. Student Therese Cooney sums up what the experience meant to her when she says, “I can’t even imagine how far this new sense of confidence and adventure will take me, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to grow and learn.”
The Global Business Minor continues to draw students’ attention due to the opportunity to minor in business while studying abroad. Rising sophomores and above can apply for this experience early in the spring semester, allowing the flexibility for students of any major to enjoy the benefits of this program.