US News ranks International Business program 12th nationally

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Robert Jett is a firm believer in the saying “There is no I in team.” As president of the International Business Advisory Board at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, he knows that it takes everyone to make the International Business program what it is.

And what it is happens to be outstanding.

The International Business program landed its 13th consecutive top 20 ranking by U.S. News & World Report last week. The magazine’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges” guidebook named the program the 12th best overall.

“The success of the IB program is really built on everyone,” said Jett, vice president and deputy compliance counsel for RGA Reinsurance Company. “Without all the key stakeholders – the faculty, students, staff and board – the young program would not be what it is today and would not continue to earn top national rankings.

UMSL’s International Business program began in 1999 as a collaboration between the College of Business Administration and Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL. The International Business Institute formed in 2000 with the goal of continuing to strengthen the international undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Through the IBI, the International Business Advisory Board was created.

“The board has been a critical piece of the IB program since the very beginning,” said Joseph Rottman, director of the International Business Institute at UMSL. “At that time, then Chancellor Blanche Touhill knew that we must have a very strong connection to the professional networks and expertise in St. Louis.

“Our board members continue to strengthen and invigorate our program. They fund scholarships, provide speakers and support for our annual International Business Career Conference, sponsor and guide our IB Case Competition, speak in our classrooms and mentor our students. Our board is a critical success factor for our program.”

Jett said creating opportunities for students, faculty and business to collaborate is a key component of the advisory board.

“I think one of the goals of the board is to listen and to help both the faculty and students in connecting them and providing them with the necessary resources to success,” he said. “That can be through scholarships, research opportunities, corporate collaborations or networking.”

The program features more than 70 study abroad programs available in more than 40 countries and a large contingent of students from China, Japan, Europe, Latin America and India. Students can also take part in annual study tours that lead student groups to locales around the world.

American students have interned at the overseas offices of companies such as Japan Airlines, Emerson Electric and General Motors, while foreign students have interned in the St. Louis area at companies such as Silgan Plastics, Novus International and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Building on the long-running success of the undergraduate program, the college launched the International Masters of Business Administration program in 2005. The International MBA program created partnerships with international universities in China, Japan, India, France, Germany, Finland, Mexico and Taiwan. Students enrolled in the two-year graduate program spend the first year studying abroad followed by a summer internship before returning to UMSL for a year.

Media Coverage:
St. Louis Business Journal

The UMSL Experience

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