College of Business initiative creates globalized curriculum

Junior Eric Becker’s summer internship, just like most other internships, will help prepare him for a job after college in the working world. Becker’s internship, however, is a world away – he’s going to China to work at a logistics company.

“This is really exciting,” he said. “I really enjoy learning about other cultures.”

Becker said he thinks this internship will be an important part of his education because he feels having an understanding of international business is crucial to being successful in the business world.

“If you want to work in the business field and make a difference . you need to understand other countries,” he said.

Becker’s internship was set up as part of the College of Business’s “Partnerships in International Education” program — a year-old initiative that’s goal is to globalize the college’s curriculum. During its one year of existence, the program has established faculty exchange programs, international internships for students and has partnered to help support domestic businesses with international components, said Rama Yelkur, director and author of PIE and international business programs coordinator.

The overall goal of the PIE program is help students become more successful by fostering a better of understanding how the United States’ economy fits into the global economy by providing students and faculty with more international, according to a press release.

Providing business students with international opportunities is essential to a business education, Yelkur said, adding that American businesses work on a global level now more than ever before.

“It is important (to understand international business) that student understand the global economy because the U.S. market is not operating in isolation anymore,” she said, adding that even if a business is not operating outside of the United States, they will be facing international competition within the country.

The first step in globalizing business curriculum is by globalizing the faculty, Yelkur said. PIE sent faculty to Greece and Ireland already this year, Yelkur said. Abroad, faculty have the opportunity to teach in classrooms, participate in research and develop lasting working relationships. When faculty members come back from their time abroad, they are able to incorporate their knowledge into their courses – giving students an edge, Yelkur said. Along with sending UW-Eau Claire faculty abroad, the PIE is bringing international faculty members to campus.

“It’s a two way street,” she said. “Faculty learn and students benefit.”

Next week a faculty member from Limerick, Ireland will be on campus for about two weeks, she said.

PIE has also established domestic internships, providing students with the chance to work with international aspects of business within the United States. Some internships could include international marketing research, helping with outsourcing and overseas purchasing.