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International Business


Don't let borders get in the way of business.


You might have heard that we live in a much more interconnected world than we have in the past. This is true, even if you're only talking about twenty years ago. If you are, you're going to be very surprised to learn that the Fresh Prince has been nominated for an Oscar.

This is not to say that businesses being international is new. The British East India Company, who you might remember as the bad guys in the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, were doing international business when the USA wasn't even a gleam in George Washington's eye. There's been trading, corporations, and all kinds of things since one coastal caveman realized he could sell fish to an inland cavemen for a significant markup.

He probably demanded payment in Smilodon teeth. Come on, wouldn't you?

The Internet has put the global nature of business on steroids. Not literal ones, so if you come home to find your computer bulging with muscles, you might want to call someone: the cops, tech support, or maybe just Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It's no longer possible, really, to have a large business without going over some borders. Turns out that people are people wherever you go. There are cultural differences, sure, but we all have more or less the same needs. The person who most effectively addresses these gets paid.

That's the market at work.

With worldwide markets both more important and more easily reachable than ever before, international business is almost an upgrade of a regular ol' business major. You're going to learn more about the unique challenges that face those going over borders. Really, so will business majors. They just won't be prepared like you.

In the olden days of the 1980s, you probably would be looking at a mere business major. You would also have a lot of hairspray in your hair, and you might play a synthesizer. It was a weird decade. Those folks are dinosaurs. New wave, skinny tie-wearing, Flock of Seagulls hair-having dinosaurs.

Anyway, international business combines the disciplines of business with diplomacy. After all, making deals with people requires connecting on a personal level. You don't want to find out that by innocently requesting a cup of coffee, you've managed to shockingly insult your erstwhile partner's entire lineage.

So half of what you're doing is very close to anthropology, learning to repurpose your sterling people skills to those who grew up with a different culture and language. You're a citizen of the world now, looking at world markets from a holistic point of view.

You're looking for new markets, new places to go, new people to partner with. You're forging relationships all over the globe with one goal: profit. You'll remember these wise words: Home is where the heart is, but the stars are made of gold.

Famous People who majored in International Business

Okay, so there aren't really any famous people who majored in international business. It's not really a thing.

Here are some famous international businesspeople, though:

  • Ronald Lauder, son of Estée Lauder
  • Gerhard Schulmeyer, German-American businessman
  • Lex Luthor, the Kevin Spacey version
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox, galactic president and inventor of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Percentage of US students who major in International Business:


Stats obtained from this source.