Foreign Language and International Business: The MIBS Program after Ten Years

Authors

  • Kate Gillespie,

    1. University of Texas
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      Kate Gillespie (Ph.D., London Business School) is Assistant Professor of International Business at the University of Texas; Austin, TX

  • Austin William R. Folks Jr.

    1. University of South Carolina
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      William R. Folks, Jr. (D.B.A., Harvard University) is Professor and Program Director of International Business at the University of South Carolina; Columbia, SC.


Abstract

ABSTRACT This paper reviews the progress of the Master in International Business Studies program at the University of South Carolina after ten years. After a brief description of the unique interdisciplinary business-area studies-foreign language curriculum of MIBS, the paper focuses on the role that foreign language components play in the professional development of MIBS students and graduates. Based on a survey of 271 program graduates (60% of the alumni), it is shown that approximately 93% of graduates take positions with firms involved in international business. Some 75% find that their initial position has international responsibilities. Some 70.1% of the respondents rated their foreign language ability as very important or important in obtaining their initial position, and 61.6% rated language skills as very important or important in performing their duties.

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