The Global Business (GBUS) major explores the intersection of the private sector (especially the multi-national corporation) with international affairs. The economic, political, and financial institutions of today are all global and interconnected. Working within these organizations, and understanding these organizations, requires exceptional communication skills. The School of Foreign Service (SFS) has understood the centrality of communication since its inception. In addition to the university-wide requirements of a Writing and Culture class (WRIT 015), and a Humanities course (HALC), SFS also mandates a rigorous modern foreign language requirement, political and economic coursework, and cross-cultural proficiencies.
No communication skill is more central than that of writing. The rise of modern civilizations can be traced to, among other things, a system of writing. Large multi-national corporations, entrepreneurs, government agencies, and other non-state actors communicate primarily through the written word, and Global Business students are expected to graduate ready to participate in these conversations. Students must thus learn to think critically and communicate what they learn effectively. This requires being able to formulate meaningful questions, find information that will inform questions, evaluate information sources, effectively synthesize and analyze information, and present findings to varied audiences.
Modes of communication that Global Business students are expected to master during the course of completing the major include discussion and debate, oral presentation, and advanced level writing. The GBUS major seeks to help students build these communication competencies throughout the curriculum.
From the start, students are challenged with the complexities of international business and are required to synthesize these issues in writing. Subsequent semesters delve deeper into the organization, management, financing, delivery, and politics of business. They also require written reviews of the literature, data analysis, the development of positions, and ultimately the ability to define central questions.
Written assignments include memoranda, policy briefs, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, argumentative and persuasive essays, case study analyses and research papers. Formal presentations include leading seminars, formal lectures, and poster presentations.
All Global Business students will participate in an International Business Core class. In these courses, students learn to develop well researched academic essays in which they explore complex ideas and present written arguments supporting their position.
In their business core and quantitative classes students learn to summarize information from various data sources, critique published research findings, and present complex industry-specific material.
Once they have completed core coursework, students move into more advanced supporting courses. In these upper-level courses, students deepen their analytical writing in supporting courses where they produce written material in which they compare and contrast two or more ideas, further developing their skills in making succinct and cogent written arguments. These courses all include advanced industry-specific writing components, ranging from one-page policy briefs and executive memos to extensive reviews of the literature and research papers.
Students in the Honors Program have the option to write and defend a senior thesis, conduct extensive literature reviews and complete a formal research paper.