Global Business Perspectives
Get a Perspective on International Business
What does it mean for a business to operate internationally? What does it mean to be a business major at a liberal arts university? As a freshman, you’ll quickly immerse yourself in those questions in the first business class you take, the Global Business Perspectives course.
You’ll be part of a four-student team tackling assignments designed to familiarize you with essential business tools: using spreadsheets to conduct cost/volume profit analysis, utilizing presentation materials and writing effective business communications. Your team will be coached by an upperclassman who earns invaluable business leadership experience managing your group, helping you to meet your goals and overcome conflicts. He or she will continue to advise your class over the next two or three years—a role that you’ll ultimately play with subsequent underclassmen.
Each week experts also will discuss such topics as global retailing, finance or accounting. An advertising professor and a local logistics supply chain expert might outline their experiences in China. A local textile executive could dissect competing with low-cost suppliers in India.
Your semester culminates with your team analyzing a real company, suggesting strategic directions it could take to either launch or enhance its global presence. The fall 2009 assignment: compare Buckle, a popular domestic producer and retailer of casual apparel, accessories and footwear with a comparable European company. And do so not just as a business person but—using knowledge from non-business courses—think like a sociologist or historian while also considering the culture of the markets you’re trying to penetrate.
So should Buckle go global with such brands as Billabong, Guess, Fossil and K-Swiss? Either way you decide, at semester’s end would you and your team have the business chops to make a convincing presentation to a panel of business executives who deal with such questions all the time?
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