International Business.
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About International Business at Otago

What is International Business?

International Business is broadly concerned with global corporate strategies, subsidiary capabilities, strategic alliances, and emerging economies. In an effort to understand and measure the international success of firms, it examines, for example, issues of globalisation, regional integration, multinational enterprises (MNEs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the global trading environment (in both product and service areas), and the role of global financial systems.

International Business, as an area of academic focus, is also concerned with those salient challenges that face international corporate organisations, including labour, information technology, sustainability, and energy provision.

As the nature of business becomes increasingly global there is, without question, demand for individuals who are equipped with the skills necessary to understand the dynamic nature of international business, to conduct business across borders and to manage the above elements within multicultural environments.

International Business at Otago

International Business is an exciting development within the Business School at the University of Otago.

The Bachelor of Commerce majoring in International Business is designed to allow students the chance to explore the dynamic, global environment within which business is conducted and recognise that multinational enterprises (MNEs), both in New Zealand and throughout the world, need individuals who can work across traditional functional boundaries as well as across national borders.

As an International Business student, you will learn about global financial markets and operational strategies, management issues in international contexts, how marketing operates globally and the problems and opportunities that this brings, and the economic structures of national and international economies. You will also be exposed, in your first year, to a solid grounding in accounting and quantitative analysis.

In addition to Commerce and Business papers, you will also have the opportunity to explore a variety of language and cultural/international papers. Students whose first language is English or Māori are required to study a language, while students whose first language is neither English nor Māori study various cultural and international papers. When you graduate, you will be conversant in the various aspects of international business as well as the cultural environment within which international business is situated. The value of the language component in differentiating yourself in a chosen career path cannot be underestimated:

Understanding economics, marketing and the mechanics of moving products around the world is great start for a career in international business, but very often the key to success is understanding the customer’s cultural context.┬áTo communicate in the customers language is a real bonus; when socialising as well as when in negotiations, but with the language comes an insight into the culture. We employ a lot of people with good degrees but those with another language have a real advantage when it comes to overseas project work and postings; especially if matched with time offshore using their second language.

Alan Richardson
Otago/Southland Regional Manager
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

The International Business major at Otago has been developed after extensive consultation with companies throughout New Zealand, and has been tailored to meet the needs identified by these companies. The Business School has an extensive network of partner universities around the world. Students undertaking an International Business Major have the option to go on exchange for at least one semester of their degree, and many students have used this option to further their language and 'cultural' skills.

A position in international business is challenging and rewarding and the BCom in International Business will provide you with the theoretical and practical background to develop your career within a global context. I look forward to helping you explore the multifaceted, and admittedly sometimes complex, nature of international business. I am sure that you will find your studies both challenging and rewarding.


© International Business
School of Business
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand