The role of International Business degree in career growth

Students exposed to international business program find it easier to expand their career horizons and seek opportunities across the globe

Dr. Christopher AbrahamUpdated: Sunday, October 02, 2022, 02:07 PM IST
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Representative image | Mitesh Bhuvad/PTI

The world of business has changed like everything else in the last two decades. Over the years, global connectivity and global trade have become the norm, thanks to technology and the internet.

Today, individuals, communities, corporations, and countries are interconnected across the globe, so much so that we have a fascinating new term called ‘Connectography’, attributed to global strategist Parag Khanna.

What Duncker Candle Problem can teach us

For youngsters to thrive in their careers, in this interconnected world, they need to have a set of contemporary skills which include global and cultural intelligence. A few years ago, an eye-opening study conducted by U.S. professors proved an interesting connection between global exposure and problem-solving abilities. The professors identified three different categories of people as follows; One group consisted of people who had a single country exposure all their lives, a second group had a 2-country exposure, and the 3rd group had a multi-country exposure. All 3 groups were given the famous Duncker Candle Problem, which is a challenge wherein one has to fix a lighted candle on the wall with just a box of matches, a candle, and some brass tacks.

The results were pretty interesting. While 18% of the single-country group cracked the problem, 32% of the 2-country group completed it and 67% of the multi-country participants successfully solved the problem. This experiment builds a strong case for international and global exposure, which can become an opportunity for aspiring youngsters through an interesting program in International Business.

Today there are numerous opportunities for youngsters to make themselves competent and relevant in the global business environment. Good programs across the world can help them get a broader and more international perspective of global business, along with developing critical management skills like collaboration, teamwork, communication, decision-making, innovation, and problem-solving. Students exposed to such international business program opportunities find it easier to expand their career horizons and seek opportunities across the globe.

Global Intelligence is key to managerial and leadership success

In a research study conducted in 2010 by Harvard University, Global Intelligence was identified as one of the key factors for managerial and leadership success in an increasingly complex world. Thus, students with exposure to an international business program would certainly have an edge over others, because of their unique exposure to the international business environment.

Over the years there has been a rapid growth in the number of international and multinational corporations with branches and operations in different parts of the world. What they look for in their prospective employees is the cultural and market knowledge of different countries, along with relevant social and technical skills. With the increasing uncertainty and unpredictability of global markets, the ability to analyse, understand and take decisive actions based on different global cultural nuances becomes extremely significant.

Becoming a success story internationally

There is a saying that the best way to learn a culture is to experience it. Currently, there are globally recognized institutions that offer students a unique learning experience to travel to different countries as part of their education. During their stay in these countries, they have the opportunity to spend quality time, visiting relevant institutions, doing country-specific projects, and immersing themselves in the local cultures and traditions. Through this continuous process of exposure and experience, the minds and mindsets of the participant get influenced and shaped.

This phenomenon is validated by current findings in neuroscience that when somebody goes to a new country and is exposed to the cultures, traditions, and practices, new neural connections are continuously formed, enhancing perspectives and problem-solving abilities from a global/international perspective.

Dr. Christopher Abraham

Over the years, Indian professionals have proven themselves across the world in diverse fields including business, medicine and healthcare, education, and technology. The success of these leaders characterised by the likes of people such as Sundar Pichai, Indra Nooyi, Satya Nadella, Leena Nair, and many others proves a strong case for an internationally successful Indian. Each of these success stories starts in India and then gets global exposure, finally culminating in a super successful growth story. This opens the world of opportunities for any youngster aspiring to be a global leader and one of the best ways to achieve this career dream is to enrol and enhance themselves through a recognized program in international business.

The author is the CEO & Head & Sr Vice President, Institutional Development, SP Jain School of Global Management

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