Published 12/07/16

Ramirez with students in the Academic Innovation CenterInternational Business Program Director and Associate Professor of Finance Andres Ramirez, Ph.D., (center) enjoyed an accomplished career at a Chilean multinational firm before joining Bryant’s faculty.

Spotlight on: International Business at Bryant University

As the fall semester comes to a close, many International Business (IB) major seniors have cause to celebrate: a growing percentage have secured full-time positions well before graduation.

This is no surprise to Associate Professor of Finance Andres Ramirez, Ph.D., the International Business Program director.

"This impressive group of students inspires us every day with their hunger for learning and desire to make a difference in the world.”

“Our goal is keep growing that percentage, says Ramirez. “As a department, we are constantly striving to advance the areas that set students up for success as they transition into the workforce. This impressive group of students inspires us every day with their hunger for learning and desire to make a difference in the world.”

One of the University’s fastest-growing majors, the International Business course of study, recently ranked No. 3 in the nation by College Factual/USA Today, has continuously climbed the list since its first class graduated in 2008. So what sets the Bryant program apart from others around the country?

  • Holistic perspective about business. From freshman year, students are exposed to a special curriculum that allows them to integrate knowledge across business disciplines, cultures, and languages. They take part in a global business simulation and intern for local and international companies. IB seniors solve real, international business problems in an intense, cross-functional capstone consulting project for one of the program’s global partners.
  • International functional concentrations. The IB program is one of the few in the country offering concentrations in Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Global Supply Chain Management, and Marketing.
  • Real, hands-on global experience. Required study abroad and a set of global internships enable students to deepen their international perspective while immersing themselves in a new culture and language.
  • World-class faculty with global backgrounds. Inspiring international faculty from around the world are experts in their fields and combine the latest theory with direct experience in the business world.

First year IB students address global social issues

Early in their first semester, all first-year International Business students are challenged to solve a global social problem, such as malnutrition, with a market-based solution. The assignment, led by Associate Professor of Management Diya Das, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor of Management Elzotbek Rustambeko, Ph.D., is part of the IB-customized Global Foundations of Organization and Business course.

As in previous years, the students’ solutions reflected extensive research and critical thinking about the scope of the problems they identified and the cultural mores and practices that affected their respective business. On Nov. 2, not eight weeks into their collegiate careers, 10 student teams pitched proposals to a distinguished panel of judges from well-known companies.

Real projects. Real companies. Real experience.

Seniors collaborate with Bryant’s award-winning John H. Chafee Center for International Business to develop strategies to help real businesses expand globally. It is part of a required senior practicum, an intense consulting experience that culminates with team reports and presentations to a panel of business judges, followed by presentations and recommendations to company representatives.

"Bryant students are capable of providing solid analyses, direction, and recommendations for our business."

“We have learned that Bryant students are capable of providing solid analyses, direction, and recommendations for our business,” says Mark Hanna, Chief Marketing Officer at Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, “and we are convinced of significant rewards to Richline.”

“The students who were assigned to our team were well prepared, intelligent, hard-working, and committed to the project at hand,” says Christopher Ciunci, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Tribal Vision. “Their market research deliverable was so thorough that we ended up including most of it in our final presentation to our Korean client.”

Preparation for an international career

As part of his IB practicum, Matthew Licari ’16 worked with the Cooley Group, a global manufacturer of high-performance polymeric solutions. “The company treated us like consultants,” he says. “We gained valuable experience in learning not only about manufacturing and engineered membranes but also how to successfully handle business relationships and truly own a project.”

Ryan Letourneau ’11, a consolidation controller for Schneider Electric, Boston, began his career with the Delhaize Group, an international food retailer, most recently serving as a financial analyst in Brussels, Belgium. Bryant’s International Business curriculum afforded him the opportunity to be part of a competitive program, says Letourneau. When he joined Delhaize, it was the first time the company had hired Americans for the program, and he was one of only 18 selected from more than 750 applicants – most of whom had MBAs.

“I was able to position myself for an international career, which is what I wanted. What sets Bryant apart is the experiential learning, faculty who are more than accomplished, and the ability each student has to make the academic experience his or her own.”

A sampling of the Class of 2017 International Business majors who already have secured full-time jobs:

  • Michel Dahdah, Caracas, Venezuela: General Partner at KeeSun Trading, an artificial intelligence trading startup based in Cambridge, MA
  • Cody Freeman, Attleboro, MA: Data Engineer, Fidelity Investments, Smithfield, RI
  • Megan Kimball, East Hampton, CT: Analytics Development Program, Liberty Mutual, Boston
  • Nicolas Laverde, Gloucester, MA: Corporate Analyst Development Program, JP Morgan Chase & Co., greater New York
  • Kayla Nikosey, Marlboro, MA: Finance Rotation Associate, Boston Scientific, Marlboro, MA
  • Adrian Alonso-Tavera, Waltham, MA: Business Consultant and Technology Associate, Grant Thornton, Boston
  •  Katherine Whipple, North Andover, MA: Executive Manager, Target, northern MA