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Darla Moore School of Business


Folks Center for International Business brings multinational board to Columbia for inaugural meeting

October 3, 2016

Having the U.S. News and World Report No. 1 ranked international business program, as the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business Business has for 18 consecutive years, demands both academic innovation and a close collaboration with global business leaders. This week, executives from multinational companies such as Apple, Morgan Stanley, Sonoco, Nikkol Group and Dell — members of the Moore School’s Folks Center Corporate Partner Advisory Board — are working with the school’s international business faculty to build closer relationships between the Moore School and global industry.

The Oct. 3-4 inaugural advisory board meeting is an outgrowth out of the recently formed Folks Center for International Business.

The center has been in the works for a year or so in order to expand the school’s strategic collaboration with industry leaders — creating a curriculum that anticipates the needs of multinational businesses, and graduates who are prepared for the demands of a competitive global marketplace. Al Lanctot, executive director for the Folks Center, thinks the center will succeed in building these relationships because of a foundation of collaboration.

“Despite the international business program being ranked No. 1 in the nation, the faculty are not arrogant,” he said. "We know we rely on the insights of business leaders to keep our program relevant and innovative.”

The center is named after Randy Folks, who served as chair for the International Business Department from 1976 to 2014, because he recognized the need for “deeper contextual learning” in the international business program from the beginning. He built that idea into the curriculum by incorporating “the world is not flat” vision he had, which essentially recognizes the need for business professionals to master multiple languages and the culture of other countries because the way business is done is closely tied to the culture of a community.

The board hopes to ensure that this vision is being maintained today as well as expand it to accommodate the swiftly changing environment of the business world. They are focused on building global leadership competency in four areas: personal leadership, team leadership, enterprise leadership and multinational leadership.

Because of the ever-changing set of challenges facing global leaders today, the Folks Center has been designed to help students approach and solve those problems in the most efficient and effective ways possible.

“The Folks Center’s activities enrich the curriculum for students to enter and remain successful in their international business careers,” Lanctot said. “Through strong relationships with attractive global employers, the center aligns student interns and graduates with attractive career opportunities.”

To find out more, contact Executive Director Al Lanctot.

By Madeleine Vath