MBA Goes Global

By By Sue Davis and Lynda Paige Fulford, MPA '97

L to R: Carla Benassi (Italy), Hsin-Yi Yao and Chia-Ju Yeh (Taiwan)

If you think an International MBA (IMBA) means simply studying how business is conducted in other countries, think again.

At 24, Sapna Desai is already a world citizen with roots in three continents. But, the Gujarai Indian from Kenya has chosen to broaden her world perspective even more by pursuing a degree in CLU’s IMBA program.

Desai believes that in today’s competitive world, getting as much international experience as possible is the key to being successful. At CLU, you get to start making your global connections while you are still a student, sums up Carla Benassi, Desai’s Italian classmate.

Benassi and Desai are two of 45 students who have come to CLU from five different continents to pursue an MBA in a full-time, one-year program. The rigorous academic curriculum allows the international students to learn alongside American students, providing the perfect setting for a truly global exchange.

An outgrowth of CLU’s effort to attract a broad range of culturally diverse people, the IMBA, initiated in 2002 with eight mostly European students, embraces global economic and cultural studies with gusto. As the need for world market acumen increases, the program, which is still considered unique at most comprehensive institutions, now draws students from all over the planet.

Global Perspective

“There is a certain level of convergence that occurs as the world evolves, especially with respect to commerce,” explains CLU business professor Harry Domicone, Ph.D., who oversees the IMBA program. “Simply put – all business has become global.”

Domicone believes CLU’s IMBA optimizes the exchange of cultures and business practices in a way that homogeneous academic models cannot replicate.

“Our IMBA brings the world to the campus since many of our American students cannot study abroad due to their own professional schedules,” he notes.

IMBA classes are a bonus since you get a global perspective from the other students, says Lisa Barger, an executive with Countrywide in Simi Valley, as she works on an in-class project with students from Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Canada.

The faculty – many of whom come from industry where they hold full-time executive positions or from respected institutions in other countries – also provide a key cross-cultural element to the program.

“Some of our most effective instructors are those who bring practical experience to the MBA classrooms from their own successful careers,” says Domicone.

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