BSC Business Magazine - page 8

6 BSC Business Magazine
Birmingham-Southern College’s roots
in Alabama run deep. Today’s business
students, however, are entering a
globalized marketplace, one that demands
international experience and a worldwide
mindset. Seeking to internationalize
students’ experiences, the business
department is collaborating with the
modern foreign languages department to
inaugurate new academic programs, expand
international internship opportunities,
and encourage students to study abroad.
These initiatives are tangible evidence of
the leadership of Dr. Sara Robicheaux, dean
of business programs. Under her guidance,
the business department is continuing to
foster a collaborative learning environment
that prepares students for success in
a rapidly evolving global business
As a result of the partnership between the
business and modern foreign languages
departments, students can earn a degree
in business while gaining proficiency in
Spanish. Foundations of Business Thought,
the popular introductory class for the
Extending Our Roots: Global Immersion in Business
by Austin Fann, a junior from Birmingham
business major, has recently been modified
to allow students to study business with
an emphasis on Latin America. This
course lets students interact with Latin
American business leaders thanks to a Koch
Foundation grant that funds guest speakers.
Miguel Hilario-Manënima, a Peruvian
presidential candidate, recently spoke
to the class about the business scene in
Peru. Students enrolled in Foundations of
Business Thought can also take an intensive
Spanish course taught by Dr. Barbara
Domcekova, associate professor of Spanish,
that meets five days a week and is structured
to bolster the Spanish skills of students
who studied the language for only one or
two years in high school. Students who
participate in this program become eligible
for an international internship.
The creation of the Spanish in the
workplace minor is another product of the
collaboration between the business and
modern foreign languages departments.
This minor focuses on preparing students
for careers that demand strong Spanish
skills. Sections of the introductory class
for the minor will be tailored to suit the
unique needs of students interested in pre-
health, pre-law, and business. In contrast
with other Spanish classes that emphasize
an exploration of culture, this introductory
class centers on career preparation.
To explore international opportunities
for Birmingham-Southern students, Dr.
Robicheaux and Dr. Domcekova traveled
to Santiago, Chile, last summer to visit
several universities. They met with leaders
of the non-profit Institute for Study Abroad,
Butler University (IFSA), which can serve as
a model for international experiences for
BSC students. In this innovative initiative,
students have the opportunity to live with a
host family in Santiago while taking classes
at a local university. IFSA also offers a
summer program specifically for business
students, Business and Culture in the 21st
Century, in which students take business
classes, travel extensively throughout Chile,
and meet with local business leaders to
gain insight into the business world of
Latin America.
To help launch an international
While studying abroad in London, BSC Student Lydia Robinson (second from right) bonds with interns from around the world by cheering for Misty May and
Kerri Walsh in an Olympic beach volleyball match.
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