October 3, 2016
With the latest rankings released by U.S. News and World Report, the Darla Moore School of Business’s undergraduate international business program has now been ranked No. 1 in the nation for 18 consecutive years. But what makes a degree in international business unique and valuable? Graduates of the Moore School program say it’s the resiliency, interpersonal skills and adaptability all businesses demand, but played out on a global stage.
When asked about their experiences at the Moore School, recent international business alumni stressed the open-mindedness they gained and how empowered they felt after going through various study abroad programs.
“The international business program taught me to expand my sight beyond my personal background and beliefs, both of which may be blinding at times,” said Kady Watts, international business, finance and global supply chain and operations management graduate of 2016.
Watts explained that being taught to really listen to other people’s perspectives has proved to be an invaluable skill she learned through the international business program, along with the confidence she gained through studying abroad.
“I realized that I can do anything I want to do because I am comfortable being uncomfortable,” she said.
Other alumni emphasized similar skills they gained through studying abroad that they doubt they would’ve developed otherwise.
“Before leaving my home, family and friends, and all things comfortable and familiar to embark on this nearly yearlong endeavor, I was absolutely petrified,” said Ana Gibson, international business and marketing graduate of 2016. “However, the friendships made, the lessons learned, the culture absorbed and the memories created during this time completely altered the course of my life. I came back from Chile a stronger, more independent and more accomplished person and businesswoman.”
The full immersion in a foreign language and culture is what made the difference for many alumni. It opened them up to new worldviews that can’t fully be taught in the classroom.
“I’ve gained the ability to think outside my American perspective,” said David Burick, international business and finance graduate of 2016. “Learning about so many other cultures and environments taught me how to approach a situation from multiple perspectives to ensure that I get a complete picture before deciding on an action.”
The awareness produced through the program has equipped alumni to not only succeed in business, but also in life in general, as Alex Heise, international business and marketing graduate of 2016, put it. He emphasized the importance of his study abroad experience in teaching him how to achieve that success.
“I choose the word ‘experience’ very deliberately as this was far more than just a trip,” he said. “A trip is something you enjoy and remember, but an experience is something that changes you, leaving not only the wonderful memories, but a change in behavior and perspective.”
Overall, adaptability and acceptance of both other cultures and of themselves are what alumni most appreciate being taught through the program. Many have found these aspects of business to be key to success and are thankful to the Moore School for imparting those values.
“The value of the international business program cannot simply be quantified as those lessons will continue to assist me as I progress with my career,” said Rebecca Acuna, international business and accounting graduate of 2016.
By Madeleine Vath