International Management Concentration
International management is an extension of the traditional business management major, emphasizing the study of multicultural environments and language.
What is international management?
International management trains you to analyze problems that have the added complexity of relating to cultures different from our own. It is an extremely important aspect of problem solving, since few businesses operate solely within the confines of the United States or are unaffected by international events and activities.
What kinds of career choices can I expect?
Although it is unlikely that, upon graduation, you will be offered a job in Paris, Copenhagen, Tokyo, or Rio de Janeiro, a program of study in international management will prepare you for such assignments in the future. They are usually given to those who have worked in a company or industry for some time and have gained experience with its product line.
Initially, you could find yourself working for a small import/export firm, a freight forwarder (an organization that specializes in handling overseas shipments), the international department of a bank, or in the international division of a large multinational organization as a sales correspondent. You will also be qualified for the more traditional entry-level management positions, such as: management trainee, first line supervisor, or administrative assistant. You could also qualify for similar positions in the American offices of foreign firms. Once you have gained some work experience and begin seeking an international assignment, you will have an advantage over those who have had no previous training in language or multicultural disciplines.
What kinds of courses will I take?
To prepare for a career in international management, you should develop your analytical, communication, and interpersonal skills. Therefore, you will be taking the core curriculum required of all College of Business students. The core includes accounting, finance, quantitative methods, marketing, law, management, computer systems, and economics. All Shippensburg University students are required to complete various general education requirements in history, communications, literature, and science.
In addition, you will be required to become proficient in one foreign language and will study various world cultures and societies by taking courses in anthropology, geography, or international relations, as well as specialized international business courses. It is also possible to complete a minor in International Studies with only a few additional courses. Please consult with your advisor for options.
Why do I have to study a foreign language?
Although English is the universal business language, it is very important for American firms to recruit personnel who are competent in other languages, in order to compete in world markets. You must be able to communicate with your firm's foreign personnel who might not speak English, and you must be able to live and operate in foreign environments. Having mastered one or two languages will make it easier to learn others as the need arises and as your career develops.
Almost all students in international management are completing a minor in their language with little or no extra course work. Some are also opting for a double major in the language. This would require an extension of your stay at Shippensburg, but it would give you a decided advantage over others competing for international positions.
Am I required to study abroad?
Although it is not a requirement, we strongly recommend that all international management students study or travel abroad. Such study or travel will not only help you develop your language skills, but it will also expose you to different cultures and will further develop your awareness of important cultural differences. On-campus resources are available to help you plan those activities. Scholarship money is available.
Can other business students take international management courses?
Yes. In fact, it would be to your advantage to take as many international management courses as possible, since the more you know about international business, the more desirable and valuable you are as an employee. It also helps differentiate you from those who have had little exposure to international concepts.