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You Ask, We Answer: Can I study international business at PLU?

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Four business students stand and smile together behind a table during PLU's Biz Venture Day
April 21, 2023

The School of Business at PLU offers a broad range of courses and skills. We offer areas of specialization (what we call concentrations) in marketing, management, accounting and finance. Students who are interested in international business may use any one of those concentrations as a pathway into international business. For example, Megan was a student in the marketing concentration and took her experience to Orkla, a major brand in Norway, to work on brand development projects for this international business.

There’s a perception that to work in international business, or in an international position, that you need to have a degree in international business. That’s simply not true, and there are many ways to explore, and prepare for, work in international business.

At PLU, we integrate global business perspectives throughout our curriculum. In fact, our foundational business course (BUSA201) focuses on business in the global environment. Other courses include global perspectives in the curriculum, so the benefit of business education at PLU is the global perspective is not just a course, it is a foundation included in many of the courses and across the concentrations.

While we have the four concentrations (i.e., marketing, management, accounting and finance), we also have a specialized concentration where a student can propose an area of study that is customized to their area of interest. Via the individualized concentration, a student could propose the following customized concentration:

Sample Individualized Concentration with Focus in Global Business
BUSA 337 – International Finance (4)
BUSA 352 – Global Management (4)
BUSA 366 – Multicultural Marketing (4)
BUSA 487 – Study Abroad (4)

The cool thing is that the world of international business draws upon many different skills, and those skills can be developed via the curriculum in the School of Business. We had a recent IMPACT Award winner for the School of Business share that in a future career, everyone will be asked to do new things. In his career, he was asked to do some new things that had never been done before. And to do those things, he drew upon those skills that he had developed at PLU (creative problem solving, strategic communication, collaboration with others, and other foundational skills).

Here’s one more example of how a graduate used his business education to work in an international government setting that makes a huge difference in the world. Mark decided to take his business background into the governmental organization called USAID. He worked on the Power Africa project, a collaborative project that integrates local governments and towns with the support of nonprofit organizations, for profit businesses, and international governments to help deliver over 60 million electrical connections in different countries comprising sub-Saharan Africa. Working with local leadership, clean and reliable energy systems are being co-designed and created that are allowing for new opportunities in healthcare, education, technology, food storage and everyday quality of life. In his work, Mark provides the creative energy to bring people and resources together in collaborative ways to provide electricity to areas of the world that have few, if any, alternative choices. Take a look at the impact that a PLU business degree, via the heart of a graduate, can bring to the world.

We have many graduates who work in international business, and we are happy to help you explore this work. With a group of dedicated faculty, many of which are from international backgrounds and bring their connections with them to PLU, we are ready to walk with you on this exploration and journey. And, we are happy to talk further about your ideas. Let’s connect!

Guest Bloggers: Dr. Mark Mulder, Dean, School of Business and Juanita Reed, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Business