International emphasis merges business administration and global relations
Business is booming at Lee University, and students have the chance to take their administrative skills overseas with the international emphasis.
Since its makeover in 2017, the School of Business has developed a greater presence on Lee’s campus, featuring programs for accounting, business administration and information systems. However, students now have the opportunity to take their love for travel and global business and apply it to their business administration degree through an international business emphasis.
The traditional business path allows for students to work in management. The international business emphasis does the same but additionally provides students with knowledge of other cultures and their values.
Professor of Business Administration Dr. Hermilio Jasso said giving students the basic building blocks of business plays an integral role in building their international understanding.
“[We] teach students how to make better decisions in business, as well as how to appreciate other cultures, because the decisions they make are greatly impacted by the culture they are in,” Jasso said.
The cultural element of this degree allows interested students of differing perspectives to turn that passion into a career. For sophomore business administration and Spanish double major Owen Keck, the desire to run his own business while helping others globally led him to this emphasis.
“I was in the Dominican Republic, and there was an affluent man there from Texas who ran a paper business, and he only employed the natives,” Keck said. “He was able to make money and help this business while the natives were also making money. It seemed like a win-win situation to me, and I wanted to do something just like it.”
With classes in macroeconomics and accounting, students learn a vast majority of skills that will develop good business practices upon graduating from Lee. Visiting Lecturer in Accounting Julius Ikome said a basic background in accounting is necessary to be successful in this field.
“Accounting is a prerequisite for intro to business areas, and you cannot complete a business program without it,” Ikome said. “It gives students the skill to be able to work independently.”
Beyond entry-level management positions, this concentration opens students up to pursue careers in international sales or multinational corporations. Students like Keck, seeking the opportunity to travel and interact with different cultures, also develop entrepreneurial skills that allow them to pursue opportunities that may not yet exist.
“I believe that my dream job doesn’t exist yet, but I want to be able to travel and have a business that is service-based while [simultaneously] employing the natives and making money,” Keck said.
Along with embracing other cultures, Keck said this major pairs well with a language degree, which further enhances students’ abilities to communicate and use their business degrees to the fullest extent internationally.
“I took five years of Spanish in high school, and I visited Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Columbia. After going to these places, I realized I wanted to make a change while also having a business like the ones there,” Keck said. “That’s when I decided on a business administration and Spanish double major.”
Students in the program, according to Ikome, can expect courses from professors with the desire to impart what they know to their students.
“I love giving out my knowledge [of accounting] to other students,” Ikome said. “It pushes me to keep teaching, as I know students will take what they have learned and use it.”
To learn more about this major, contact Chair of the Department of Business Administration Dewayne Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.