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International Business

International Business Department Website

PROGRAM OVERVIEW Drake is one of a limited number of universities with a major in international business. The International Business major prepares students for work in organizations whose owners, employees, customers, and/or suppliers are not confined to the borders of one nation. Those who choose this major will learn about marketing goods and services around the world, about global distribution networks, about exchange rates and about the different forms of ownership and financing that exist in non-U.S. countries. They will consider the dramatic impact of culture on the behavior of individuals in organizations and on the contracting and negotiating process of international trade. They will compare the business climate of developed and underdeveloped nations and learn how companies compete in a global business economy. International Business students are exposed to ethical issues and the impact of business decisions on global ecology. The curriculum requires a strong foundation of language and culture, history, geography and political science along with the business core classes. International Business students are encouraged to include a study-abroad semester in their program.

The International Business major is designed for students seeking specialized education in operations of international enterprises, international banks, and government agencies. Such organizations include all forms of business; the departments of Commerce, State, and Treasury; international institutions such as the Export-Import Bank, World Bank and Overseas Investment Corporation; and a number of state and local agencies.

The International Business major is the only major in the College of Business and Public Administration that requires proficiency in a second language.

The program has significant overlap with the International Relations major in the college of Arts and Sciences, allowing for a convenient double major or ease of switching between the two.

FACULTY The international business major is multidisciplinary, with courses taught by six faculty with advanced degrees in economics, finance, management and marketing. They have experience in the business world, as well as international travel and research. Their current teaching and research interests include international strategic management, identification and assessment of global marketing opportunities, global marketing strategies, relationship marketing and selling in global markets, and international finance and banking.

ACADEMIC PREPARATION While there are no high school level requirements for the international business major, students with this interest are strongly encouraged to take foreign language courses and any other courses that expose them to a variety of cultures and to world events. The major requires two years of college level foreign language, however, students with language in high school can often be placed beyond the beginning level class. Strong written and oral communication skills and a good foundation in the use of information technology are encouraged. Courses in business and economics may also be beneficial.

REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR Requirements include 21 credits in the college, 19 credits plus foreign language outside the college. This is heavier than many majors, but it should be noted that some of these required courses satisfy AOI requirements of the Drake Curriculum.

Students must demonstrate proficiency in a language other than their native tongue. Proficiency can be demonstrated by college credit or equivalent, including certification exam credit, for a language through the intermediate level (second year, college level). Non-English native speakers demonstrate foreign language proficiency implicitly by taking their classes in English while at Drake.

The area of study consists of three courses drawn from Anthropology, Geography, History, Political Science, or Economics. The student may choose either a global perspective (world geography, world politics and modern world history) or a particular region of the world to study from among Europe, Asia, Africa, or Latin America.

Participation in a semester-abroad program is highly encouraged. The best time for this experience is in the spring of the sophomore year or the fall or spring of the junior year. A semester abroad requires careful identification of courses abroad that satisfy graduation requirements and careful scheduling of courses before and after the study-abroad semester. Students work with their advisers and with the Center for International Programs and Services to select study-abroad programs and to schedule classes.

DRAKE CURRICULUM The Drake Curriculum, required of all undergraduates, is designed to help students meet personal and professional goals as they acquire fundamental knowledge and abilities in ten Areas of Inquiry, including communication, critical thinking, artistic experience, historical consciousness, information and technology literacy, international and multicultural experiences, scientific and quantitative literacy, values and ethics and engaged citizenship. Students work closely with their academic advisers to craft a program of study in general education that prepares students for civic and professional leadership.

The Drake Curriculum also requires first-year seminars, which foster development of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills through a topical focus; and a Senior Capstone, in which students demonstrate the capacity to bring information, skills and ideas to bear on one project.

INTERNSHIPS & OPPORTUNITIES International business majors are encouraged, but not required, to incorporate a study abroad experience during their sophomore or junior year. Drake has an international studies office with a highly qualified staff to work with the student and the adviser to plan a study abroad trip that furthers the student’s goals. While the most popular programs for Drake students are in Europe, there are study abroad opportunities in all parts of the world, and semester at sea programs also are available.

Internship opportunities are available during the school year with businesses in the Des Moines area. Summer opportunities extend to other regions of the country. These paid internships allow students to gain additional experience in international-related business operations. Summer internship programs, such as the Iowa Council for International Understanding and the Iowa Management Association Program, are available to students on a competitive basis. Organizations with possible internships include The Prudential Financial Corporation, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Minnesota Mutual Life, Wells Fargo, Kemin Industries, and state government agencies with international involvement.

CAREER OPTIONS  International business majors often enter as specialists or trainees in multi-national corporations, which may include assignments allowing for international experiences. Graduates are prepared to advance through specialist, supervisory and managerial ranks in multi-national corporations, international trading companies, government agencies and international institutions such as the Export-Import Bank, World Bank and Overseas Investment Corporation. Many international business students add a second major in a functional area such as accounting, finance, marketing or management. the functional area major helps employers in placing the graduate within an organization.

STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS AND ACTIVITIES Organizations at Drake which enhance study in international business include: the Drake International Business Society; Alpha Kappa Psi and Delta Sigma Pi, national professional business fraternities; and Beta Gamma Sigma, a national professional business society, which offers opportunities for involvement in entrepreneurial activities on campus and in the community.


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