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International Business major brings a global economy home to York

International Business major
The International Business program provides critical knowledge needed in today’s marketplace to compete with the rest of the world.

Here’s a pop quiz, to any of you potential Business majors.

It’s just after the first of the year. You need a fresh shipment of goods from your supplier in China as soon as possible. They aren’t answering the phone. Why?

Flash forward to summer and consider: With a big deal set to close, your contact in France isn’t returning your calls. Why not?

You can find answers to those types of questions in York College of Pennsylvania’s new International Business program.

It’s the place for students looking to pair a rigorous and tested business curriculum with deep study of culture and politics from around the world. It’s the place, too, for those who want to understand both the language of accounting and even different dialects of French.

International Business brings a global economy home to York, providing students a world of opportunity.

“These days everyone in business is either competing with or sourcing from places all over the planet,” says Professor Rick Osborn. “So, we’re talking about critical knowledge needed in today’s marketplace to compete.”

Talking the talk

Parlez-vous “double major?” (That’s French for, Do you speak ‘double major?’.)

Well, York College speaks that language.

International Business is the first program at YCP to offer students a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Graham School of Business. That’s because the cutting-edge curriculum stretches across disciplines, connecting language arts, political science, religion, economics and more like dots on a map.

And the result? A picture of possibility: choose from minors in French, Spanish, German, cultural studies and more; or, add a double-major in one language; or, use electives to blaze your own path.

“It’s really exciting how we’ve been able to bring all of these different disciplines on board,” Professor Osborn says. “It presents an amazing opportunity for students to expand outside of the traditional business degree.”

Local employers frequently ask faculty about business students who speak a second language, he says. Ever more often at York College, the answer is “yes.”


‘Understanding the workings of the world’

Nothing says “international” quite like taking your first meeting with a roomful of executives in Austria. That’s hard to beat.

York College will send you there.

As part of the curriculum, International Business majors will spend a summer abroad in locales from Mexico to India, strategizing with managers and offering input on key decisions to real employers in the global marketplace.

But the importance of such trips stretches beyond the boardroom, to local restaurants and markets and out to the very consumers who drive a world economy into the trillions of dollars. Those are connections that offer future entrepreneurs invaluable insight.

“We think it’s so important in business to have a keen understanding of other cultures and other people’s circumstances,” Professor Osborn says. To walk both the factory floor and the bustling streets. To read everything from classic literature to restaurant menus.

“This is a major, fundamentally, that’s about better understanding the workings of the world,” he says.

Keying in on answers

Still stumped on that first quiz? Here are the answers.

Your supplier in China isn’t answering because he’s out for a few weeks, celebrating Chinese New Year with a couple hundred friends and family, like he always does at this time of year. And your contact in France? Well, it’s the middle of the summer: she’s taking her usual month in the French Riviera.

The broader answer, though, is this: There’s a world of nuance and detail out there, and it calls for careful study.

It’s why that man’s-best-friend dog image on your product advertisement won’t play as well outside the U.S., where that ethos was born. 

International Business students deal in those distinctions, exploring our colorful globe’s varied elements, uncovering its countless shades of gray.

Along the way they learn what we all have in common, where we differ, and, ultimately, how to change the world for the better, starting right here at York College.