The Value of an International Business Education

February 22, 2018 //


There has been a backlash against globalization and multinational corporations lately, but as new markets emerge, people, knowledge, capital, raw materials, finished products, services, and culture will increasingly flow across national boundaries. This flow is the essence of international business, and its success hinges on understanding the new configurations that will emerge. It is essential that we prepare for the new world order.

Why is it important to study the flow of international business? First, comprehending the nuts and bolts of how business is conducted across borders expands knowledge and skill sets. Second, knowing other languages and having overseas experience shows employers that students have an open global mindset. It differentiates them from others competing for a job. The Fox School of Business specializes in teaching the international business flow and in giving students that employment edge. For this reason and more, the Fox International Business (IB) program attracts top students from the Philadelphia region and beyond.

Students also choose the Fox School as a result of its world-leading faculty, beginning with Arvind Phatak, who studied globalization and multinationals in the 1960’s long before these words became popular. Today, Professors Mike Kotabe, Ram Mudambi, and Charles Dhanaraj are driving the Fox School’s IB program to the top. The popular press regularly cites the research output of these three scholars, and the Academy of International Business has elected them Fellows of the Academy—the highest honor that the academy can bestow.

The Fox School’s IB program is committed to providing outstanding internship and career placement help for graduates. The Fox Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) has close contacts with many international companies and international organizations in the city, region, and beyond. IB student recruiters include GSK, Bank of America, Vanguard, Lockheed Martin, BDP International, BNP Paribas, Alibaba Group, LinkedIn Corporation, Amazon, and various U.S. and foreign government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Salaries reported by IB students cover a wide range based on specific elements (e.g., industry, cost of living, etc.) and have sometimes exceeded $100,000. On average and according to the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s export plan, IB jobs and export-related jobs pay 20% more.

A Brief History of IB Education at Fox

Professor Hart Walters offered the first course in International Business at the undergraduate level in 1971, and in 1984 IB became an undergraduate major. The Fox School continues to be a pioneer in developing a state-of-the-art curriculum. For example, it is a founding member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Business Education (CUIBE), a group of nationally recognized IB programs that aims to improve the way IB is taught to undergraduates.

Opportunities to Study IB at Fox

Some scholars see globalization as a continuum: companies start local, and then expand nationally, go on to become continental or regional, and then finally global; all strategy therefore has to be global in scope. Because of this, students are advised to specialize in one functional area and add IB as a second major. Fox students can also minor in IB or get specialized area certificates.

Undergraduates usually take six courses comprised of a core and a menu of electives towards the IB major. Through these courses, students learn both the analytical aspects of IB, such as accounting, economics, finance, insurance and risk, and the behavioral side of IB, such as human resources, legal, marketing, supply chains, offshoring, and strategic management. IB students are also encouraged to join the IB Student Professional Organization (SPO), the fastest growing on campus. The IB SPO hosts practitioners who share their experiences with the students. IB students also work with Temple’s Small Business Administration and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, advising local clients who would like to take their products or services abroad. IB students get hands on experience by helping these clients enter emerging markets or help foreign clients enter the U.S. market.

At the master’s level, the IB the concentration has remained a popular choice among students. The Fox School offers an Executive MBA in many major countries in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Global Immersions

Temple University and the Fox School have campuses in Rome and Japan. The university has also had a presence in China through the Fox School and Temple’s Beasley School of Law. Additionally, the Fox School has agreements with many foreign schools where students can spend a semester or year. Undergraduate and graduate students have studied at many of these locations and immersed themselves in the cultures of these places.

Through the Fox PhD program, multiple students have earned a doctorate with an international business concentration. The Fox School’s IB doctoral students have won dissertation awards at the Academy of International Business Annual Meetings. Today these alums are major knowledge creators and occupy prestigious positions in major universities.


The IB Program has also been the beneficiary of a Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for more than 15 years. This grant provides funding of more than $1 million every four years to selected research institutions that are on the cutting edge of finding ways to improve U.S. competitiveness and trade. Specifically, the grant requires grantee institutions to become regional and national centers for the research and teaching of critical languages, politics, economic geography, culture, laws, and trade practices vital to enhance U.S. trade. Only 17 universities currently hold this grant.

Contact Us: The Fox IB Program is strong in terms of teaching expertise, research impact, rankings, job placements, and in total provides great value for money. To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Bertrand Guillotin via email at

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