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Boler IBLC program offers global skills and opportunities

Boler IBLC program offers global skills and opportunities

Students enrolled in the undergraduate International Business Language and Culture (IBLC) in Boler are gaining the advantage they need to compete in today’s global marketplace. 

Through a combination of curricular and experiential learning, students acquire business fluency in a foreign language and a deep understanding of international business culture and practices. In a global economy, being able to solve problems across international boundaries can mean the difference between success and failure. 

Beyond the traditional and custom coursework, the program requires the study of a second language to conversational proficiency as well as an immersion experience in a country outside of the US that can involve study and/or internship experiences. The IBLC major is packaged into the four-year duration of the undergraduate experience, making it easy for students to take advantage of the transformative opportunities that might otherwise be difficult to navigate without delaying graduation.

As a Jesuit institution, John Carroll’s mission is to prepare students as men and women for others, including through global engagement and confronting the challenges of a global environment. When compared with some of the leading international business programs in the US as well as with similar programs at other Jesuit institutions, no other program requires all of the elements contained in the JCU IBLC curriculum. This speaks to the thoughtfulness in the design of the IBLC program and the commitment by passionate, dedicated faculty to guarantee that students will be globally competent upon graduation, possessing the knowledge, skills and abilities to actually realize the mission of the program in real life.  

“It is a significant competitive advantage in today’s interdependent world economy to be proficient in a second language and to understand the culture, behaviors and values of another country,” says Dr. Walter Simmons, Associate Dean of Boler Academic Affairs and Professor of Economics. “It provides students with the ability to tackle organizational challenges across cultural settings and situations so they can excel in global commerce, politics and society.”

The program was initially created with two co-directors, one in the Boler College of Business and one in the College of Arts and Sciences (Classical & Modern Language & Cultures Department) who work with a faculty advisory committee. Simons was involved in the creation of the program in 2010 and officially took over in 2015 after becoming Associate Dean. “It’s wonderful to see the growth in the program and, though we had a few setbacks during COVID in terms of international travel, the students never lost their enthusiasm for the program and, in fact, gained a personal perspective on the impact of such a global event.”

The program is currently managed by Simmons and a faculty advisory committee. They are responsible for student matriculation, advising, transient petitions, assistance with securing internships and approval, course scheduling, faculty alignment with courses, and promotion of the major within the current student body as well as prospective students.

When surveyed, alumni as well as current students reported that the program had altered their understanding of themselves in the world, imparting skills, knowledge and values that will enable them to negotiate an increasingly confusing and challenging global environment with poise and purpose.

Boler IBLC graduates have been hired by consulting firms, NGOs, international service companies, and multinational corporations to work in a range of functional areas including, accounting, finance, marketing and logistics.

In addition, students can participate in the IBLC Association on campus. The Association represents the IBLC and other business majors in the Boler College of Business with goals to nurture and promote their international interests while expanding student knowledge of global business, culture and awareness of international issues.

“The IBLC program continues to evolve as does the ever-changing global economy,” says Simmons. “Boler graduates will continue to receive the best opportunities that will prepare them for inspired futures no matter where they live or conduct business.”