Business Administration—International Business Concentration

Western's Business Administration majors explore leadership roles in business and the community, providing students with the perceptual and analytical skills necessary  to make decisions and evaluate policies in business, and develop an understanding of the social, economic, and regulatory environments in business. All  students earning a degree in Business Administration develop significant understanding of  management information systems and computing.  

As globalization persists, people who can conduct international business are vital to organizations now more than ever before. The International Business Concentration provides students with the skills global companies are seeking. Often combining training in language and in other business areas, student learn to manage business relationships across borders in a variety of capacities. Here are some comments from International Business alumni.

 

“The International Business program at Western engages and challenges its students to analyze and resolve real business problems that are relevant in today's globalized economy.”

–Sebastian Kohlmeier, International Business Alumni, WWU Presidential Scholar, Amazon and Microsoft Work Experience

 

Beyond the Classroom

Most companies are looking for managers with real world experience, which is why Western Washington University International Business students are encouraged to find experience outside the classroom that push them to expand and get experience in using their knowledge.

  • International Business Operations Projects Class — Seniors in the international business program can elect to take IBUS 473, International Trade Operations. This class allows groups of three students to work with local firms to research international opportunities. This successful class has completed more than 100 projects for local firms.
  • Study Abroad — Students in the international business program are strongly encouraged to study abroad. When possible, they should consider "direct exchanges," programs that let them study as a regular student at our university partners. This usually makes for a more meaningful learning experience and is substantially cheaper than other alternative ways to go abroad. Contact Dan.Lindeman@wwu.edu in the International Programs and Exchanges office for more information.
  • Internships — Internships with international content are sometimes available, and the International Business faculty alerts all students to these opportunities, leads often supplied by our alumni. Students are encouraged to use their own contacts and connections to find additional internship opportunities.

Other ways to network and gain extracurricular experience include: 

It took 10 years after I graduated with my International Business degree to finally make the move to an international company! During that time, I never lost sight of the goal to work and live internationally. I traveled (personally and professionally), learned languages, talked to people about my goal, made contacts and eventually it came together. Now I rely on the learnings from the International Business program, from managing relationships to competitive positioning, in my work every day. The program was a great foundation for my career in that it propelled me forward in positions within the US that allowed me to target opportunities for working abroad.

Allison Bilas (2003) Senior Manager Game Analytics, Movie Star Planet, Copenhagen Denmark

Careers and Graduate Studies

The International Business program is designed to provide graduates the ability to combine principles from their business training to handle complex problems that are faced in the international and domestic business environment.  This prepares our graduates for a variety of career paths. The most common jobs require students to manage the relationships between firms and organizations. This can include supply systems, trade flows and logistics, and marketing for foreign markets. The same skill set can be used in a variety of domestic markets as well. Our students can find domestic jobs with financial institutions, manufacturing and retail firms, service industries and the public sector. Graduates have access to an alumni network of more than 700 graduates, almost half of whom are linked to us via LINKEDIN groups that provide a network for job search.

The following list gives some examples of jobs held by our graduates.  For more, visit the International Business home page.

  • Boeing: Business Operations Manager in Spain, Procurement Agent and 787 Process Analyst
  • Amazon: Global Talent Search, Amazon Marketplace Relationship Manager and Senior Manager Kindle
  • Expeditors: Import Transportation Agent and Corporate Strategy Manager
  • Microsoft: Sales Excellence Program Manager
  • Tecplot: Strategic Alliance Manager
  • Starbucks: Coffee Supply Relationship Manager
  • Nintendo: Purchasing Manager
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance: Senior Business Analyst
  • Europa Foods Specialty Grocery: Owner
  • Brunswick Europe: Senior Marketing Manager
  • PACCAR: Business Development Project Manager
  • Expedia: SEO Specialist for Latin America

The new job in Brazil is challenging and interesting, although the current Brazil economic crisis hasn't made anything easy. I am working for a film production company that makes institutional and promotional videos for the corporate sector in Brazil. I work in business development. The international business program and its professors provided me the opportunities, training and inspiration to study and work in Latin America while learning two new languages in the process.

Brandon Behl (2013), San Paulo Brazil

Sample Careers

  • Import/Export Management 
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Management of International Relationships in Business
  • International Marketing
  • International Non-Profit 
  • Law
  • Public Policy
  • Analysis of International Competitiveness

Department of Management - International Business Program

Business Administration—International Business Concentration, BA

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